Major telecom operators cracking down on fake calls and messages


The three major mobile phone operators are joining forces with the authorities to use artificial intelligence and other technologies to try to weed out fraudulent calls and text messages from call-centre scammers.

Advanced Info Service, True Corporation and Total Access Communication (DTAC) have been stepping up efforts to protect their clients from fraudulent spam calls and SMS messages following an increase in attempts to deceive the people by call-centre scammers since late last year, the three operators said.

Pratthana Lilapanang, chief of AIS’ division for general customers, said the telco has developed AIS Secure Net, a free digital service to filter out spams, phishing messages and virus to protect AIS customers.

He said AIS has also launched its 1185 hotline to receive complaints about calls and SMS from scammers. The hotline is called AIS Spam Report Centre that allows AIS customers to make calls free of charge to report the spams and fraudulent calls and SMS.

The AIS also has an AIS chatbot for customers to report suspicious phone numbers, Pratthana added.

He said AIS would thoroughly check the registrations of the reported numbers and the patterns of their calls and SMS to determine whether they belong to call-centre scammers. Once confirmed, the numbers will be blocked and customers will be notified within 72 hours, he added.

Natwut Amornvivat, co-president of True Corporation, said True has been working with the Police Cyber Taskforce and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission to launch 9777 hotline to receive complaints about suspicious calls and SMS around the clock. English-speaking customers can also call the 9777 hotline, he added.

Natwut said True has also set up a task force to monitor and investigate suspicious phone numbers and report its findings to the customers within 72 hours.

Once confirmed as phone numbers of gangsters, calls and SMS messages from the numbers would be blocked and True would coordinate with police to track the sources and make arrests, Natwut said.

True has also launched Mali AI, a chatbot, on its True iService platform to receive complaints from its customers.

The operator is also cooperating with Whoscall platform to report numbers that have been confirmed as being used by gangsters, in another measure to protect the people, Natwut added.

Meanwhile, DTAC announced on its website that it has opened 1678 hotline to receive complaints about suspicious calls and SMS messages. The call centre is an automatic and interactive system for customers to report the phone numbers for investigations.

Customers can also send SMS messages to the 1678 hotline to report numbers of suspicious calls, the website said.

DTAC said it has enforced three measures to protect its customers:

— Blocking overseas calls made in the manner of call-centre gangs

— Blocking overseas calls that are disguised as local calls in Thailand

— Using Test Call Generator technology to check whether overseas calls use any technology to disguise the phone numbers. The TCG will also check and trace back to the country of origin from where the calls are made.