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O2 launches free anti-scam caller identification for millions of customers

Millions of O2 customers are set to benefit from new caller identification technology which provides greater confidence and certainty about who is calling them. 

Known as Brand ID, the new, free feature will reduce the number of calls customers receive from unknown numbers by providing details of the organisation making the call.  

Powered by voice security leader Hiya, the technology is designed to give customers greater peace of mind when answering incoming calls. The tool will act as an anti-fraud filter, only displaying caller information after verifying the company making the call. 

The new feature comes as research from Hiya reveals that nearly half – 46% – of unidentified calls are ignored, with 92% of people admitting they suspect unidentified calls to be fraudulent.

The technology is being rolled out automatically to millions of O2 consumer pay-monthly and business customers over the coming months, starting with those using Android smartphones. The technology will also be available to mobile operators who use O2’s network, including Tesco Mobile. 

Around 150 UK businesses are already signed up to the service, including major banks and insurers. 

Murray Mackenzie, Director of Fraud at Virgin Media O2, said: “As part of our relentless efforts to stop the scammers, we’re rolling out next-generation caller ID to provide our customers with reliable information about who is calling before they even pick up the phone.  

“By giving them confidence in who is calling and why, customers will be better able to spot fraudulent call attempts and ensure they’re only speaking to people and organisations they want to.  

“With more than a hundred major UK businesses already signed up to the service, this free feature will help give our customers greater peace of mind.”  

“O2 is leading the way in revitalising the value of the mobile phone call experience,” said Kush Parikh, Hiya President.  

“Offering a free anti-scam solution is the response that every carrier in Europe should be taking, as it is the only way to ensure that all subscribers are protected without leaving coverage gaps that fraudsters can exploit. We are proud to partner with O2 for call protection and branded calling across the UK.”  

The new tool follows extensive investment from O2 in recent years to keep its customers safe from fraud, with the new service due to run alongside existing fraud protection measures. This includes AI-powered spam text detection technology which has prevented more than 89 million fraudulent texts from reaching customers in 2023 alone. 

Later this year, O2 will also introduce Call Defence, a free AI-powered spam fighting tool to help further protect mobile customers from fraud. Hiya’s Adaptive AI system will analyse a call number behaviour to determine whether a call is suspected scam or spam labelling the call accordingly and thereby helps keep customers safe from scammers.  

With scam and fraud attempts at record levels, O2 is still calling on customers to remain vigilant to suspicious calls and texts – particularly when asked to provide personal information – and report them for free to 7726 to help keep themselves and others safe.  

By forwarding on scam texts, the telecoms company is not only able to investigate and block the mobile numbers used by fraudsters, but also use the scam texts to help refine its blocking services, making it easier to identify new trends and block messages faster. 

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