EE’s taking a stand against scammers blocking 42 million scam texts

  • EE’s new anti-spam filter helps prevent malicious phishing and scam SMSs being received by customers
  • More than 42 million SMSs have already been blocked since launch in July 2021
  • The anti-spam filter has reduced customers’ reports of scam SMS by 85%
  •  EE predicts the new technology will block over 150 million spam SMS in the next year thanks to real time monitoring of new and emerging scams

Millions of EE customers are safer from scams as the UK’s best network has blocked more than 42million spam and scam texts. Since July 2021, EE has introduced an anti-spam filter that prevents messages reaching customers by blocking them from the network. The filter has also identified and terminated over 18,000 scamming SIM cards, reducing even more scam texts at the source.

The anti-spam filter proactively blocks spam text messages by analysing patterns of content as they reach EE’s network, helping to divert smishing messages before reaching customers’ mobiles. The multi-million-pound investment helps prevent the risk of customers falling victim to scam messages and improves network security.

Constantly monitoring and evolving the filter detects and blocks common and emerging scam SMS, like missed delivery and COVID testing scams. The technology scans messages that include links or are being sent to a larger number of recipients. The new system is also able to identify new scam trends -most recently blocking a message claiming to provide information about local fuel availability triggered by the “Fuel Crisis”.

Chris Howe, Customer Director, EE said: “It’s incredible to think over 42million texts have already been blocked. Despite this being a real sign of progress, we’d still urge our customers to be on their guard when it comes to receiving suspicious text messages. If something doesn’t look right, don’t click on any links and you can always report any SMS you think is suspicious to 7726.”

EE’s top tips to avoid scams

  • Remember:
    • take a moment to stop and think and trust your instincts. If it looks too good to be true or looks suspicious, there’s probably a catch
    • don’t click on links unless you’re 100% sure they are genuine
    • don’t give away any of your personal details or give anyone access to your computer – if you think you might have provided your bank account details, contact your bank immediately
  • What to do if you receive a suspicious message:
    • forward a text message (including phone number or company name) to 7726, free of charge, so your mobile phone provider can investigate
    • delete messages after reporting them
    • make others aware of these types of messages, so they are also in the know

EE’s anti-spam filter works like a firewall to review SMS using AI and manually input blocking rules to decide if these are legitimate or need to be blocked. The filter uses data from sender details, content of the message including links, patterns in SMS and the volume of SMS sent from a particular number to discover and stop scam SMS.

As scammers continue to develop new SMS scams, and increasingly sophisticated SMS scams EE is working as part of a cross-industry alliance against scams, with Ofcom, ICO, National Cyber Security Centre and other mobile providers. EE works in collaboration to share data and intelligence to beat the scammers, to compliment the cross-industry reporting service 7726.

Notes to editors:

About EE:

EE runs the UK's biggest and fastest mobile network, offering superfast connections in more places than any other operator. EE brought the first 4G network to the UK in October 2012, and launched the UK’s first 5G network in May 2019.

EE has received extensive independent recognition, including being named the UK's best network every year since 2014 for the following awards: The Mobile Choice Awards, The Mobile Industry Awards and by RootMetrics®.

As well as offering mobile services to consumers and small and medium businesses, EE also provides home and business broadband using both 4G and fixed line connections.

EE is committed to being number one for service in the industry, and has nearly 600 shops across the UK. EE remains the only mobile provider to answer 100% of customer calls in the UK and Ireland and was recognised as the UK’s Best Large Contact Centre by the UK Customer Experience Awards 2018 and Welsh Contact Centre Awards 2019. EE was awarded The Sunday Times’ Best 100 Companies to Work for in 2018 and 2019, as well as being named Best Employer 2018 by the European Contact Centre & Customer Service awards.

EE is part of BT’s Consumer business unit which provides products and services to all of BT’s consumer customers in the UK.

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