UK

Virgin Media O2 to roll out new AI-powered spam call detection

The telecoms firm said it was committed to using technology to protect mobile customers.

The new tools would be available to all customers
A woman using a mobile phone The new tools would be available to all customers (Yui Mok/PA)

Virgin Media O2 is to roll out new AI-powered tools to mobile customers to help combat fraud and spam.

The telecoms firm has partnered with voice security company Hiya to introduce the spam tools alongside a new caller identification system.

As part of a service called Hiya Protect, artificial intelligence is used to analyse phone number behaviour to determine whether to flag a call to a customer as suspected spam or block it as fraud – which Virgin Media O2 said will prevent calls from even reaching customers’ phones.

The new tools will be rolled out to all customers and will be joined by Hiya’s Connect caller ID system, which enables companies to add their information to a call – including their name, logo, call purpose and location – to enable customers to quickly understand who is calling and why.

“In the fight against fraud, we’re committed to rolling out the latest technology to help keep our customers safe,” Murray Mackenzie, Virgin Media O2’s director of fraud, said.

“From AI tools to help us block fraudulent calls, to services that help identify callers before a customer has even picked up the phone, our extensive partnership with Hiya will see us continue to improve on our existing measures and give customers additional protection from spam and fraudsters.”

According to the telecoms firms, the AI tools it already uses to monitor text messages for spam prevented more than 89 million spam messages from reaching consumers in 2023.

Virgin Media O2 is urging all mobile customers to report any suspicious text messages by forwarding them, for free, to 7726.

Commenting on the new spam calling tools, Hiya president Kush Parikh said: “We are proud to provide our spam and fraud solution and branded calling service to Virgin Media O2, a company known for its exceptional service throughout the UK.

“Carriers around the world are wrestling with how to prevent phone spam and scams, and protect the reputation of business customers. Hiya is doing its part to restore confidence in voice calling by aligning with leaders like Virgin Media O2.”