[CEATEC 2102] In Japan, phone scamming is a regarded as a pretty big issue, but there aren’t a lot of ways to prevent it right now. However, it looks like Fujitsu is currently working on a solution to the problem. For those of you not in the know, these phone scams usually involve perpetrators calling up victims and asking them to wire money to their account because of some outrageous reasons (i.e. “your son was just hit by a car and if you want me to save him, bank the money into my account first.”) that a lot of people, especially the elderly, fall for. Fujitsu’s phone scam detection technology aims to put an end to that.

Consisting of a box-shaped module attached to a telephone, it monitors all phone conversations that take place on it. It scans calls for keywords that indicate a scam, and also measures the amount of “overtrust” in a victim’s voice (pitch and level measured). When enough flags are triggered, this box will then reach out to the victim’s family members as well as the police or banks to inform them about a scam that is about to happen. Hopefully the victim’s contacts and the authorities can react in time before any money is transferred.

While the idea behind such technology sounds great, it doesn’t feel like it’s close to being full-proof yet. Scammers can probably think of different words to use to circumvent the system and victims might have different kinds of pitch and levels for their voices when speaking normally, which could lead to inaccurate readings. The phone scam system is currently being tested in households in Okayama, Japan and will probably require more work before it is released to the public. What are your thoughts on such a system?

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