Company creates ‘cutting edge’ AI product to protect elderly targets of phone scammers after fraud incidents lead to death and residential care

Concerning statistics that have suggested elderly people who are target of phone scams may ‘die within a year’ or go into care – has prompted a company to pioneer a digital voice service using AI technology. 

Age UK have revealed through official crime figures that an older person becomes the target of fraud ‘every 40 seconds’ and those who are defrauded in their own home are twice as likely to die or end up in residential care within a year of the incident. UK Finance say that currently 43 per cent of total fraud losses originate from telephone scams.

Phonely, a company who have created a digital voice telephone service designed to coincide with the impending Public Switched Telephone Network – marking the end of traditional telephone lines have stated that the ‘devastating figures’ surrounding phone based fraud inspired their latest product CallGuard.

CallGuard is a voice over internet protocol tool, and uses AI models that analyse voice data and transcribed text to identify verbal cues and phrases commonly used by scammers – such as ‘bank details’ or ‘computer virus’. If fraud is suspected, CallGuard will alert a designated ‘trusted person’ who could be a family member or friend via a linked mobile app, which the company says allows for ‘real time support and intervention’.

A Phonely representative said: “Our team has been dedicated to developing a product specifically tailored for older adults and vulnerable individuals who are often targeted by scams. Phonely offers a comprehensive suite of anti-fraud features, with its standout feature being the option for users to designate a Trusted Person (such as a friend or family member) who can assist them in handling suspicious calls.

“When Phonely detects common scam phrases like ‘computer virus’ or ‘bank details,’ it sends an alert to the Trusted Person’s phone via an app, enabling timely intervention. Furthermore, users can initiate a support call by simply pressing #9, allowing their Trusted Person to join the conversation and offer assistance in real-time. We truly believe that this technology can make a difference in the lives of many, enabling them to live independently with peace of mind.”

Phonely say their roots were ‘born out of a deep concern over the rising prevalence of phone scams targeting vulnerable adults’, after research from UK Finance and Age UK divulged a rising prevalence of phone-based swindling in 2023, with growing trends suggesting scams of this nature are set to rise.

The company says that a combination of ‘cutting-edge’ AI and a ‘human-centric trusted network approach’ the scope for CallGuard’s real-time analysis will ‘provide a solution’ to concerning fraud trends and ‘protect vulnerable groups’.

After the company was awarded the Most Innovative Small Business UK Business Award in 2024, their hope is to ‘expand globally’ after sources have reported that telephone fraud annually costs the UK billions.

Phonely say they want to ‘stay ahead of emerging threats by continuously updating its security measures.’ The company encourages customers to share known fraudulent numbers to build a global scam number database, which it aims to share with authorities to assist in prosecutions.

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