Finland combating scam phone calls via new safety measures

  • World
  • Friday, 06 Oct 2023

HELSINKI, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Telecom operators in Finland are now legally required to filter out fake incoming calls as an ordinance to protect all phone numbers has taken effect this week.

Lauri Isotalo, development manager at the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom), said Finland now leads in Europe in enforcing phone number safety.

In 2021, telecom regulator Traficom, the police and commercial telecom operators jointly launched a project in response to a significant increase in cases of hijacking and abusing Finnish telephone numbers for malicious calls in recent years.

Traficom estimated that tens of millions of attempted scam calls were made to Finland over the past three years.

Earlier reports from the Finnish police indicated that in 2020 and 2021, Finns lost over seven million euros due to payments made by unsuspecting recipients of scam calls.

Authority report showed that scam calls originating from abroad used existing Finnish phone numbers and claimed to represent banks or major IT companies. Criminals even mimicked police numbers.

Under the new rules, telecom operators may face fines if they fail to verify that a phone call is from the legitimate owner of a number.

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