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Vodafone can now block nuisance and fraudulent calls on a mass scale before they reach recipients’ phones.

New barring technology across Vodafone’s UK mobile network will block false PPI (payment protection insurance) offers, missed call scams, or expensive numbers to ring for bogus offers and prizes at source before they get through to customers.

Vodafone said customers do not need to do anything and they will be unaware a call has been blocked.

While customers may still receive some unwanted calls, Vodafone said it can now dramatically reduce the numbers of these calls, significantly reducing the distress they may cause.

During tests of the new system, Vodafone was able to block more than 425,000 nuisance and scam calls in one day alone. It said over that week, the number of nuisance call attempts against its customers fell to under a thousand as the perpetrators realised their calls could not enter the Vodafone network.

Nuisance calls are typically generated from machines capable of making thousands of simultaneous call attempts per second to vast quantities of mobile numbers across the industry.

Often these calls will be made by criminal gangs giving false and misleading company names and offering bogus rewards or incentives to trick the recipient into returning a call.

Under Vodafone’s previous system, it could block customers from unintentionally returning a call to a fraudulent number but it was not possible to prevent them receiving the nuisance call in the first place.

Head of corporate security for Vodafone UK, Mark Hughes said: “Fraudulent calls are a scourge on society, inflicting great anxiety for victims.

“The protection of our customers is paramount and we have been investing heavily in our network and technology to help stamp out this practice.

“We will continue to evolve the technology as well as work with industry bodies and the regulator to ensure we keep one step ahead of criminals.”

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