The caller identification app Truecaller announced that it has acquired the fraud detection software as a service (SaaS) platform TrustCheckr on October 6. Truecaller says that so far, it has been focused on Caller identification and spam protection, but fraudsters operate differently. As such, investing in elevating its fraud detection capabilities is a natural evolution for the company. The company further says that this acquisition will strengthen its risk intelligence tool for enterprises, which it launched last week, and speed up its rollout.
This risk intelligence tool is meant to perform a function similar to TrustCheckr. The company says that it will help businesses analyze patterns and identify potential fraud risks before they can hamper the customer life cycle. The tool is currently available only for Indian enterprises. The company claims it will benefit industries such as banks and financial institutions, fintech, and e-commerce.
Why it matters:
Spam has been a major problem in India this year, with Indian customers of WhatsApp receiving spam calls from international numbers in May. Even outside of WhatsApp’s spam problem, according to a Local Circles study 66% of people in India receive 2-3 spam calls daily. Often, these calls are regarding the sale of financial services, and real estate or are from callers offering people a job or earning opportunities. The aforementioned collaboration might be a positive step in the direction of curbing spam calls and scams.
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Steps in India’s journey to curbing spam:
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has been taking multiple steps to curb spam— mandating the use of AI spam filters for calls and messages, issuing directions to stop the misuse of commercial message templates, and instructing telcos to deploy an Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) based spam detection system. Recently, it even fined Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea Rs. 2.8 crores and Rs. 1.01 crore respectively for failure to regulate spam on their networks.
However, TRAI has admitted that some of its methods didn’t see much success because spam continuously evolves. Speaking about the use of AI in curbing spam, Nikhil Narendran, a partner at Trilegal law firm, previously told us that telecom companies make money when people send a large number of calls and messages through their network and as such are not incentivized to curb spam. It is possible that private companies like Truecaller would be more successful at curbing spam because they have the financial motive to do so.
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