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Taiwan sees record number of fraudulent text messages

Company launches new system to intercept scam attempts

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Taiwan's Whoscall is launching a new system to intercept potentially fraudulent text messages. 

Taiwan's Whoscall is launching a new system to intercept potentially fraudulent text messages.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The number of text messages hiding scams or unsavory sales practices has risen to one per day in Taiwan, reports said Tuesday (Nov. 9).

According to a survey by Taiwan-based caller identification app Whoscall, Taiwanese received 77 such messages on average in 2019. However, last year, the total rose to 239, or an average of 4.9 messages per week, UDN reported.

This year through October, the weekly average almost doubled, rising to 7.4, meaning each citizen received at least one unwanted text message per day, the survey found. That means that in just two years, the number of potentially fraudulent texts surged by 359%, according to Whoscall.

The company said it is using artificial intelligence and machine learning to block spam and other potentially more harmful messages. The system is able to filter and categorize Chinese-language texts, and the company is cooperating with Google and the Criminal Investigation Bureau’s (CIB) 165 anti-fraud hotline.

Whoscall said its system is able to reach the right conclusion about the nature of a message in 90% of cases within half a second after the user receives the text.