Voice analysis aims to spot phone scams

Mar 28, 2012 The Yomiuri Shimbun

Nagoya University researchers and Fujitsu Ltd. have developed technology they say can analyze suspicious phone conversations and detect bank transfer scams with a high degree of accuracy.

The technology detects what the researchers call the "overtrust" condition, in which a person believes the information given by a based on the victim's voice pitch and tone. If this technology is installed on phones and successfully warns targets, it is expected to help prevent bank transfer scams.

Kazuya Takeda, a professor, and other researchers at the university focused on the fact that a person's pitch and tone becomes flat in the high-frequency range when he or she is overwhelmed with distressing information. This often results in a diminished capacity to evaluate information - a situation called overtrust, the researchers said.

Perpetrators of phone scams often pretend to be victims' relatives, saying distressing things like "I'm in trouble," or "I was involved in a crime."

The researchers detected overtrust with 90 percent accuracy in tests in which they examined 50 simulated phone-scam conversations using the technology.

The research group said it would be possible to detect phone-scam conversations by simultaneously analyzing keywords often used by criminals, such as "debt" or "compensation."

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Michael_Dwells
not rated yet Apr 09, 2012
Wow! That would be a lot of help. As much as the authorities would like people to be aware, not everybody reads the newspaper. Based on the reports posted at Callercenter.com, most victims of different scams admitted they were usually sharp and cautious about anonymous calls but scammers have grown to be very convincing, usually even more realistic than representatives from legit businesses.

But if every household gets a device like that, it'd be a great reminder.