Voice analysis aims to spot phone scams

March 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."

Explore further: Official-looking e-mails claiming to be from IRS are fraudulent


Related Stories

Why people fall victim to scams

May 20, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The psychological reasons consumers may fall victim to mass marketed scams are revealed today in groundbreaking research.

Internet fraud losses doubled last year

March 12, 2010

(AP) -- The cost of Internet fraud doubled in 2009 to about $560 million, the FBI said Friday. The most common type of frauds reported were scams from people falsely claiming to be from the FBI.

Romance scams online hit hundreds of thousands of victims

September 27, 2011

New online research led by the University of Leicester reveals that over 200,000 people living in Britain may have fallen victim to online romance scams – far more than had been previously estimated. The study is believed ...

Recommended for you

Internet giants race to faster mobile news apps

October 4, 2015

US tech giants are turning to the news in their competition for mobile users, developing new, faster ways to deliver content, but the benefits for struggling media outlets remain unclear.

Radio frequency 'harvesting' tech unveiled in UK

September 30, 2015

An energy harvesting technology that its developers say will be able to turn ambient radio frequency waves into usable electricity to charge low power devices was unveiled in London on Wednesday.

Professors say US has fallen behind on offshore wind power

September 29, 2015

University of Delaware faculty from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), the College of Engineering and the Alfred Lerner School of Business and Economics say that the U.S. has fallen behind in offshore wind ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

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.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.