A boy on his phone in Helsinki. LEHTIKUVA


Finnish telecommunications operators have successfully thwarted over two million international scam calls since the introduction of a new filtering system in early October. Telia, a leading operator in Finland, reported blocking a record 160,000 scam calls in a single day during October. This significant reduction in scam calls has led scammers to decrease their attempts as the year progressed.

Despite the success in curtailing phone scams, Kristian Westerstråhle, a security expert at Telia, raises concerns about the rise of email and text message scams. Scammers are increasingly using sophisticated methods to phish for personal information and entice victims into making transactions to so-called "secure accounts".

In response to the evolving threat landscape, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom) and telecom operators are developing measures to protect organizations from text message scams. One such measure allows organizations to secure their sender IDs, ensuring that scam messages don't mix with authentic communications in recipients' message threads.

This initiative is part of a broader effort to combat the increasing sophistication of phishing attempts, which often appear credible due to improved language and plausible scenarios. The enhanced security measures aim to provide more effective protection for both individuals and organizations against these evolving threats.

Security experts recommend vigilance and caution when dealing with unexpected communications. They advise verifying the sender's details, assessing the message's credibility, being wary of too-good-to-be-true offers, scrutinizing requests for personal information, and verifying the authenticity of any suspicious messages by contacting the supposed sender through official channels.