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Hiya honeypots and user reports capture a wealth of insight on phone scams

Ever wonder how Hiya knows what phone scams are currently out there — or when new ones suddenly arise? Hiya Protect is powered by Adaptive AI, which uses real-time data from around the globe to identify and adapt to new threats as they arise. Among many sources, this includes data from user reports and global spam honeypots. Let’s look at how both of these provide valuable information to help identify the latest call threats and ensure consumers are protected.

User reports

User reports come directly from consumers that receive spam and fraud protection from Hiya Protect, either through their carrier, their mobile device manufacturer, or through the Hiya mobile app. When customers receive unwanted calls, they can tap a prompt on their phone to report it as spam or fraud. Some individuals will include a comment explaining why they reported the call. 

Each month Hiya receives approximately 7 million reports from users around the world. 

Global spam honeypots

In addition to calls reported by users, Hiya maintains “honeypots” of hundreds of thousands of numbers across multiple countries. The old adage about someone being attracted “like flies to honey” rings true today with pesky scammers being attracted to any phone number that could have a potential victim on the other end. 

While user reports have customer-reported feedback, such as “scam call from IRS,” honeypots capture the exact wording of the calls from start to finish.

“Obviously, Hiya doesn’t listen to calls received by customers, but calls coming into the honeypot are dialing Hiya, so we can access call audio and collect transcripts,” said Jonathan Nelson, Director of Product Management for Hiya Protect. “Honeypot phone numbers have no legitimate reason to ever receive a phone call, so incoming calls are either unsolicited illegal calls or sometimes accidental wrong-number calls.”

A wealth of data on spam and scam calls

Hiya has more than 100,000 honeypot phone lines spread across multiple countries. Calls coming into these honeypots contain a wealth of data. They enable Hiya to gain insights such as:

  • The most popular scam campaigns and how many calls are being made.
  • The full transcript of scam calls and how scammers experiment with different scripts and tactics to land victims.
  • What types of phone numbers do scammers tend to use? For instance, are they using neighborhood spoofing to make the calls appear local?
  • How many different numbers are used in the same campaign? Are the calls getting STIR/SHAKEN signed?
  • How do scams to landlines differ from mobile?

The honeypot also helps Hiya monitor the ebb and flow of illegal call traffic, and can show if there are any changes to popular campaigns such as auto warranty scams, student loan scams, or IRS and tax scams

Proactively stopping spam and fraud calls

Data from Hiya honeypots and user reports is used to identify the latest call threats impacting mobile subscribers. Along with other data used by Adaptive AI, this helps ensure Hiya Protect continually responds to the latest spam and fraud campaigns. It also gives Hiya early insights into spam and fraud activity that can lead to even further improvements of Hiya Protect in the future.

Adaptive AI is the industry’s only self-learning spam protection system. It uses a multi-layer approach to analyze every aspect of a phone call, from the phone number to the call recipient, the enterprise making the call, and the characteristics of the call itself.

Learn more about Adaptive AI by reading our blog post How Hiya’s proprietary Adaptive AI stops phone spam  here.

Hiya Protect is a complete call protection solution, powered by Adaptive AI, that enables mobile carriers to protect their subscribers by blocking fraud calls and labeling nuisance calls. For more information, send us an email or learn more about Hiya Protect