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Nagoya University and Fujitsu Launch Field Trials of Technology to Detect Phone Scams

Homes in Okayama Prefecture to participate in world's first real-environment trials to test operations in advance of the technology's commercialization

Nagoya University,Fujitsu Limited

Tokyo and Nagoya, August 03, 2012

Nagoya University and Fujitsu today announced that they will begin the world's first field trials of technology for detecting phone scams at households. These trials, commencing in August in Japan's Okayama Prefecture, will be in collaboration with the Okayama Prefectural Police, the Okayama Pref. Information Communications unit of the National Police Agency's Chugoku Regional Police Bureau, and The Chugoku Bank.

During the trials, when the technology detects a call suspected of being a phone scam targeting a monitored household, it will first warn the participant with a synthesized voice message. Next, the system will send an e-mail alarm to the person's family members, as well as the police, banks and other relevant institutions. After receiving an alert, each party can take steps to prevent the fraud from occurring. For example, police can visit the participant's household, while banks can temporarily freeze the person's bank account and be on alert.

The new field trials will help to improve the accuracy of phone scam detection technology, in addition to testing the ability of groups such as families, police and banks to prevent fraud. Going forward, Nagoya University and Fujitsu will explore how to prevent phone fraud before it actually occurs.

Research into this area was conducted as part of "Modeling and Detecting Overtrust from Behavior Signals," a study led by Kazuya Takeda. This took place within the "Creation of Human-Harmonized Information Technology for Convivial Society" project under the direction of Yoichi Tokura, Research Supervisor, in the Core Research of Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST) program of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), announced in November 2009(1).

About the Technology for Detecting Phone Scams

Nagoya University and Fujitsu have previously developed technology for detecting situations of "overtrust"(2) that focuses on an individual's tone of voice, as well as basic technology for detecting phone scams that employs detection technology capable of picking up on keywords characteristic of such scams. The new field trials were planned after confirming in simulation test calls that the detection accuracy of the technology had reached a sufficient level.

Overview of the Field Trials

Detection devices will be equipped on landlines in the households of over 100 Okayama Prefecture residents. Their telephone calls will be analyzed, and when a call suspected to be a phone scam is detected, the following steps will be taken:

  • Once the equipment detects a phone scam, alarm messages will be sent to the relevant parties (selected family members, the police, the bank, Fujitsu). Upon receiving an alarm message, family members will contact the participant and inquire about what went on to determine whether or not it was an attempted fraud. The police will also immediately visit the household to ascertain the situation; and the bank will temporarily halt payment transactions from the account that has been pre-designated by the participant for this purpose, thereby helping to prevent the scam.
  • The field trials will help Fujitsu improve the accuracy of its technology for detecting phone scams. Fujitsu is also considering integration of systems, namely alarm messages sent to the family and different organizations.

Future Plans

Throughout the field trials, Nagoya University and Fujitsu will make improvements to the technology's detection accuracy based on interim trial results. These improvements will then be incorporated into the detection equipment installed at participating households. Upon completing the field trials, the organizations will explore approaches for commercializing the technology, including how it can be used in daily life, while also studying methods of preventing phone fraud before it actually occurs.

  • [1] Press release

    On November 13, 2009, Fujitsu issued a press release (in Japanese only) announcing the start of research on "Modeling and Detecting Overtrust from Behavior Signals."

  • [2] Press release

    "Nagoya University and Fujitsu Develop World's First Technology to Detect Overtrust Situations Based on Voice Pitch and Level," announced March 19, 2012.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Over 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US$54 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012. For more information, please see

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Company:Fujitsu Limited

All company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information provided in this press release is accurate at time of publication and is subject to change without advance notice.

Date: 03 August, 2012
City: Tokyo and Nagoya
Company: Nagoya University, Fujitsu Limited, , , , , , , , ,