Bell ready to test innovative AI system to block more fraudulent phone calls

  • Today's CRTC decision brings Bell a step closer to launching technology trial
  • New system can shut down an estimated 120 million more scam calls per month

MONTRÉAL, Jan. 17, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell has developed network technology based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) that could block approximately 120 million more fraudulent telephone calls per month than Bell is able to stop using call-blocking methods currently mandated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

"Canadians rely on their phones to stay connected with family, friends, customers and colleagues, and customers at all carriers are justifiably frustrated by the volume of fraud calls they continue to receive," said Rizwan Jamal, President of Bell Residential and Small Business. "Our industry has made solid progress in combatting these scam calls, and Bell's innovative new AI process would further dramatically reduce the number that get through to customers. We're ready to take the next step, and while we welcome today's decision by the CRTC to move the process forward, we eagerly await its approval to launch our trial."

Bell's trial application builds on the CRTC's Compliance and Enforcement and Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2018-484: Implementation of universal network-level blocking of calls with blatantly illegitimate caller identification. As part of the process, the CRTC mandated that Canadian telephone providers implement call-blocking technology by December 17, 2019.

Bell is now preventing approximately 220 million such calls from reaching customers each month using universal network-level call blocking; other Canadian carriers are also blocking tens of millions of scam calls monthly. However, the CRTC acknowledged that current call-blocking approaches are only part of the solution and encouraged carriers to continue working on further remedies.

Based on the latest AI and machine learning technologies, Bell's enhanced call-block system uses defined sets of typical call characteristics and proprietary algorithms to analyse and identify scam calls, even as fraudsters attempt to employ techniques to defeat the system.

The proposed solution is consistent with CRTC policy as only verifiably fraudulent calls would be blocked. Before any blocking, a secondary process validates the fraudulent nature of the calls, including cross-referencing the system's determinations with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), the central agency that collects information and criminal intelligence on matters such as mass marketing fraud, Internet fraud and identification theft complaints.

About Bell
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing advanced broadband wireless, TV, Internet and business communication services throughout the country. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out of home and digital media. Founded in Montréal in 1880, Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. To learn more, please visit or

The Bell Let's Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let's Talk Day, taking place on January 29, and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives throughout the country. To learn more, please visit

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Thane Fotopoulos


SOURCE Bell Canada