Google Announces AI-Powered Fraud Call Detection for Android Devices

Mr. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google

Google, the American multinational corporation and technology company, has announced that it is developing new protections to prevent Android users from falling victim to phone scams with an AI-powered scam call detection feature that will be installed on Android devices, running locally and offline, that will scan for fraudulent language and other indicators during phone conversations.

The development was disclosed during its I/O developer conference on May 14, 2024. The company said that it was testing a new call monitoring feature that will warn users if the person they are talking to is likely attempting to scam them and encourage them to end such calls. Google says the feature utilizes Gemini Nano – a reduced version of the company’s Gemini large language model. Users will then receive real-time alerts during calls where these red flags are present.

Some examples of events that could trigger these alerts, according to Google, include receiving calls from individuals claiming to be bank representatives and making unusual requests such as asking for personal information like passwords or card PINs, requesting payments via gift cards, or urgently asking users to transfer money. These new protections are entirely on-device, so the conversations monitored by Gemini Nano will remain private, according to Google.

Although Google has not announced when the scam detection feature will be available, the company however says that users will need to opt in to use it and that it will provide more information later this year.

A report from the Global Anti-Scam Alliance in October 2023 found that one in four people globally had lost money to scams or identity theft over the prior 12-month period, losing over $1 trillion during that time. While users who might find such tech useful are vast, compatibility could limit its applicability as Gemini Nano is currently only supported on the Google Pixel 8 Pro and Samsung S24 series, according to its developer support page.