A FORMER royal bodyguard has created an app to protect people from phone fraudsters.

Simon Herrema’s dad was conned out of his savings in a phone scam and now he has come up with a way to prevent others from falling victim.

The 58-year-old, from Grange, said he had found ways to catch scammers in the act with his new app Keepel.

Mr Herrema said: “I was protecting the royal family but I couldn’t protect my own dad from a phone call.

“The crime left an already vulnerable man feeling even more endangered and this, in turn, left our family feeling incredibly angry.

“I hated the fact that I was powerless to stop this crime from happening again without taking away my dad’s independence.

“I began thinking about what could be done to stop this from happening to other people.”

Mr Herrema retired to Grange with his family after 30 years service in the Metropolitan Police.

In the Met Mr Herrema spent ten years in London’s east end, before spending another decade as a specialist firearms officer and then a close protection office for the royal family.

The app is said to use artificial intelligence to look for clues in fraudsters’ language and stop them in their tracks.

“It’s a highly efficient natural language filter that draws out the words, phrases and ideas that telephone scammers use and when the system decides that fraud is occurring, it cuts the call off," said Mr Herrema.

“We think it will make a huge difference to the security of people who adopt it and it’ll make telephone fraud next to impossible.

“Our team absolutely want to see that happen because it’s a particularly vicious and destructive crime. Quite aside from the staggering sums that are stolen every day, the deep and lasting emotional impact of being scammed isn’t often acknowledged.”

The team behind the app includes telecoms, artificial intelligence, media, finance and academic experts.

Keepel’s CEO Michael Hayes: “In attacking this problem we’ve used highly innovative AI technology.

Our chief technology officer has created a new evaluation process for locating criminal activity within a call and when we deploy Keepel it’ll make a big contribution to public safety by preventing phone fraud.”

A Kickstarter crowdfunding page for the app will launch tomorrow and run for 30 days.

The app then will be released on Android phones this summer.

See Keepel.com for more.