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Apr. 24 – The Week in Phone Fraud

TWIPF2This week in phone fraud, threats to credit union call centers grow, and Pindrop CEO & Co-founder Vijay Balasubramaniyan talks phone fraud on This Week In Enterprise Tech.

On Wednesday, the Credit Union Times ran a report on the growing threat of phone fraud in financial institutions. The article points out that training for call center service representatives focuses on helping customers, not authenticating them. This explains why many fraudsters rely on relatively low-tech methods like social engineering.

On Friday, Pindrop Security was featured on TWiT’s This Week in Enterprise Tech. Fr. Robert Ballecer interviewed Pindrop’s CEO & Co-founder Vijay Balasubramaniyan and Chief Data Scientist Raj Bandyopadhyay about phone fraud and proper security in the phone channel. Another guest on the show, Curtis Franklin of Information Week, pointed out that call centers operators know to the penny the cost of each second of a call, and therefore make a great place for an enterprise to see the cost vs. the benefit of greater security.


Full Breakdown of This Week’s Phone Fraud News

The Oregonian: Fed up with robocalls, Portland man sues to make phone solicitors stop – Hughson told The Oregonian that he decided he had enough of telemarketers. So he began filing lawsuits several years ago against auto-dialers who called his cellphone. And yes, his number is listed on the no-call registry.

Farming UK: New guidance to stop fraudsters targeting farmers – We’ve seen some worrying evidence that fraudsters are starting to understand the farming calendar, and now target peak busy periods when farmers are likely to be away from their desk and unable to check details online or via a landline telephone.

Consumer Reports: Protect yourself from debt collection scams – Phony debt collectors probably predate recorded time, but these fraudsters are adding a sophisticated twist: They troll Internet databases for your personal or financial information, so that they appear to be “collecting” debts that you actually owe.

Gloucester Times: Why Did My Newspaper Do That? Those repeated scam reports – By my count, we’ve published nearly two dozen stories in just the last three months relating to a so-called IRS scam. And in each case, elements of the story have essentially been the same. In fact, as these calls persist, you may wonder, why even acknowledge them?

PCR Online: Tech support phone scams are destroying our industry’s reputation – Last month one of my customers came in crying that they have just been scammed for £300 by someone posing as “Microsoft Windows tech support”, and needed their laptop checked for malware. This experience has left him very nervous and distrusting of our industry.

The Colorado Springs Gazette: IRS phone scam balloons out of control – Con artists are making 10,000 calls every week and 4,000 people have lost upwards of $17 million. Now some are asking if the U.S. Department of Justice is doing enough to stop the bad guys. The crooks have shown they are relentless.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Former Georgia prisoners arrested in Allegheny County phone scam – Detectives tracing phone calls from two men who stole thousands from Allegheny County residents suspect they may have stumbled upon a larger ring of crime involving inmates at a Georgia prison, officials said Monday.

Idaho Statesman: When you get this robocall, don’t press any buttons – You answer the phone, and learn it’s a robocall. Or, you let it go to voicemail. If you call back or answer the prompts, you’ve fallen victim. Victims have reported several phishing scams. In one version, a recording prompts you to verify your credit-card number.

Planet Biometrics: Biometrics for banking gets going – There has been quite a turn-around in their perception of biometrics for providing authentication to bank customers when accessing digital banking services. Biometrics is definitely on the agenda for them and they have a number of live and pilot projects.

Pindrop: What You Can Tell From A Phone Call – Phone calls have no security built-in, but things are changing. Join us for a brief overview of our patented phoneprinting technology– what it can tell you and how it can immediately help you catch almost all of your phone fraudsters and stop them in their tracks.

The Virginia Gazette: When trouble calls, here’s how to avoid being scammed – One of the most common scams has been dubbed the “grandparent scam.” A caller alleges to be a grandchild, or the attorney or bondsman for the grandchild of a victim. The caller will claim the grandchild has been arrested and needs the victim to send money.

Pindrop: Call Center Authentication: Are Your Customers Who They Say They Are? – It’s time for call centers to retire “What’s your mother’s maiden name?” KBAs don’t work. At Pindrop we’ve developed a new way to authenticate your customers. Learn how you can treat fraudsters like bad guys, and legitimate callers like your valued customers.

NY Daily News: ‘Swatting’ prank brings heavy police presence to family home in Massachusetts – Officers in Framingham, Mass. swarmed a home Tuesday morning with guns drawn, shouted for its residents to come out, searched inside — and then realized the bust was a bust. This home was latest victim of “swatting,” a prank.

New York Times: At RSA Conference, Computer Security Done Right and Wrong – Where is the accountability? If 2013 was the “Year of the Breach” and 2014 was the “Year of the Mega-Breach,” 2015 may be the year that we run out of adjectives and start demanding real accountability from security vendors.

Metro News: ‘Free Marriott Hotel rooms’ phone calls a scam – Everybody loves free stuff, but if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. That’s why Ottawa police are warning residents about a new telephone scam where residents receive calls seeking personal information for a purported free room at a Marriott Hotel.

Pindrop: The Weird World of Phone Fraud – When it comes to fraudsters, sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. Hear the elaborate, the creative, and the downright weird ways that criminals are exploiting your call center security. We’ll show you how Pindrop is keeping tabs on the world of phone fraud.

Indo American News: Beware this Immigration Phone Fraud Scam! – Even though the woman is a US citizen and has been here for 11 years, she was scared by the call. The scam artists were so brazen that they sent a taxi driver to her apartment to pick her up since she doesn’t drive and take her to to make the transaction.

All Tech Considered: Biometrics May Ditch The Password, But Not The Hackers – Passwords get hacked a lot. In an effort to move beyond passwords, big companies are embracing biometrics. Think fingerprints, voice-recognition and iris scans. But as NPR’s Aarti Shahani reports, ditching passwords for eyeballs is unlikely to make hackers go away.

Introducing Pindrop® Express – Authenticate without compromise.