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Feb 20, 2015 – The Week in Phone Fraud

TWIPF2This week in phone fraud, Pindrop raised $35M in funding and the FBI arrested their most wanted telephony cybercriminal.

On Thursday, Pindrop announced a $35 million Series B round of financing, one of the largest Series B rounds in the history of the security industry. According to Ben Kepes of Forbes, “It’s quite pleasing to see this funding activity for a company that is delivering high levels of security to a traditional communication channel. All too often we see startups chasing the “shiny new thing” and forgetting the massive number of problems that enterprises have with traditional models – Pindrop has identified that and the size of their funding indicates the potential of the business.”

On Tuesday, the FBI announced that their most wanted cybercriminal had been captured in Pakistan. Noor Aziz Uddin was wanted for his alleged involvement in an international telecommunications scheme that defrauded victims in amounts in excess of $50 million. The FBI and Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) have been searching for Uddin for two and a half years.


Full Breakdown of This Week’s Phone Fraud News

Pindrop Security: Pindrop Security Closes $35 Million Investment to Extend Leadership in Call Center Anti-Fraud and Authentication“This additional investment will enable us to expand operations globally while continuing to serve our current customers with excellence,” said Vijay Balasubramaniyan, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO.

The Telegraph: Small companies losing £8bn to fraud – FFA director Katy Worobec said: “Criminals are turning their attention to businesses because successfully scamming a company can net the fraudster a much bigger haul than they could steal from an individual.” Worldpay has also claimed fraud could rocket by 80pc this month.

Pindrop Blog: Pindrop GrowingRight now as we speak millions of transactions are happening in the voice channel. An elderly lady is checking to make sure her retirement account is still whole. A millennial is ordering the latest IPhone 6. Come join us as we make sure these interactions are trustworthy and secure.

PYMNTS: 2014 Fraud Spike Cost US Retailers $32 Billion – Fraudulent payments account for 0.68 percent of retail revenue, up from 0.51 percent in 2013. On a similar line, prevention has also gotten more expensive at $3.08 per every dollar lost to fraud, up from $2.79 just a year before.

Venture Beat: Atlanta’s Pindrop Security raises series B round of $35M to fight phone fraud – The Atlanta-based company has been gaining traction in recent years with its “acoustic fingerprinting” technology that lets it identify people’s voices, locations, and devices which in turn helps it build a data set of fraudsters.

CNBC: These scammers are targeting your elderly parents – February is prime time for financial cons. Many people, still keeping with their New Year’s resolutions, are looking for love and are especially vulnerable to scammers. Others are stuck at home during the winter months and are more likely to answer calls from financial fraudsters.

Planet Biometrics: Pindrop Security announces $35 million fundraising round – Atlanta-based anti-caller fraud and voice biometrics firm Pindrop Security has raised $35 million in venture capital as part of plans for global expansion. Led by a new West Coast investor, the Series B round of funding values Pindrop at more than $200 million.

The Hill: ‘Phishing’ scams: 5 things to know – Scammers might not be targeting you for identity theft when they send you a phishing email or call. You might work for a company or within an industry that hackers want information about. You might have access to databases full of others’ data.

Pando Daily: Pindrop Security raises $35M – Pindrop Security has raised a $35 million Series B funding round led by Institutional Venture Partners. The company offers call centers and other businesses tools to authenticate support calls and weed out fraudulent communications by analyzing data about where the call comes from.

The Washington Post: ‘Tis the season: How to spot a tax scam – The IRS will not initiate contact with you by phone. The government loves a paper trail. Yes, the IRS can be aggressive in its collection methods, but don’t let anyone scare you. The agency isn’t going to threaten to send the police to your house.

Fortune: Pindrop Security snags $35 million to fight call-center fraud – But fraud associated with bogus calls into customer support desks and call centers is far more rampant. An estimated one in 2,900 telephone encounters is bogus, which translates into 100s of calls daily for many big retailers, insurers or credit-card companies.

InfoSecurity Magazine: Looking Beyond the Biometric HypeEven if companies are able to overcome the obstacle of deploying biometric authentication, the threat of hacking a biometric database still exists, potentially putting the personal data and online or mobile accounts of thousands of users at risk.

VentureWire: Pindrop Security Picks Up $35M Series B to prevent Phone Fraud – Pindrop Security, a provider of software for phone-fraud prevention and call-center authentication, said it raised a $35 million Series B round of financing led by Institutional Venture Partners. Prior investors also participated.

WABC-TV New York: Dad tells harrowing tale of virtual kidnapping scam – The caller was explicit, aggressive and believable. “He said, ‘I want $3,000,'” Torppey said. “‘If we don’t get it, we’re gonna cut her throat.’…They were like, ‘Do you have a daughter who works in Newark? She just had a car accident outside our house.'”

PE HUB: Pindrop Security scores $35 mln Series B – Atlanta-based Pindrop Security, a provider of phone fraud prevention and call center authentication solutions, has closed $35 million in Series B financing. In conjunction with the funding, Somesh Dash, a general partner at IVP, will join Pindrop Security’s board of directors.

PYMNTS: Visa Will Soon Track Mobile Phones to Help Fight Card Fraud – Visa is offering its banking partners location tracking. The new service uses customers’ smartphones to verify their locations whenever a card is swiped. In the event of a mismatch, Visa uses additional screening measures to determine if the use is legit.

Red Herring: Funding Round Up – “Large financial institutions have traditionally invested heavily to protect themselves against physical and online attacks but now the bad guys have moved to the phone channel. This phone-based crime costs companies billions of dollars, which has made the demand for Pindrop products incredibly high.” Scam alert: Delivery call too good to be true – The caller says he’s a UPS driver sent to deliver Meyer’s $3 million winnings. In exchange for the jaw-dropping prize, he just needs Meyer to buy a prepaid credit card and load $350 onto it. “I was born at nighttime, but I wasn’t born last night,” Meyer, 68, told me.

eWeek: Pindrop Security Raises $35 Million for Digital Phone Fraud Detection – Looking forward, Balasubramaniyan said Pindrop will be investing in research and development to expand the platform’s capabilities. The challenge of maintaining user privacy is one area in which Pindrop will continue to invest.

Pindrop Blog: SiriusXM Radio Files Misdial Trap Complaint – According to court documents, a fraudster has taken the 1-800 version of the same number. When customers mistakenly dial, the fraudsters impersonate SiriusXM representatives and then sell callers fake “SiriusXM Coupons,” Wal-mart Gift Cards, or ADT security services.

Biometric Update: Pindrop Security obtains $35 million in financing for voice anti-fraud solution – The financing will assist Pindrop reinforce its position as one of the fast-growing voice anti-fraud and authentication firms in the market. Pindrop’s patented “Phoneprinting” technology is a key solution for financial institutions and retailers.

Atlanta Journal Constitution: Atlantans confront world cyberthreats – Metro Atlanta has several core assets to support the cybersecurity ecosystem. The region is home to prominent cybersecurity companies, such as AirWatch by VMware, Ionic Security, and Pindrop Security, which focuses on stopping phone fraudsters who prey on call centers.

Find Biometrics: Investors’ Ears Perk for Voice-Based Anti-Fraud Company – The company is clearly benefiting from advancements in voice biometrics technology, which is increasingly being used for authentication purposes. That’s especially the case in the financial services sector, where voice recognition technology is proving popular.

Strictly VC: February 19, 2015 – Pindrop Security, a four-year-old, Atlanta, Ga.-based maker of phone-fraud prevention and call-center authentication software, has raised $35 million in Series B funding led by Institutional Venture Partners. The company has now raised $47 million to date, shows Crunchbase.

Finovate: Fintech Fundings: 12 Companies Raise $240 Million – The number of deals this week (12) didn’t set any records. But there were some doozies including three greater than $30 million, two of which are Finovate alums: Betterment ($60 mil) and Pindrop Security ($35 mil). The total amount raised was $236 million.

InfoSecurity Magazine: Pindrop Secures $35Mn in Funding – “It has been another year of record revenue growth with us signing on several of the largest banks, brokerages and retailers in the US,” said Vijay Balasubramaniyan, co-founder and CEO at Pindrop. “What started off as a simple research question has burgeoned into an entire field.”

Pulse 2.0: Pindrop Security raises $35 million in Series BPindrop Security is a phone fraud prevention and call center authentication company that has raised $35 million in Series B funding. Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) led this round of funding. Somesh Dash of IVP has joined the board of directors at Pindrop.

Pindrop Security: Pindrop on Protecting the Call Center at BAI PaymentsThe session, entitled “Detecting a Fraudulent Call to a Financial Services Call Center,” will demonstrate real-time detection of a fraud call by a call center representative using Pindrop’s Fraud Detection System.

Security Week: Pindrop Security Raises $35 Million – The Atlanta-based company provides solutions that help detect and block phone-based fraud. The company explains that its “acoustical fingerprinting technology” can detect fraudulent calls and authenticate legitimate callers, helping customers reduce financial losses and operational costs.

Genesee Sun: Beware Phone Scam from “Publisher House” – The Sheriff said that in the scam, the caller states that they are from “The Publisher Clearing House” and that you have been drawn as the second place winner. The scammer then says that you must send a payment immediately to receive their winnings.

FinSMEs: Pindrop Security Closes $35M in Series B Financing – Led by Paul Judge, Ph.D., executive chairman, and Vijay Balasubramaniyan, Ph.D., CEO, Pindrop Security provides enterprise solutions to secure phone and voice communications. Its Phoneprinting technology can identify, locate and authenticate phone devices from the call audio.

StrategyEye: Pindrop Security Raises USD35m To Cut Call-Centre Fraud – Pindrop Security has raised USD35m to cut call-centre fraud. The Atlanta-based startup raised money for its Series B round from Institutional Venture Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Citi Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Redpoint Ventures and Webb Investment Network.

Introducing Pindrop® Express – Authenticate without compromise.