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January 29 – The Week in Phone Fraud

TWIPF2 This week in phone fraud, Pindrop raises $75M in funding and the future of voice fraud

On Thursday, Pindrop announced a $75 million Series C funding round led by Google Capital with participation from GV, Andreessen Horowitz, IVP, Citi Ventures, and Felicis Ventures. “As voice commands become the standard across intelligent assistants, cars, and the Internet of Things, Pindrop is creating the leading authentication and security solution for this exploding market,” said Gene Frantz, partner at Google capital.

Voice technology could soon move beyond asking Siri for directions. It could be the password to your home, car, and banking information. CNBC spoke to Pindrop CEO, Vijay Balasubramaniyan about the future of voice fraud and authentication.


On The Wire: On the Wire Podcast: Vijay Balasubramaniyan – Dennis Fisher talks with Vijay Balasubramaniyan, CEO of Pindrop, about the company’s $75 million funding announcement with investments from Google Capital and Google Ventures, the future direction of the company, and the role that voice authentication.

Pindrop Blog: Miles to Go – The world is moving toward a future where voice will become the de facto interface, with a whole slew of new voice enabled IoT devices. Smart homes, connected cars and personal assistants are all becoming voice enabled and require feature rich user interfaces.

Finance Magnates: Top 5 Fraud Risks for Financial Institutions in 2016 – Hacking attempts and prevention expenses are likely to increase with the rise in mobile banking applications, vulnerabilities of financial call centers, and the increased sophistication of social engineering attacks.

CNBC: Be prepared: It’s tax-return fraud season – Scammers have whipped consumers into more of a panic, renewing efforts to steal data and cash by masquerading as IRS officials. Some scams play off the risk of fraudulent returns. Others threaten audits, fines, arrests and all manner of other dire consequences.

Pindrop: Pindrop Raises $75 Million Led by Google Capital to Stop Voice Fraud and Identity Theft – Pindrop, the pioneer in voice-fraud prevention and authentication, today raised a $75 million Series C funding round led by Google Capital, bringing the total funding to $122 million to date. Pindrop currently protects the phone calls of three of the four largest banks.

CNBC: Is voice fraud in Siri’s future? – Gene Frantz, Partner, Google Capital, and Vijay Balasubramaniyan, Pindrop Security, discuss how technology may be able to secure voice recognition in the future.

Krebs on Security: FTC: Tax Fraud Behind 47% Spike in ID Theft – The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today said it tracked a nearly 50 percent increase in identity theft complaints in 2015, and that by far the biggest contributor to that spike was tax refund fraud Those numbers roughly coincide with data released by the IRS.

Consumer Affairs: Survey: 11% of adults lost money to a phone scam last year – Running a scam by calling victims on the phone seems so old school. In the digital world, you would think scammers would focus on Internet schemes instead. But apparently, scammers hold to the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

CSO: Telephonic DoS a smokescreen for cyberattack on Ukrainian utility – The late December telephonic denial-of-service attack against a Ukrainian power company was a smokescreen to cover up a cyber attack, experts say. Telephonic DoS works by overwhelming the victim’s call center so that legitimate calls can’t get through.

CSO: How to recognize the many phish in the cyber sea – Of all the major breaches that made the headlines in 2015, many of them are believed to have started with some sort of phishing scam. From Anthem to Sony, human error is often to blame for the majority of security incidents that enterprises experience.

Fortune: A Woman Is Suing Kohl’s For Robocalling Her For More Than Two Years – The lawsuit argues that Kohl’s violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, since Cook says she never consented to receiving calls from the retailer. If Kohl’s is found guilty, it could owe as much as $1,500 per call placed to Cook.

NBC: Dozens of Officers, Inmates Charged in Georgia Prison Cellphone Scams – Dozens of former and current corrections officers and inmates at a Georgia prison have been charged in a scheme that used smuggled cellphones to shake down civilians who believed they were in trouble for not reporting to jury duty.

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