June 24– This Week in Phone Fraud

TWIPF2 This week in phone fraud, China cracks down on phone fraud rings and scammers target phone scam victims.

On Thursday, Forbes reported that Chinese authorities have busted a network of phone fraudsters in Taiwan. Fraudsters were calling Chinese citizens, claiming to be police officers or faking kidnappings. The Taiwanese fraud ring was operating in over 25 countries.

Today, the Federal Trade Commission reported on a new trend in phone fraud. Fraudsters are targeting lists of consumers who have lost money to previous phone scams. For a “small fee” upfront, the criminals promise to recover the money the consumer lost.


FEDweek: Fraud Reduction Act Clears Congress – The House has joined the Senate in passing S-2133, to require OMB to set guidelines for agencies to establish financial and administrative controls to identify and assess fraud risks. Agencies also would have to design and implement control activities in order to prevent, detect, and respond to fraud under the bill.

The Economist: Pulling the plug on robocalls – According to Consumer Reports, unsolicited telephone calls made by automatic dialing machines now comprise over a third of all calls to American homes. Worse, the majority are not just annoying telemarketing messages, but scams aimed at tricking the unwary into parting with personal information or cash.

Radio New Zealand: Phone scammers targeting foreign nationals – Immigration New Zealand is warning of a new wave of scam phone calls that prey on people’s fears of being sent home. Fraudsters were telling people they were speaking to that they were an Immigration New Zealand staff member, and demanding payment to avoid deportation or arrest.

No Jitter: VoIP Vulnerabilities: Protecting Against Evolving Threats – Eavesdropping and phreaking are the two types of call fraud in which attackers tap into VoIP phone lines and commandeer them to make unauthorized calls. With eavesdropping, hackers tap VoIP phone calls to steal employee names, passwords, phone numbers, and other information.

Business Day: They’re back- the phone scammers pretending to be from the IRD – Police have urged the public to be vigilant after recent reports revealed that callers pretending to be from government departments, predominantly the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) had demanded money in the form of vouchers.

On the Wire: FTC Shuts Down Fake Charity Phone Scam – Phone fraud comes in many forms, and it’s not always obvious that a particular version is actually a crime. The FTC has just shut down a company that was running a phone fraud scam that involved pressuring victims to make donations to a fake charity for disabled people and pressured people into buying insanely overpriced goods.