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May 8 – The Week In Phone Fraud

TWIPF2This week in phone fraud, phone fraudsters fund Syrian terrorism and the Federal Reserve wants to improve customer authentication.

On Wednesday, Scotland Yard announced they were investigating a link between large-scale phone fraud and UK extremists traveling to Syria. Officers have arrested six men and one woman in connection with a phone fraud scheme where elderly victims were cold-called by a suspect impersonating a police officer, asking for money. The fraudsters allegedly used the stolen funds to finance Syrian terrorism.

The Atlanta Fed’s Retail Payments Risk Forum has recently published a working paper on improving customer authentication processes. This paper examines the evolution of customer authentication methods. According to the paper, PhoneprintingTM, combined with a user ID and password, should provide an extremely high level of confidence in the authenticity of the user.


Full Breakdown of This Week’s Phone Fraud News

The Dominion Post: Kapiti Coast scammers phone in for medical information – Scammers claiming to be from a health centre have called patients asking for sensitive information, including their medication. Waikanae Health has warned Kapiti residents to be wary of the cold-callers claiming to be from the health centre.

Boing Boing: Videos of people trolling phone scammers – It’s a lot of fun to watch and hear these people making fun of phone scammers pretending to be from the IRS or Microsoft tech support.

WFTS Tampa Bay: Telemarketers evade attempts to stop robocalls – The number one consumer complaint in the nation averages 300,000 reports a month: Telemarketers and robo calls. But can anything be done to stop the annoying calls? The FTC says it’s gotten worse in spite of inventions to stop these unwanted invasions.

NBC 12: Scammers faking fraud dept. calls – People don’t have to be knocking on the door saying they are there to fix a roof when they are not. The big money is happening on the phone. Another warning: don’t trust the caller ID. Crooks can make it appear they are calling from a different number.

KITV4: Big Island police warns public of auto insurance phone scam – The 66-year-old man reported a phone call from someone who claimed to work for a company that offers third-party extended warranties for vehicles. The caller also knew his vehicle ID number. This is a common scam going around.

Sun Herald: Vancleave woman scammed out of $2,300 by threatening phone call – The man said he was a policeman and had a warrant to arrest her for back taxes unless she paid him, Ezell said. “He instructed her to drive to Winn-Dixie and purchase $6,000 in money cards.” Ezell said Miller told the woman once she activated the cards, to call back.

Silicon Valley Business Journal: VC Jules Maltz on IVP’s record fund, backing Zenefits and Salesforce sale talk – We’ve also seen a lot of disruption in datacenter infrastructure. So we’ve invested in companies like AppDynamics and Pure Storage and Pindrop recently in security. Storage and security and infrastructure software is becoming a bigger investment area for us. How Hot is the Atlanta Startup Scene? – The city is buzzing about its growing tech ecosystem. Steve Case is hoping to find more success stories when he brings the Rise of the Rest tour to Atlanta. This will be an exciting stop for the tour, where Case will be joined by Paul Judge (Pindrop Security and Monsieur)).

E-Commerce Times: Biometrics vs. Passwords – Three major issues have been hampering the adoption of biometric authentication: A lack of sensors powerful enough, deficiencies in the understanding of authentication strength, and the belief that biometric tech no longer will be viable after suffering a hack.

Seacoast Online: Grandparents targeted in phone scam – The callers are targeting grandparents and making them believe that one of their grandchildren is in trouble and needs financial assistance. One scammer told a resident their grandchild needed money for repairs to a rental car.

Longview News-Journal: Can phone companies block robocalls better? – Robocallers can easily “spoof” their identity and location by pretending to be from a legitimate source or by altering the caller ID. So blocking robocalls is “a bit like Whac-A-Mole: just as numbers are identified for blocking, the robocaller spoofs another number,”

WPSD Local 6: Marion water bill phone scam – Marion Water Department Director Cindy Givens tells Local 6 that scammers are calling business clients in Marion, Illinois, and telling them their water will be shut off if they don’t pay their water bill in full by 6 p.m.

Christian Science Monitor: What it’s like to have your identity stolen – But it wasn’t the weather. The criminals who stole Franklin’s identity had actually called Comcast and convinced them to put in place a forwarding phone number for that home line. They had enough of his information to satisfy the typical security systems in place.

Calgary Herald: Calgary man says phone scam targeting new immigrants – Laxmi Mital said he’s received multiple calls from a source claiming to work for the Consulate General of India and an organization called “Canadian Immigration Service,” telling him he owes $1,000. Mital is originally from India and a Canadian citizen of over 44 years.

No Jitter: The Evolution of the SIP Trunk: From Pipe to Solution – Some SIP carriers are using Pindrop to deliver fraud detection in the cloud. Imagine how contact centers would benefit from weeding out fraudulent calls before they were queued up for agents. Imagine the cost savings gained from higher agent productivity.

Pindrop Blog: Meet Pindrop at May Info Sec Events – Spring events season is in full swing. At Pindrop, we’re looking forward to exhibiting at and sponsoring several great information security events this month. Next week we will be at the FS-ISAC & BITS Annual Summit in Miami Beach, FL.

eSecurity Planet: Phone Scams Getting More Sophisticated – What made this call different was that the scammer offered to prove he was from Dell technical support. He was able to share the date of his last technical support call and details about what the call was for — and surprisingly all the information was accurate.

Introducing Pindrop® Express – Authenticate without compromise.