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November 13 – The Week in Phone Fraud

TWIPF2 This week in phone fraud, hackers steal prisoner phone records and a new loophole in the IRS scam.

This week, news broke of a large breach of Securus Technologies prison phone call data, exposing more than 70 million phone records of prisoners and their family and friends. SC Magazine spoke to Pindrop about how this data could fuel phone scams.

A new law that allows federal agencies to call citizens to collect debt is likely to increase the number of phone scams in the US, according to Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey. Menendez attacked the new law pointing out that it will make it more difficult for citizens to recognize the IRS scam.


Daily record: Pensioner who conned elderly people in £53k phone scam is jailed for 21 months – Victims were hooked by the promise that they were owed money – then told they had to pay fees to get their hands on it. Adams acted as a collection agent for the criminals in India behind the scam. He told police he believed they had control over his computer.

Call Centre Helper: New Marketplace for Customer Experience Solutions – For financial services and retail customers, Pindrop Security and iProov offer fraud detection and facial recognition solutions. This can improve customer experience during password reset and authentication scenarios.

Pindrop Blog: Phone Scam Breakdown: The Kidnapping Scam – The man on the phone tells you he has your brother and he’s going to hurt him if you don’t pay up. You say you’re going to call your brother and the man tells you if you do, he’s going to shoot him in the leg. In the background, you can hear screaming.

BBC: Warning over computer takeover fraud – A spate of scams in which criminals use technology to take over victims’ computers has been reported. You should never let someone else have access to your computer remotely, especially if they have contacted you via an unsolicited phone call.

Observer: How Watching ‘Mr. Robot’ Made Me Paranoid About Getting Hacked – Mr. Robot features social engineering—an incredibly fascinating, and scary, type of hacking. It involves minimal use of a computer. The main character—a proficient hacker named Elliot—called a man, Michael, pretending to be from Michael’s bank’s fraud department.

Credit Union Times: The Next Fraud Frontier: Call Centers – “One interesting development in this year’s results is the rise in organizations reporting suspected call center fraud attempts — from 2% in 2014 to 13% in 2015,” the report said. The most common type of call center fraud was recon and social engineering.

Opus Research: Genesys’ AppFoundry to be Hot Bed for Intelligent Assistants – All in all, it is a great step forward in Genesys’ effort to open its CX platform to “DevNation” consisting of large third-party software providers as well as aggressive “niche” players with products that provide significant pieces to Intelligent Authentication.

CU Today: Who’s Now Calling The Call Center? Crooks – But call centers remain a point of vulnerability. Once unscrupulous callers trick their way past security and gain access to an account, they can do things like take out loans, transfer money or request new credit cards.

The Washington Post: Hackers can profit greatly by stealing your health data. Are you protected? – Avoid giving personal information by phone. After the Anthem health insurance breach, people received phone calls from individuals who falsely claimed to be Anthem representatives asking for personal identifying information.

CNBC: Call a wrong number? You might be asked to take a survey – Take a look at this image of the back of a Capital One credit card. The correct phone number for international calls is area code 804. But a lot of people dial 800 out of habit instead — about 3,000 people each day in fact. N.J. cracks down on ‘swatting’ pranks with tougher sentences – The law, meant to crack down on “swatting,” was proposed amid a rash of incidents in New Jersey where hoax calls wasted police resources on bogus emergencies. The new law upgrades the act from a third degree crime to a second degree crime. Menendez slams phone scam ‘loophole’ passed as part of budget – The new provision allows federal agencies to call people to collect debt owed to the federal government. “Not only does this open the flood gates to more nuisance phone calls, but it blurs the line between what is legit and what is a complete and utter fraud,”

The Motley Fool: IRS scam uses tools of the fraud trade: Phones and emotions – Scammers are intemidating those who filed tax extenstions. By impersonating a government official from the IRS, these scammers have targeted over 700,000 people since 2013, 4,500 of which have paid into the scam.

Daily Mail: The TalkTalk hackers and the most chillingly plausible phone scam of all – TalkTalk scammers are pursuading customers to allow them access to their computer to download ‘anti-virus’ software that can obtain bank information as well as other sensitive data.

BBC: Five men go on trial over alleged scam on elderly – Vulnerable pensioners were tricked out of more than £600,000 by fake police officers in a so-called “vishing” scam, the jury was told. The men are accused of posing as police officers investigating financial crime.

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