October 2 – This Week in Phone Fraud

TWIPF2 This week in phone fraud, hackers can clone voices to bypass phone authentication and scammers target college students.

This week, researchers at the University of Alabama are warning that with just a few minutes of your recorded voice, attackers can use voice-morphing tools to trick phone channel authentication.

On Monday, the FBI issued a warning to college students about a new phone scam. Callers impersonate FBI agents and threaten the student with arrest if they fail to pay delinquent student loans or overdue parking tickets.


Full Breakdown of This Week’s Phone Fraud News

Atlanta Journal Constitution: Region’s start-up engine regains power – “The biggest barrier to doing a start-up is that people don’t think they can,” he said. “There are definitely a lot of people trying to increase the number of start-ups. Georgia Tech is really stepping up its game. And the community itself, of start ups, is getting bigger.”

Krebs on Security: With Stolen Cards, Fraudsters Shop to Drop – A new study suggests that some 1.6 million credit and debit cards are used to commit at least $1.8 billion in reshipping fraud each year, and identifies some choke points for disrupting this lucrative money laundering activity.

The China Post: Taiwan-Philippines effort cracks cross-border phone fraud ring – A cross-border telecommunications fraud ring was recently busted by Taiwanese police authorities, the CIB announced. Targeting potential victims in mainland China, the suspects called the victims impersonating judges, prosecutors or law enforcement officials.

Big News Network: Vishing phone scam sweeping across Ireland – What happens is people receive a telephone call to their landline from an individual claiming to be a “Security Manager” from a well known store. The person is asked to provide personal financial details to the “security manager”.

South China Morning Post: Mainland Chinese man jailed over phone scam that targeted Hong Kong police chief – The defendant’s accomplice called Lui from the mainland and told him his son had guaranteed a loan for a person who had defaulted. Ah Kin – unaware he had called a landline at Tsz Wan Shan Police Station was speaking to a man who had no children..

Planet Biometrics: Experts warn of morphing threat to voice biometrics – “Tthat level of comfort lends itself to making the voice a vulnerable commodity. People often leave traces of their voices in many different scenarios. They may talk out loud while socializing in restaurants, giving public presentations or making phone calls.”

Atlanta Journal Constitution: FBI warns of phone scam targeting college students using agency number – The caller threatens the students with arrest and not graduating from college if they fail to pay delinquent student loans or dues, taxes or overdue parking tickets. The caller says the fees must be paid immediately through MoneyGram.

KLFY: Beware of the “one ring,” cell phone scam – Scammers let the phone ring once and then hang up. When an intended victim returns the call, they hear a message like “You’ve reached the operator, please hold,” while being slammed by a hefty per-minute charge on top of an international rate.

Daily Mail: Cold-call ‘factory’ fined £200,000 after harassing people on an ‘industrial scale’ – Though the ICO has hit a dozen firms with close to £1.4 million worth of penalties in just over two years for bombarding people with cold calls only £325,000 has so far been paid. Instead, rogue cold-call firms dodge the fines by liquidating their outfit.

NPR: Atlanta Tries To Carve Out A Niche In Tech – The DNA of the city for me has always been one of disruption, one of kind of questioning the status quo. You feel it when you walk around and you visit the historic sites and you’re on campuses like Georgia Tech and others, he says.

The Register: 175,000 whinge to Microsoft about phone tech support scams – Microsoft has received more than 175,000 complaints about phone technical support scams since May last year, and Redmond says the “Hello I’m Joe from Windows Technical Support” callers will filch around US$1.5 billion from Americans this year.

Network World: Voice hackers can record your voice then use morpher to trick authentication systems – Researchers from the University of Alabama warned that an attacker, in possession of only a very limited number of your voice samples, with “just a few minutes worth of audio of a victim’s voice,” can clone your voice and could compromise your security.

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