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Written by: Mike Yang

How can you tell if an attacker is on the phone line? According to our latest phone fraud report, one of the key giveaways is where the call is coming from. After analyzing millions of calls, Pindrop Labs found that 64 percent of fraud calls originate in a country other than the country of the attack target.
To compare, only 6.6% of legitimate calls are international. This means attackers call across international borders at 10x the rate of legitimate callers.
What contributes to the high rate of international fraud calls? To start with, fraud is a lucrative career option in many parts of the world. Many international criminals actually set up their own call centers to orchestrate attacks with business-like efficiency. Just earlier this month, officials busted one such call center located in Costa Rica, which was responsible for at least $10 million in damages.
Attackers also choose to attack from international destinations because it complicates the legal process. It is very difficult for law enforcement to find international phone fraud attackers. Even if they can trace a call back through its complicated routing, international laws and extradition processes are overwhelming. It took more than four years for the FBI to track down and arrest their most wanted international phone scammer, Noor Aziz Uddin.
Modern spoofing technology makes it easy for attackers to disguise their phone numbers. These spoofing tools are simple to use, widely available, and free. By changing the ANI, international calls are made to appear on Caller ID as local calls from legitimate customers.
PhoneprintingTM is one way to determine where a phone call is really originating without relying on ANI or Caller ID. When a Phoneprint shows that a device is international, and the Caller ID says a call is local, it’s a clear sign that an attacker is on the line.
To learn more about this topic, download a free copy of the 2017 Phone Fraud Report.