TWIPF2 This week in phone fraud, Pindrop Labs released its Top 10 Consumer Phone Scams Report and Pindrop CEO, Vijay Balasubramaniyan, reveals how deep learning can transform the relationship between humans and machines.

On Thursday, USA Today reported the top three phone scams targeting consumers this year are Google listing scams, loan-related scams and fraudsters offering free vacations, an information security company called Pindrop found — by masquerading as unsuspecting customers.

Wednesday, IT Pro Portal reported that ever since humans evolved language, speech has proven to be the most efficient way for us to communicate, from the simplest requests to the most complex ideas. Now, with advances in technology, speech is poised to become the next major transformation of the user interface.


Biometric Update: Biometrics alone will not win the authentication wars – Hackers target banks and any business with a digital presence to steal people’s identities and export valuable private information. Increasingly, hackers are using impersonation methods to pose as individuals to commit fraud digitally and over the phone. Especially in the call center, where fraud is expected to grow by 97 percent between 2015-20 (Aite Group)

Helpnet Security: As voice interaction increases, what will security look like in the next 5 years? – As the accuracy of voice UI grows, it will naturally progress to a means of authentication in the enterprise. However, the enterprise should be concerned about the security implications of tomorrow and what managing voice authentication, in the daily work environment, will mean.

On the Wire: Google Listing, Political Scams, Top Phone Fraud Threats – Nearly 20 percent of all phone fraud calls hitting consumers and businesses this year are part of the fake Google listing scam, more than twice as many as the eight percent that are loan scam calls, according to new data released by Pindrop Labs.

New York Post: Why you may fall for these wild scam phone calls – About 896,000 scam calls have been reported to the US Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s office since October 2013, with some 5,000 victims paying more than $29.5 million to robbers, the agency’s head reported earlier this year.

National Daily Press: FCC is putting pressure on phone companies to give customers technology to block robocalls – The FCC is putting new pressure on both wireless carriers and traditional phone companies to give customers technology to block unwanted robocalls. Chairman Tom Wheeler has told the carriers that they need to give their customers the option to block robocalls, which have become the largest source of complaints that the commission receives.

Straits Times: Banks “unlikely” to pay phone scam victims – Last Monday, OCBC Bank reported a sharp rise in scams involving conmen impersonating its employees; around 30 customers are believed to have been duped, losing tens of thousands of dollars. However, lawyers say victims would be liable for the money they lost due to the voluntary nature of the transactions.

One Response to July 29– This Week In Phone Fraud

  1. Brett Gottlielb

    Please alert your readers (or any press that sources you for information) that there are official numbers to call with respect to the IRS phone scam:
    Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.

    Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

    Further, I recommend they also call/email the following two senators:
    — Susan Collins (R-Maine), Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee
    and Ranking Member Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri).

    Why? Because of Collins’ quote in the very widely covered (and singular) press release from TIGTA regarding a “signifcant arrest” made in the IRS phone scam (May 24, 2016) To wit:

    “Putting a stop to aggressive and ruthless scams such as the IRS impersonation scam is among my highest priorities as Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee,” said Senator Susan Collins.

    The persons TIGTA they arrested represent a small fraction of the funds scammed from immigrants and U.S. citizens. They must have launched a very broad PR campaign, because the coverage of this press release was tremendous (and, of course, in the press articles I read (including an actual article in Forbes) no one ever mentioned that this was the only arrest they’ve ever announced, and represented, as I mention above, a small fraction of the TIGTA’s own statistics on number of calls/victims/amounts of money scammed.

    Further, despite plenty of press releases and information on their site, there are still a very large number of people falling victim to these scams. Perhaps if they launched the same level of PR that they did for their press release they might disseminate the information to a broader audience and reduce even a small # of victims.

    If you have any information regarding the scam and the information i’ve provided above (or any additional thoughts on actions people might take to motivate more government success, I’d be very interested.)

    I do understand that most of these calls are from India, over which the U.S. has no jurisdiction, and also suppose there may have been more arrests unpublicised for this and other reasons. I also understand India’s government doesn’t give a hoot. Nevertheless, I find it difficult to believe that more can’t be done to stem these frauds (and again, I’m no expert and may be entirely wrong.)

    Thank you very much, and hope you will provide this information, as no comments I’ve seen have included this information (people often suggested a call to BlackJack which I imagine would be a worthless task.)

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