Phone fraud up 30 percent

A new report from Pindrop Security’s State of Phone Fraud Report, 1H 2012 brings to light several new startling statistics concerning the growing prevalence of fraud in the communications industry:

  1. More than 5 fraudulent phone calls are placed per minute in the US
  2. Phone scams have increased 29% in the first half of 2012
  3. Nine out of ten of the largest US banks have been impersonated in fraudulent attacks
  4. 1.3 million phone fraud incidents were reported in the first half of 2012
  5. Nearly 50 percent of fraud calls originate from voice-over-IP (VoIP) phones

VoIP is especially popular because it’s cheap, easily accessible, mobile, and difficult to trace because it allows caller ID-spoofing and provides some anonymity. “You can take it with you on your laptop when you travel,” Judge says. “There’s a combination of mobile and VoIP: You can find dozens of free apps to install on iPhone or Android that spoof CallerID and even change your voice for you. You can playback prerecorded audio, too.

“It’s easy for anyone to set up shop& with phone fraud,” says Paul Judge, chairman of Pindrop.

Fraudsters also purchase multiple phone numbers for their “businesses.” Pindrop found one scammer had more than 7,100 different phone numbers to carry out his attack. “They buy up phone numbers like IP addresses are purchased in the IP world. You see a fraud ring call from a call center and spoof numbers from across the country,” Judge says.