Global telecom fraud increases from 2011, still near 5-year low

The CFCA today announced the results of a comprehensive worldwide communications industry fraud loss survey.

Experts estimate 2013 fraud losses at $46.3 billion (USD), up 15% from 2011. As a percent of global telecom revenues, fraud losses are approximately 2.09%—a 0.21% increase from 2011. The main reason for the relative increase in fraud is due to more fraudulent activity targeting the wireless industry.

Highlights of the survey results include:

  • Operators with 1-10 million subscribers reported more fraud incidents than any other group.
  • The top five countries where fraud terminates are: Latvia, Gambia, Somalia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.
  • 92 % of operators surveyed said fraud losses had increased or stayed the same within their own companies—a 3% increase from 2011.

The top five methods for committing fraud were:

  • $5.22 Billion (USD) – Subscription Fraud
  • $4.42 Billion (USD) – PBX Hacking
  • $3.62 Billion (USD) – Account Take Over/ID Theft
  • $3.62 Billion (USD) – VoIP Hacking
  • $3.35 Billion (USD) – Dealer Fraud

The top five types of fraud reported by operators were:

  • $6.11 Billion (USD) – Roaming Fraud
  • $5.32 Billion (USD) – Wholesale Fraud
  • $4.73 Billion (USD) – Premium Rate Service
  • $3.55 Billion (USD) – Cable or Satellite
  • $2.96 Billion (USD) – Hardware Reselling

“The results of this survey confirm that telecom fraud remains a lucrative criminal business,” explained Jacob Howell, CCSP, CFCA Board Member and Director of Fraud Management Solutions for TEOCO Corporation. “The CFCA is committed to raising awareness of this worldwide problem and to providing a forum for education and information-sharing among communications service providers. It’s where communications professionals go to learn about these schemes and become effective at stopping them.”