VoIP fraud and money laundering

Reports are now surfacing that criminals have learned to take advantage of VoIP fraud schemes to launder money across international borders. Money laundering is the process of concealing the source of money obtained by illicit means.

The scheme they are using is known as international revenue share VoIP fraud. In a traditional revenue share fraud scenario, the fraudsters abuse carrier interconnect agreements. Cooperation is the key to this type of fraud. The fraudster’s goal is to pair up with a destination that can charge high rates, and then inflate traffic to his numbers at little or no cost to himself. These types of schemes can occur within a country, or across international borders.

The updated money laundering scheme looks like this:

  1. The criminal sets up a revenue sharing number in Country A.
  2. The criminal proceeds repeatedly to call his own newly created number from Country B.
  3. The criminal receives a huge bill for his international calls and simply pays it.
  4. The criminal collects the money he just paid himself in Country A.

Using this method, it appears to authorities in Country A that the criminal is a simple telecom provider, and the authorities in Country B just see someone paying off their very large legitimate phone bill. The money has been successfully moved from Country B to Country A.