2019 Scam Report Reveals 75% of Mobile Fraud Victims Received Robocalls From Scammers Already Possessing Their Personal Information
Little Rock, Arkansas. July 9, 2019 – Major companies have been victimized in recent years by massive data breaches that exposed billions of customers’ personal identifiable information. Fraudsters are now using this stolen personal data to masquerade as trusted companies in a new, more effective scam strategy called Enterprise Spoofing. In a 2018 Scam Report, First Orion reported that nearly half of all mobile calls would be scam in 2019, and while volume remains high–still trending to over 40% on the year–it turns out that scammers are now shifting to a ‘quality over quantity’ approach for the first time using more sophisticated techniques than ever.
To examine this issue in-depth, First Orion analyzed over 40 billion calls made to customers in 2019 (year to date) and commissioned a blind study of 5,000 mobile phone subscribers in the United States who had spoken to scam callers to create the second annual Scam Report for 2019.
First Orion found scammers are now using personal information to target consumers directly by impersonating legitimate companies to swindle money. In fact, 75% of victims report that scam callers had their personal information and used this to extract additional data, leading directly to a financial loss.
As consumers stop answering their phones, fraudsters are recalibrating their strategies to maximize their effectiveness. According to a recent Consumer Reports survey, 70% of consumers do not answer incoming calls from an unknown number. As a result, Enterprise Spoofing is on the rise – impersonating a legitimate business by spoofing their main outbound calling number – and it is incredibly convincing. Of those who lost over $1,000 from a scam call, 32% said the caller ID represented a familiar business. As scammers shift to Enterprise Spoofing, companies will need to be diligent in adopting a solution that verifies legitimate business calls so they can stay ahead of the scammers and reach their customers.
“As fraudsters are changing tactics, tapping into stolen data from the massive breaches, we are seeing enterprise spoofing on known business numbers drive call volume increases of over 100X in a matter of hours,” said Scott Hambuchen, Chief Information Officer at First Orion. “To address this ongoing issue, mobile carriers and enterprises alike need to identify and adapt to scammers’ evolving practices to protect and enhance the business-to-consumer calling experience.”
To combat this growing epidemic, First Orion offers its real-time, in-network spoof detection technology known as CallPrinting™ – which quickly and accurately identifies new scam techniques and thwarts fraudulent spoof calls by looking at call behavior, not just the number. T-Mobile was the first in the industry to adopt this spoof detection technology on its network last year to protect customers. Mobile subscribers looking to protect themselves from Enterprise Spoofing should seek out providers who have deployed real-time, in-network solutions as app-based services are largely ineffective in identifying and blocking spoofed calls.
Recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) responded to the scourge of illegal robocalls by giving mobile carriers the ability to block calls by default instead of only those who opted-in. Both the House and Senate passed bills aimed at targeting illegal robocalls by imposing fines as much as $10,000 per call and increasing the statute of limitations to three years, up from one year. Additionally, the legislation would accelerate the roll-out of STIR/SHAKEN, an industry-wide call-authentication standard. These efforts continue this week with the scheduled FCC Summit on July 11th, 2019, but still do not address the challenges of handling legitimate business-to-consumer calls.
In an effort to protect and enhance the calling experience for legitimate businesses and their customers, First Orion launched its Engage solution earlier this year allowing companies to brand and verify outgoing calls to customers with customized, rich media graphics. With Engage, businesses enable customers to know why they are calling, ensuring important calls are not missed while also preventing spoofing by verifying legitimate calls.
About First Orion
First Orion powers call management and transparency solutions for T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile, Boost Mobile, Sky, Virgin Mobile, and Sprint Prepaid mobile networks along with PrivacyStar applications for all smartphones. First Orion currently provides call control, call blocking, call transparency and call management solutions to millions of mobile handsets. First Orion’s Engage technology tells mobile subscribers who is calling and why, empowering them with the ability to take action, while also providing businesses the ability to verify their identity when calling their customers. With branded and white-labeled applications as well as in-network solutions, First Orion assists phone carriers in protecting mobile and fixed line subscribers by identifying and stopping millions of scam calls every day. For more information, please visit www.firstorion.com.