Most of the top 2015 scams involved the telephone

Posted on: December 23rd, 2015 by Art Barger

Of the Better Business Bureau’s top ten scams of 2015, it’s no surprise to us that eight are telephone related.

When resolving issues, consumers still turn to a live person to get help on an important transaction or make sure a problem has been taken care of. Call it human nature, but many of us still prefer the telephone for the peace of mind of knowing that something has been completed. This is why it doesn’t surprise us that imposters are still doing much of their dirty work over the phone.

The following list of the BBB’s top scams includes how criminals contact their victims

1. Tax scams (IRS and CRA): phone call with a spoofed Caller ID

2. Debt collections: phone call with a spoofed Caller ID

3. Sweepstakes/prizes/gifts: phone call with a spoofed Caller ID, letter or email

4. Tech support: phone call with a spoofed Caller ID

5. Government grant: phone call with a spoofed Caller ID

6. Advanced fee load: phishing website, email, phone call with a spoofed Caller ID

7. Credit cards: phone call with a spoofed Caller ID, letter, phishing website

8. Work from home: phishing website

9. Fake check/money order: fraudulent payment by mail

10. Lottery: phone call with a spoofed Caller ID, letter, email or fraudulent payment

One of the ways scammers hide their true identities is by spoofing their Caller ID and posing as legitimate banks or businesses to maliciously retrieve sensitive customer information and other financial details, said Mary E. Power, president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

“Scammers are all basically imposters. Three of the top four scams reported to us are those that scare people with threats of arrest, law suits or other frightening actions. Scammers are pretending to be government agents, lawyers, debt collectors, police officers. They engage directly with you, so your best bet to avoid being scammed is to stop engaging. Hang up the phone, delete the email, shut the door.”

The reason criminals continue to use the telephone is simple — the success rate. Once they get a person on the line, they are very good at convincing individuals into believing they are somebody else. The same applies to call center fraud.

While contact centers are armed with different methods of identifying customers over the telephone channel, once criminals are speaking to call center agents they have the upper hand. Why? Because social engineers can defeat knowledge-based authentication (KBA) tools.

Today, financial institutions and businesses that rely on KBA fall right in the hands of telephone scams. Equipped with the right personal information, criminals can correctly answer security questions, thwarting call center defenses. As a result, banks need to go beyond telephone interrogations to authenticate customers. Caller authentication solutions like the TRUSTID® Physical Caller Authentication doesn’t allow imposters to get that far.

By validating the actual location of the calling device in real time, we can determine if the Caller ID has been spoofed before the inbound call is transferred to an operator. When you proactively deny known crooks the opportunity to socially engineer your reps, your customer environments and most valuable assets are better protected from many of today’s most frequently used telephone scams.