More and more phone scams

The July 2015 issue of VIPRE Security News notes that: “Retail and finance call centre phone scamming in the US is up 30 percent according to research from Pindrop Security, a phone security company.”

Attackers call across international borders at 10x the rate of legitimate callers. Spoofing technology allows attackers to hide their true automatic number identification and appear as a local call on Caller ID.

Scammers are increasingly using VoIP and robodialers to mask incoming phone numbers and better target consumers. VoIP has minimized or eliminated the cost of phone calls, both domestic and international.

What’s the most common scam? As I’ve noted in other posts — phony technical support calls.


  1. As I’ve mentioned previously, you can’t trust Caller ID info. It’s easily spoofed. This PC World “Trust no one: How caller ID spoofing has ruined the simple phone call” article highlights the problem.

    The first line of defense is a healthy distrust of Caller ID, said David Dewey, director or research at Pindrop Security, which helps call centers and banks determine whether a phone call is fraudulent. About 1 in 300 calls are fraudulent, according to company’s data.

  2. This NPR “Why Phone Fraud Starts With A Silent Call” article explains why even a phone call where there seems to be nobody on the other end is a concern.

    That initial call you get, with silence on the other end, “[is] essentially the first of the reconnaissance calls that these fraudsters do,” … . “They’re trying to see: Are they getting a human on the other end? You even cough and it knows you’re there.”

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