Fraud Alerts October - December 2016

Fake ‘Video Calling’ invitations in WhatsApp

Before launching any new feature on its messaging app, WhatsApp developer’s rollout some features on its beta platform for the testers. After being tested, these features are then released to public for world-wide use. However, there are a few too many scamsters who take advantage of a system called ‘feature by invite’ to generate a false invitation to unsuspecting victims, luring them to enable these beta features in advance. This is what happened with the new ‘video-calling feature’. A scamster rolled out an invitation to activate video calling feature on WhatsApp, which ended up being a hoax. Each time a user clicked on the invite or message, the scamster made money by showing ads and sending them to various website links.


Apple ID smishing evolves to lure more victims

The widespread popularity of Apple technology, in particular iPhones and iPads, has made the smishing of Apple ID passwords a focus area for some criminals. In a typical campaign, messages are spammed out to smartphone users, containing a link. The messages will often suggest that your Apple ID has expired, or that your account has been temporarily frozen as a security measure until you have confirmed you are the real owner. Even if only a small percentage of users are duped into following the scam message’s instructions, the rewards for the attackers can be considerable as they break into accounts, and potentially gain access to your private photographs and messages.


Rise of IVR Phishing post demonetization in India

The suddenness of the demonetization move has led to a spurt of digital payments, including among people with little or no knowledge of the risks involved. The rush towards digital payments is unfortunately a huge opportunity, which cybercriminals is cashing on. IVR fishing is similar to SMS phising. For example: you may receive an SMS informing you that you will be given an appointment with your bank for exchanging demonetized notes on contacting the number given in the SMS.This introduces IVR phishing, or phone phishing. People dialing the phone number are connected to what sounds like a valid call center of the bank. As people are used to giving details like their ATM pins or Mobile PINs to their bank’s call centers, they are likely to believe they are talking to a valid center and disclose this information. Once the cyber criminals have this information they can use it for transactions.


Mobile network operators have lost 20% of termination revenues to over-the-top (OTT) hijack in the last 12 months on average

SIM Box fraud and OTT hijack remain two of the major threats to mobile operator revenues with more than 80% of operators experiencing SIM Box fraud and three quarters being victims of OTT hijack, which is recognized in the survey as the single biggest future threat. Mobile network operators have lost 20% of termination revenues to over-the-top (OTT) hijack in the last 12 months on average, with some operators losing more than 70%, according to a new survey conducted by anti-fraud specialist Revector. The survey was sent to every mobile operator in the world and completed by 150 fraud and revenue protection professionals across all continents. Of the 70% of operators experiencing OTT hijack, the average loss of revenue compared to 12 months ago has increased 21% with some operators experiencing losses exceeding 60% of interconnect revenues.


Woman, 89, loses $200,000 to telephone scammer

An 89-year-old woman has lost more than $200,000 after she was involved in a telephone scam that has targeted several elderly Gold Coast residents in the US. The scam, which has targeted men and women from Bundall, Runaway Bay and Tallebudgera, begins with a phone call from a man who claims to be either a police officer, business manager or a fraud investigator from an Australian bank. The man tells the victim that someone has tried to access their credit cards or bank account. Several calls over the following days are made to the victim, convincing them that they are working with police and investigators to find those who attempted to steal their money.


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