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In a recent MEF webinar, MEF Advisor Nick Millward was joined by Bradley Greer, VP of Data Solutions and Product at phone number intelligence data specialists netnumber, to discuss the challenges of spoofing and other fraud mechanisms and how these evolving trends are putting pressure on providers to meet ever-tightening security requirements. Greer also discussed advanced solutions and tools available today to combat this harmful trend. Here he shares the key takeaways from the discussion.

AI-assisted deep fakes and caller ID (CLI) spoofing are among the increasingly sophisticated schemes being perpetrated by voice and messaging scammers to deceive end users in the worldwide mobile ecosystem.

The growing problem is taking a toll on consumer trust in communications as well as leading to monetary losses. Fraudulent robocalls alone cost mobile subscribers billions of dollars globally each year as consumers unwittingly fall prey to fraudsters seeking to exploit their trust for financial gain.

Illegal robocalling was just one of the schemes discussed during an MEF webinar on June 20th, where audience members learned about the challenges of communications fraud and key solutions available to outsmart today’s highly skilled hackers.

Not only are hackers becoming more skilled, but the types of data targeted have been increasing as people use the Internet for more and more purposes. Activities as innocuous as visiting a website, downloading a coupon, or purchasing products online can put an individual in the hacker’s sights.

Digital Transformation Underlies Fraud Growth

As the world increasingly moves to online purchasing, banking and other web-based transactions, droves of personal data, from account numbers to text messages, are available in the digital world and can become vulnerable to today’s increasingly capable hackers.

Not only are hackers becoming more skilled, but the types of data targeted have been increasing as people use the Internet for more and more purposes. Activities as innocuous as visiting a website, downloading a coupon, or purchasing products online can put an individual in the hacker’s sights.

How Phone Numbers Play a Central Role in Fraud Schemes

I described how the mobile phone has become a key identifier for scammers seeking to exploit information. Why? Because today’s smartphones – – and our associated phone numbers — have become a unique identifier that companies ranging from banks to internet providers use for account authentication purposes.

In fact, the use of phone numbers for identity verification has surged in recent years, making phone numbers a requirement for almost everything we do.

Illegal robotexting is one example of a popular scam based on hijacking phone numbers. Robotexting poses a particularly heinous consumer threat because, unlike robocalls, scam text messages are hard to ignore or hang up on and are nearly always read by the recipient – often immediately.

Consumers who have filed complaints with the FCC say some of the texts resemble email spam, with links to unwanted and unsolicited products. But many of the texts appear to be ploys to steal valuable personal or financial information. Some recipients have been pressured to “log in” to a fake bank website to verify a purchase or unlock a credit card that was frozen. Others use package delivery updates as phishing bait.

Phone Number Intelligence Data Offers a Critical Fraud Mitigation Tool

Solutions based on the power of phone number intelligence data provide one of the most advanced fraud-fighting tools available today. Central to their anti-fraud capabilities is access to real-time, granular, and normalized phone number intelligence data, enabling carriers to reliably and accurately validate phone numbers from any country in the world to screen for potential fraud.

netnumber’s new Number Intelligence as a Service (NIaaS) is such a solution. Distinguished by a wholly new industry term, NIaaS, this new netnumber capability provides a platform for both delivering mission-critical phone number intelligence data and discussing the topic within the broader industry landscape.

NIaaS uses comprehensive data sets, DNO (Do-Not-Originate) number information, phone number operator changes, reachability insights, risk assessments and other forms of sophisticated logic to enable granular number verification that tightly aligns with customer use cases and traffic type. NIaaS provides the ideal fit when addressing telecom, financial or other fraud methods, securing messaging and voice transmission from origination to termination. In fact, NIaaS provides flexible API solutions that netnumber can help navigate into your ecosystem taking the strain from technical resources.

To learn more about the different fraud types and solutions, watch the full webinar above.

Bradley Greer

Senior Director of Data Solutions & Partnerships, netnumber

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