The Next Wave of Telecommunications Fraud
While traditional communication channels remain fertile ground for deception in 2024, the battleground has broadened, encompassing social media platforms, mobile applications, and even roaming networks.
Sophisticated tactics like social engineering attacks exploit trust, manipulate emotions, and leverage technology to blur the lines between reality and deceit. From personalized scams honed through data analysis to elaborate schemes exploiting vulnerabilities in interconnected systems, the threat landscape demands constant vigilance and unwavering awareness.
Here are five essential areas of telecommunications fraud coverage in 2024:
#1 Over-The-Top (OTT) Fraud
Juniper Research estimates that businesses could lose a staggering $3 billion to OTT messaging like WhatsApp and Viber over the next five years from 2023. The increasing popularity of OTT platforms has given rise to new fraud opportunities, such as unauthorized account access, spam messaging, and content piracy.
#2 Artificially Inflated Traffic (AIT)
Moving beyond user-facing threats, AIT poses a complex challenge for telecommunications operators. This intricate scheme involves generating fake network traffic to inflate usage bills and generate illegitimate revenue for fraudsters. The insidious nature lies in its ability to mimic legitimate user activity, making fraud prevention and detection a significant hurdle, emphasizing the substantial financial impact of AIT.
#3 Social Engineering Attacks
Beyond technical subterfuge, the human element remains a perennial vulnerability in the fraud landscape. Social engineering attacks exploit human emotions, trust, and the instinct to help, making them effective even against the most tech-savvy individuals. These social engineering attacks have become more sophisticated, employing deepfake technologies and AI for hyper-personalized scams.
#4 SIM Swap Scams
SIM Swap Scams, while not a new thing in telecommunications fraud, continue to be significant concerns within the industry. In such scams, fraudsters hijack individuals' phone numbers by illicitly transferring them onto fraudulent SIM cards, enabling unauthorized access to personal accounts and the interception of sensitive information, such as banking messages and one-time passwords (OTPs). Over time, the scam has evolved and became more sophisticated through the incorporation of social engineering techniques.
#5 Mobile Roaming Fraud
While advancements in regulations and data roaming packages have reduced some aspects of roaming fraud, mobile roaming fraud still leads to substantial losses, forecasted to reach $18 billion by year 2025, according to Kaleidoscope Intelligence. Fraudsters exploit these to incur high fees for calls and data usage or to divert communications for illicit gains.
Telecommunications Fraud Detection and Prevention Solution: 4 Must-Haves
#1 Proactive and Predictive Capabilities
- AI-powered threat detection: Advanced analytics and machine learning models that identify suspicious activity patterns in real-time, predicting and preventing fraudulent acts before they cause damage.
- Behavioral analysis: Solutions that assess user behavior based on call patterns, data usage, and network interactions to identify anomalies and potential fraudsters.
- Risk scoring and segmentation: Tools that dynamically assess and categorize customers based on their risk profile, allowing for targeted preventive measures and resource allocation.
#2 Multi-Layered Protection
- Coverage across channels: Protection that extends beyond traditional voice calls and SMS to encompass social media integration, mobile apps, and roaming networks.
- Integration with existing infrastructure: Smooth integration with existing systems and databases to avoid disruptive implementation and facilitate data sharing for comprehensive analysis.
- Openness and adaptability: Solutions that can adapt to evolving threats and integrate with various tools and data sources for enhanced intelligence and agility.
#3 Automation and Accuracy
- Real-time Intervention: Systems that promptly notify operators of suspicious activity, allowing for swift intervention and minimizing customer disruption.
- False positive reduction: Advanced algorithms that differentiate genuine users from fraudulent activity, avoiding unnecessary service interruptions and maintaining positive customer experiences.
#4 Flexibility and Scalability
- Scalability and flexibility: Tools that can adapt to changing network volumes and evolving threats without incurring significant additional costs.
- Actionable insights and reporting: Comprehensive reporting and analytics dashboards that provide actionable insights to optimize fraud prevention strategies and measure the effectiveness of implemented solutions.
For telecommunications service providers, fraud management has evolved from being a mere option to an absolute necessity. Contemporary fraud management solutions must encompass not only the detection and resolution of fraudulent activities but also the capability to anticipate and mitigate risks before they manifest.
The employment of robust data analytics, empowered by the advanced capabilities of AI and machine learning models, is crucial in this regard. These technologies enable proactive fraud management efforts, allowing service providers to stay ahead of emerging threats and safeguard their operations and customers effectively.
Shield Your Business with Fraud Management Solution Made for Telcos
The ever-evolving world of telecommunications faces not only technological advancements but also sophisticated forms of fraud. Proactive fraud prevention and management solutions are crucial to mitigating these evolving forms of fraud and ensuring the continued growth of the telecommunications operations.
Drawing on decades of experience in the fraud battleground, Neural Technologies’s advanced Fraud Management solution (FMS) offers a robust shield against even the most cunning and evolving threats. Leveraging the power of AI and machine learning models, our solution is designed to meet the challenges of today's evolving threats, protecting your telecommunication operations and revenue.
Facing millions in annual losses due to subscription fraud, a major communication service provider (CSP) deployed our FMS that utilizes intelligent systems and multi-stream analysis to detect suspicious activity. Unlike static rule-based systems, our advanced FMS learns and adapts, proactively analyzes and identifies fraudulent behavior in near real-time, protecting businesses from a wide range of fraud types, including traditional and evolving frauds.
Implementing the solution yielded impressive results, exceeding the CSP's initial goals. Fraudulent losses per case saw a significant decline, while detection times were dramatically sped up. Notably, the average time spent analyzing suspected fraud cases also decreased, showcasing improved efficiency. Download the full case study to learn more on how it works.