Banks and telecom operators encountered massive phone number spoofing

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Banks and telecom operators encountered massive phone number spoofing.

As Kommersant found out, the scale of the problem with fraudulent calls to bank customers along with spoofing credit organization numbers is rapidly expanding. According to the Central Bank, over the summer, scammers managed to spoof at least 198 bank phone numbers. Telecom operators claim that the situation is even more serious than it seems to the Bank of Russia, which knows only about “a drop in the ocean” of fraud. Market participants are waiting for a “consistent solution” from the regulator. While it is not there, the Central Bank promises to begin the fight in several areas, including the creation of an up-to-date database of telephone numbers of telecom operators.

As market participants reported to Kommersant and the data of the Central Bank confirmed, in the summer of 2019, the number of fraudulent calls to bank customers increased, including calls with spoofed number of credit organizations. So, according to the data provided by the Central Bank at the advisory council on the development of the national payment system (available to Kommersant), from June to August, the mega-regulator sent telecom operators information on more than 2.5 thousand phone numbers used by scammers to make calls to bank customers. In response to the Central Bank reports on these calls, operators blocked the number in 218 cases, introduced a restriction on the use of financial services in 59 cases, and identified a bank number spoofing in 198 cases. In more than 2 thousand cases, it was refused to take response measures “due to the lack of legal grounds”, the Central Bank notes.

As Artem Sychev, the first deputy head of the Central Bank’s information security department, commented to Kommersant, the figures reflect not only successful attacks, but also theft attempts. “It is important to understand that statistics do not show exactly how many complaints from individual customers we received. We are talking only about the quantity of phone numbers,” he notes. “For example, the number 198 is actually the amount of credit organization phone numbers that the fraudsters spoofed.”