BICS has estimated that fraudulent call attempts grew 2% between 2017 and 2018, with spam calls up 325%. The Communications Fraud Control Association estimates that telecoms fraud costs the industry upwards of EUR3.3 billion (USD3.68 billion) globally, with the most common types being International Revenue Share Fraud, PBX hacking and Wangiri (an automatic computer-based dialling system originating in Japan).
“The advent of all-IP networks has magnified the speed and magnitude of attacks aimed at the telecoms industry,” said Katia Gonzalez, head of fraud operations at BICS. “Being a truly global industry means attacks can come from anywhere at any time.”
BICS revealed that the biggest market for telecoms fraud is the UK, with 15% of global fraud calls aimed at the country (25 million calls). The UK’s telecoms fraud problem is attributed to the regulation, management and ownership of phone numbers, which is not as strictly controlled as in some other countries. BICS argues that knowledge-sharing amongst operators will help tackle the fraud problems facing them, with the company estimating that during 2018 it saved operators over $320 million via its FraudGuard platform.