04:10 PM
Sara Peters
Sara Peters
Quick Hits
Connect Directly

'Misdial Trap' Phone Scam Hits Financial Services

One in six financial institutions victimized by this new scam.

Pindrop Security today warned financial institutions and their customers about a telephone scam they've dubbed the "misdial trap."

Fraudsters buy phone numbers similar to legitimate businesses, and pose as that business's customer service line when customers misdial -- not unlike how some fraudsters buy domain names similar to legitimate online businesses and create sites that mimic them, according to Pindrop.

The numbers fraudsters typically choose will have the same first six digits as the legitimate business, with only the final digit changed, or they will have the same seven-digit number but a different area code -- a toll-free number area code, for example.

When they hook a customer, they pretend they are customer service for the company in question and request sensitive data from customers -- sometimes offering a free gift card in exchange.

Some 103 of the 600 financial institutions examined by Pindrop Security were affected by the misdial trap.

"Phone fraud costs banks and financial institutions nearly $2 billion every year and fraudsters continue to develop new attacks to steal from consumers and financial institutions," said Vijay Balasubramaniyan, co-founder and CEO of Pindrop Security. "The misdial trap scam is just the most recent example of how sophisticated fraud rings are exploiting inherent vulnerabilities in the phone channel to collect consumer information and defraud financial institutions."

Sara Peters is Senior Editor at Dark Reading and formerly the editor-in-chief of Enterprise Efficiency. Prior that she was senior editor for the Computer Security Institute, writing and speaking about virtualization, identity management, cybersecurity law, and a myriad ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Apprentice
11/19/2014 | 2:58:53 PM
Various phone scammers and prank callers have used this technique for years.

Check out the "Touchtone Terrorists". This guy (Pete Dzoghi) made a living telesquatting many of the major courrier services like UPS and FedEx, as well as other organizations and companies. He would pose as various disgruntled customer service agents to ultimately get a huge rise out of the unsuspecting customer who had dialed the wrong number. He recorded these calls and sold them through retail channels.

Although the end result and goal are not the same, the concept has been around for years.
User Rank: Strategist
11/19/2014 | 1:44:50 AM
Cyber squatting but for phones
So it's telesquatting then. It's pretty clever actually. This is the first time I'm hearing of it. So what is the solution? Unlike websites you can't as easily monitor or pull the plug on a phone number before a boatload of damage has been done.
The Case for Integrating Physical Security & Cybersecurity
Paul Kurtz, CEO & Cofounder, TruSTAR Technology,  3/20/2018
A Look at Cybercrime's Banal Nature
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  3/20/2018
City of Atlanta Hit with Ransomware Attack
Dark Reading Staff 3/23/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
How to Cope with the IT Security Skills Shortage
Most enterprises don't have all the in-house skills they need to meet the rising threat from online attackers. Here are some tips on ways to beat the shortage.
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
Most enterprises are using threat intel services, but many are still figuring out how to use the data they're collecting. In this Dark Reading survey we give you a look at what they're doing today - and where they hope to go.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.