The FBI Newark Division recently released a warning to consumers about a new scheme that involves telecommunications denial-of-service (TDoS) attacks. The FBI has found that criminals are compromising victim accounts and then contacting financial institutions to change the victim’s profile information. These attacks often result in unauthorized access to consumer financial and brokerage accounts and the criminals may be able to transfer funds out of the financial accounts. Here’s what you need to know about this particular type of scam:
What Are Fraudulent Telephone Call Scams?
Fraudulent telephone call scams are set up using automated dialing programs to keep calling a victim’s cell phone and land line. The TDoS attacks are usually performed with multiple accounts in an attempt to overwhelm the victim with numerous calls. The victim answers the call but usually hears dead air, a recorded message, or a telephone sex menu . The calls are so numerous that the victim decides to change his or her telephone number so that they stop receiving mysterious calls. As a result, fraudsters have now used this as a diversion to prevent financial and brokerage institutions from verifying victim account changes and transactions.
How Fraudulent Telephone Call Scams Work
Fraudulent telephone call scams are designed to trick the victim into thinking they are just getting random calls from someone. The victim keeps answering these calls and always ends up hearing an innocuous recorded message, some type of advertisement, or is rerouted to a sex line. If the victim is frustrated enough, they will take steps to change their phone numbers to terminate these types of calls. By doing so, the attack becomes a diversion to prevent any financial or brokerage institutions from verifying the victim’s account. This gives the fraudster just enough time to transfer funds from the victim’s financial accounts.
How to Avoid Fraudulent Telephone Call Scams
The FBI recommends that consumers be very vigilant and proactive when they start to receive strange phone calls or believe they are the victim of a TDoS attack. They want consumers to be proactive by implementing security measures for all of their financial accounts and placing fraud alerts with the major credit bureaus if they believe they were targeted by a TDoS attack. It’s also a good idea to use strong passwords for all financial accounts and to change them regularly. Check your credit report at least once a year to verify that everything is accurate and to detect any type of fraudulent activity.
What to Do If You Are a Victim of a Fraudulent Telephone Call Scam
If you have been a target of a TDoS attack, you must contact your financial institutions immediately. It’s also a good idea to notify your telephone service provider of the incident. You can report the situation to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) via www.ic3.gov. Some reports and cases can be investigated further by the FBI.