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Wangiri 2.0 Fraud

4 min. read

Wangiri 2.0 Detection & Prevention. Protect from Fraud with AB Handshake.

As fraud protection solutions evolve and become more efficient and sophisticated, so do the threats they face. Enter Wangiri 2.0, an evolution of the original "one ring and drop" Wangiri fraud, a notorious premium rate service fraud scheme.

In the original Wangiri scheme, scammers call individual users from a premium-rate spoofed number and hang up before the victim answers the call. A certain percentage of the victims call back, and the fraudster collects a cut of the expensive rate on the callbacks.

Wangiri 2.0 fraud targets enterprises and brands rather than individual users, capitalizing on their commitment to customer service for fraudulent purposes. Wangiri 2.0 scammers know that, unlike individual users, companies feel obligated to call potential customers back.

Therefore, they activate internet bots to fill out contact forms on company websites, using international and premium-rate numbers as contact phone numbers. The targeted company's customer service voice mechanism (e.g. call center or voice message system) is activated by the form and calls the numbers priced at exorbitant rates.

Why Is It So Hard to Prevent a Wangiri 2.0 Fraud Attack?

Wangiri 2.0 fraud poses a significant challenge to telecom security. Unlike regular Wangiri fraud, Wangiri 2.0 has only one "leg" of voice traffic — the callback. This means there's only one chance to block this fraud.

Another issue is the volume of these calls. Individual users can and do ignore calls from unfamiliar numbers, so in the original Wangiri fraud scheme, the scammers have to generate an enormous volume of calls to get a significant number of callbacks. These "waves" of calls are more likely to trigger a fraud management system that identifies unusual patterns.

Companies, on the other hand, can't simply ignore contact form submissions for fear of missing out on a potential customer or creating a negative customer experience for a legitimate contact.

Therefore, the callback rates with Wangiri 2.0 fraud are much higher than in the original scheme. The scammers don't need to generate as much voice traffic and can spread the traffic out, allowing them to remain under the radar of traditional anti-fraud systems that analyze patterns. This makes it difficult to detect and stop a Wangiri 2.0 fraud attack.

Furthermore, due to the scope of their activity, it usually takes longer for companies to notice the unusual charges and take action. This challenge is compounded by the fact that many companies outsource customer service to call centers that don't typically have sophisticated fraud management systems. These companies are often unable to identify the contacts on the bot-filled forms as fraudulent and instead attribute them to poor sales conversion.

Due to these difficulties, Wangiri 2.0 fraud detection remains a challenge for traditional fraud management systems. All types of companies, from international financial organizations to online stores, regularly fall victim to this type of telecom fraud. Once the call has been made, there isn't much the company can do. Telecom operators generally refuse to refund the costs, claiming that the call was made willingly and that the service was fully rendered. The victimized companies are forced to absorb the costs.

Wangiri 2.0 Fraud Detection - Staying one step ahead of fraudsters

Fraud protection can't focus solely on preventing the risks that exist today — a robust system has to be ready to take on new attack vectors. AB Handshake does exactly that. The AB Handshake community is a group of businesses that use a unique "handshake" to validate each and every call and prevent Wangiri 2.0 fraud attacks and all other types of fraud — current and future.

AB Handshake has a clear advantage in fighting new threats like Wangiri 2.0 fraud. Unlike traditional fraud prevention systems, AB Handshake doesn't rely on sampling or patterns, which aren't effective in Wangiri 2.0 fraud detection.

Instead, the originating operator sends a verification request directly to the terminating operator and the terminating switch sends the call details to the terminating call registry. If the call cannot be verified at all points, it's blocked in real-time before the company is charged. The system can be activated on any telco's existing infrastructure and adjusted to fit the policies of both the network operator and the client.

With the AB Handshake, companies don't have to absorb the costs of Wangiri 2.0 fraud and other emerging threats — they can simply prevent them.

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