While these calls may never reach an agent , they are wasting resources and degrading network performance . If the calls do reach agents , the messages are often deliberately recorded to be long and garbled . Which means that agents are caught up trying to get clarity from the “ callers ” while other legitimate calls wait on hold .
Outbound toll fraud occurs when threat actors gain access to the organization ’ s phone system and then generate massive auto calls to premium international numbers . We know from our customers and industry contacts that outbound abuse is very prevalent because it is quite lucrative for the criminals .
In either case , many businesses are unaware that they have been victims of toll fraud until the bills arrive . And in both cases , performance metrics are impacted by the amount of illegitimate activity involved .
4 . VISHING FRAUD In addition to nuisance and nefarious robocall campaigns , contact centers are an increasingly popular target for direct calls from cybercriminals posing as customers or other trusted sources .
No doubt , customer service contact centers are a particularly enticing target for these sophisticated scammers . They are a convenient gateway to organizational and customer data and are staffed by agents who not only must answer every call : but who also are predisposed to approach those calls with a helpful attitude .
In this form of attack , known as vishing , the threat agent is highly skilled at impersonation and social engineering .
Thanks to easy access to personal information harvested through public forums or purchased on the dark web , they are well-armed with enough material to provide a convincing front . In many cases they start with a series of benign calls to a targeted associate in order to establish a rapport and gain trust prior to requesting , for instance , a transfer of funds or password reset .
We ’ d like to think that such deception is only successful when perpetrated on the naïve or unsophisticated . But this assumption is belied by the facts , as some of the world ’ s most respected brands , including Robinhood , Twitter , Cisco , Uber , and Twilio , have all suffered breaches enabled through vishing intrusions .
With vishing incidents seeing a 550 % increase in the past year alone , it is no surprise that 77 % of companies , according to a May 2022 survey by Agari and Phishlabs , admit they , too , have been targeted .
And let ’ s not forget that even if an attempted scammer or visher is unsuccessful , they have still taken an agent away from providing service to the callers who matter and contribute to the degradation of your KPI metrics .
THE QUESTION NOW IS WHAT CAN BE DONE ... NO ONE FORM OF DEFENSE WILL BE EFFECTIVE AGAINST SUCH AN AMORPHOUS ENEMY .
TOOLS OF DETECTION
The question now is what can be done ? And the answer is multi-faceted , as no one form of defense will be effective against such an amorphous adversary .
While it ’ s a given that agents should be well-trained to recognize the signs of phone fraud , it is unwise and , in fact , unfair to place the full burden of fraud protection and organizational security on the individuals : who are already on the front lines to deliver exceptional service to their callers .
There are numerous technologies available that , for instance , provide call source analytics that detect call spoofing , or apply voice biometrics to assist with caller authentication .
The more sophisticated of these resources may integrate artificial intelligence ( AI ) and machine learning techniques to detect unusual calling patterns or IVR usage anomalies : and provide agents or administrators alerts when suspicious behavior is detected .
Multifactor authentication ( MFA ) has become commonplace for online account access . It then should also be an acceptable form of customer authentication in the call center , protecting both the organization and the customers they serve from identity fraud .
While narrowing the possibilities of a successful impersonation , MFA is , however , not foolproof . It can only be considered another layer in the organization ’ s arsenal of fraud protection measures .
Because we are seeing unwanted calls as a threat to both your KPI metrics and the actual welfare of your agents and organizations , it makes sense to place a high priority on systems and technologies that rid the traffic itself of those damaging intrusions . Before they have a chance to infiltrate your network and reach vulnerable agent endpoints .
It is worth the time , and the time is now , to check with your contact center platform provider to see what kind of protections they offer or , alternatively , third-party voice traffic filtering technology developers that are working on solutions that keep you one step ahead of the scammers .
As Vice President , Sales and Channel for enterprise telecom software developer Mutare , Vicki Sidor guides the company ’ s initiatives and strategies related to voice network performance and security that help clients identify and solve complex business challenges impacting revenue , efficiency , and compliance .
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