With every year that goes by it becomes increasingly clear that when it comes to fraud, no telecommunication provider is an island. As they try to weather the storm alone, figures show that fraud is still an issue at large with losses around $38 billion in revenues, while international traffic accounts for 70% of all telecoms fraud losses.
By trying to fight unaided, mobile operators are subjecting themselves to some very expensive implications. Not only are they failing to combat the $38 billion that the industry as a whole has to shell out each year as a result of these attacks, but they are also wasting their own resources. A delay of a few hours tackling fraudulent activity can cost providers huge revenue losses. Roaming fraud is even more of an issue with its specific delayed reporting, thereof the late discovery and block.
When we launched FraudGuard, telecoms companies were asked to fight against their instinct and work together for the greater good. This solution is now able to provide shared experiences and insights across BICS’ extensive network of over 1200 partners. The end-to-end surveillance is able to monitor networks in real-time, immediately flag fraudulent activity and continue monitoring related traffic elsewhere. FraudGuard’s collaborative crowdsourced model ensures that this information can then be shared in real time across operators via a cloud based database, allowing them to proactively prevent future attacks.
Since FraudGuard’s inception, together telecommunication providers and BICS have achieved some fantastic results. So far, since 2013, a total of 560 million fraudulent call attempts have been blocked, with the number of blocked calls increasing by 12% between 2015 and 2016. The operators using our network saved €340 million in 2016 – enough money to buy the second biggest Airbus plane, an A350-1000!
Thanks to FraudGuard’s insights we’ve also been able to collate some more interesting information on fraudulent activity in 2016. For instance, the most active time for fraud is in the month of August. Why? Fraudsters are likely to be taking advantage of people’s travels in the summer month. Fortunately, FraudGuard doesn’t take holidays. Inversely, the least active time for fraudsters is in the month of November. In terms of the riskiest times of day for fraudsters to pounce, 4pm tops the chart. Perhaps fraudsters are taking advantage of that final flurry of calls before the end of the work day. They’re smart enough to know not to bother in the middle of the night though. The early morning hour of 3am is the least popular time when it comes to fraudulent calls.
There is no doubt that without this concerted and co-operative effort, telecoms providers would be stranded in a losing battle against the increasingly sophisticated fraudsters. However, BICS and its FraudGuard solution prove that together, mobile operators can work towards a fraud-free future.
Katia Gonzalez Gutierrez, Head of Fraud Prevention Operations and Services at BICS.