Monday, June 21, 2010

Fraudulent Telephone Calls Allowing Fraudsters Access to Consumer Financial and Brokerage Accounts

The FBI Newark Divisionreleased a warning to consumers concerning a new scheme using telecommunicationsdenial-of-service (TDoS)attacks.

The FBI determined fraudsters compromised victim accounts and contacted financial
institutions to change the victim profile information (i.e. email addresses, telephone
numbers and bank account numbers).

The TDoS attacks used automated dialing programs and multiple accounts to overwhelm
victims' cell phones and land lines with thousands of calls. When victims answered
the calls they heard dead air (nothing on the other end), an innocuous recorded
message, advertisement, or a telephone sex menu. Calls were typically short in duration
but so numerous that victims changed their phone numbers to terminate the attack.

These TDoS attacks were used as a diversion to prevent financial and brokerage institutions
from verifying victim account changes and transactions. Fraudsters were afforded
adequate time to transfer funds from victim brokerage and financial online accounts.

Protection from TDoS attacks and other types of fraud requires consumers to be vigilant
and proactive. In Newark’s Public Service Announcement (PSA),
they recommend consumers protect themselves by:

* Implement security measures for all financial accounts by placing fraud alerts with
the major credit bureaus if you believe they were targeted by a TDoS attack or other
forms of fraud.
* Use strong passwords for all financial accounts and change them regularly.
* Obtain and review your annual credit report for fraudulent activity.

If you were a target of a TDoS attack, immediately contact your financial institutions,
notify your telephone provider, and promptly report it to the IC3 website at: www.IC3.gov. The IC3 complaint database links complaints to assist in referrals to the appropriate law enforcement agency for
case consideration. The complaint information is also used to identity emerging
trends and patterns.

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