CloudSEK Traced 30,000 Online Fake Customer Service Numbers Being Used in Online Fraud

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CloudSEK, a cyber intelligence firm, announced on Friday that it had discovered 31,179 phone numbers impersonating customer service helplines for fraudulent activities.

56% Fake Customer Service Numbers from India: CloudSEK Analysis

The company examined the numbers and discovered that 56%, or 17,285, were Indian phone numbers, with the remainder being non-Indian.

CloudSEK has decoded a common scam in India that involves defrauding consumers by using fake customer service numbers.

What is Fake Customer Service scam?

Fake Customer Service scam involves creating fake customer service numbers for well-known brands and posting them online, duping unsuspecting customers into calling these numbers for help “According to a company statement.

According to the company, 80% of Indian phone numbers were found to be valid and operational.

“The Fake Customer Care Number module in CloudSEK XVigil searches the internet for fake customer care numbers. Our researcher examined a sample of approximately 20,000 Indian mobile phone numbers used by threat actors to conduct customer service scams.

According to the firm’s analysis, Facebook posts, profiles, and pages were used to advertise and distribute 88% of the fake numbers. Around 6% of the diameter used Twitter accounts, while 2% mixed Sulekha and Google to spread their number.

The banking and finance sector (59.4%) was the most targeted by logo impersonation, followed by healthcare (19.2%) and telecommunications (10.5%), in that order.

According to CloudSEK analysis, West Bengal emerged as the most prominent hub, with Kolkata being the centre of many large-scale operations, accounting for 23% of all fake customer care numbers registered.

“West Bengal is followed by Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, which each account for 9.3 percent,” according to the statement.

Modus Operandi Of Fake Customer Service and Call Centre Scams

Scammers are frequently former employees of legitimate BPO firms. They impersonate US law enforcement officers, point out some fictitious irregularities in the victim’s tax returns, and “levy” a fine to correct the situation.

In other cases, they pose as technical support personnel from well-known technology companies such as Microsoft, Google, or Apple and demand payment to fix fictitious bugs in their software.

They even save sensitive information like credit card or bank account numbers to be used later.

Because few victims report crimes and even fewer complaints, the majority of recent police raids are suo moto in nature. Call centre scam complaints are typically filed in foreign jurisdictions before reaching Indian authorities.

In 2021 and 2022, the number of Call Centre scams increased by 137% and 128%, respectively, with victims’ computers displaying pop-up messages claiming to offer technical support.

Because of these cases, India, the world’s fifth-largest economy, could be viewed as a net exporter of call centres and internet scams, which would be a serious problem.

Various call centre scams are being reported these days and citizens too are becoming more aware of them. Here is an instance where call centre scams have been questioned by a YouTube Channel called Scammer Payback.

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