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It is notable that call center fraud is not consistent across all verticals.

One would expect that a prime target for attacks would be card issuers' call centers, but according to Pindrop, these have actually experienced a 4% drop in fraud between 2015 and 2016. Others have been less fortunate — banks (in their non-card-issuing lines of business) have seen a 62% rise in call center fraud and retailers a staggering 104% increase in call center fraud between 2015 and 2016.

Fraud techniques are also shifting. According to Pindrop, in 2014, only 21% of fraud calls were made over mobile. Today, it’s 43%. This rise is likely due to the emergence of cheap “burner” phones, which many fraudsters assume to be untraceable. Additionally, spoofing can be done with much more ease. For example, fraudsters have the ability to spoof caller ID and use applications such as Skype or Google Voice to hide their identity and location.

“Hackers and fraudsters are becoming more devious, deceptive and simply smarter, manipulating call center agents and customer service representatives (CSRs) to steal and share customer payment card data and other sensitive information," says Tim Critchley, Semafone's CEO. “This could involve bribery, coercion, a fraudulent phone call or even a phishing email containing malware that an agent opens, thinking it’s a note from a customer or manager.”


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