12 Common types of Mobile fraud

However, there’s a significant awareness gap between mobile fraud users and security. And online retailers must be proactive in protecting their clients.

 Consumers can also play a more active role in protecting against mobile fraud caused by device theft. Or even automated attacks performed by malware, bots, and emulators. By unpacking the most common types of mobile fraud one by one. We will go over the way to increase awareness and review protection options.

Account takeover mobile fraud

89 percent of digital fraud losses are due to account takeover. Where a fraudster gains access to a client’s account. There are many ways for account takeovers to happen. Including data breaches revealing client logins, weak authentication systems, and mobile device theft.

Consumers can protect against account takeover attacks by using strong and unique passwords for each of their accounts. Two factors and multi-factor login also create hurdles for fraudsters, reducing the risk of account takeovers



One of the main areas of concern for financial business is porting. Which happens when a criminal takes a client’s phone number and ties it to their own device.

Fraudsters then access accounts by requesting a new password from an organization. Instead of the legitimate client receiving a call or text with a short term password. The info goes directly to the fraudster’s phone.



Recently, T-Mobile disclosed a breach where hackers stole the own info of roughly 2 million clients. While the data did not include financial data. It may have exposed clients’ names, addresses, birthdates, and account numbers. T-Mobile is not the only carrier to be vulnerable to attacks.

These vulnerabilities are especially dangerous since they give fraudsters total access to client’ accounts. Fraudsters can steal client info, take over mobile accounts.

While breachers are hard to protect against, many carriers support port validation. Which creates a 2nd password for clients wishing to move phone numbers to a different phone or account. This can prevent SIM swapping attacks resulting from a breach.

Mobile Fraud

ANI spoofing Mobile Fraud

Similar to email phishing scams, ANI spoofing seeks to trick clients and call centers into divulging account information. This type of attack happens when fraudsters conceal their Caller ID information.

Fraudsters are capable to collect account information from call centers and sell it on the Dark Web. Or use it to access accounts, products, or services on their own.

Mobile Fraud


Customer service centers usually have a number of checks in place to identify clients. This might include providing personal info such as date of birth, driver’s license number, or social security number.

Banks call centers are a key target for fraudsters, who will call a bank’s client service line hundreds of times a day in an attempt to guess a victim’s ATM PIN.

Much of the responsibility for fighting fraud falls on call centers, but clients can still protect them by setting a PIN or password for client service requests.

Mobile Fraud


One of the most common fraud methods is that can create substantial damage. Fraudsters open a mobile phone subscription under a victim’s name and use it to not only transfer the victim’s phone number but also to sign up for services under the victim’s name.

Client Reports recommends consumers place a credit freeze with agencies that provide credit information for mobile accounts, such as the National Consumer Telecommunications and Utilities Exchange.

Mobile Fraud

Stolen Devices 

With a trove of useful data including visited websites, logins, and authentication tokens, by stolen devices, fraudsters can rapidly gain access to mobile banking and other sites and apps that the victim is still logged into. 34 percent of fraud originates from trusted accounts on known devices, indicating stolen devices are a common method for fraudulent activities.

Mobile malware is also gaining momentum as a way for fraudsters to take control of devices without needing physical access. Fraudsters use automated bots to infect mobile devices, find and steal user logins, and launch automated fraud attacks without the user’s knowledge.

Users can prevent this type of attack by using a lock screen with a strong PIN, password, gesture, or pattern. If possible, users should also encrypt their devices to block fraudsters from accessing stored data.

Mobile Fraud

Phishing scam

A key communication channel for banks, email is a popular avenue for scammers. Phishing attempts are usually carried out by fraudsters sending an email to a bank’s customers, appearing to be coming from the bank, but in effect created by the fraudster and not really delivered from the bank’s email domain.

Each successful attack cost businesses an average of $1.6 million and affected nearly 3 in 4 businesses in 2017. Clients can detect phishing attempts by verifying the account that the email originated from, as well as verifying the URL to make sure it links to the bank’s official website.

Mobile Fraud

Friendly mobile fraud

Also referred to as chargeback mobile fraud, and takes place when a consumer makes a purchase and then requests a chargeback from their Credit Card Company or bank after receiving the product.

The question is: how can banks tell which chargebacks are legitimate? 82 percent of organizations are actively disputing chargebacks today, and friendly fraud accounts for 28 percent of those.

When returning a purchase, consumers should always try to work with the merchant before issuing a chargeback.

Mobile Fraud

Mobile SM

These messages let content providers charge for the content sent to consumers’ phones. However, fraudsters are using premium SMS to sign up users without their consent and charge them for messages.

Many mobile SMS applications let users explicitly disable premium SMS. For instance, Samsung devices provide a global option for toggling premium SMS messages.

Mobile Fraud

Credit card mobile fraud

 Popular among fraudsters as this fraud method is difficult to trace and is not refundable. In this type of attack, fraudsters will call a victim and offer a discount or upgrade on the victim’s service in exchange for a prepaid gift card.

Consumers can avoid this by ignoring customer service calls that they didn’t originate, especially those offering discounts in exchange for information.


New technology related to cell signal boosting and wireless networks are making it possible for hackers to clone a device without ever having to come in contact with it.

While mobile fraud techniques keep advancing, enhanced affirmation and mobile fraud prevention techniques are critical in order to enable you to stay ahead of fraud while also improving the overall user experience.

See also Internet fraud problem

How to Implement an Online Fraud Protection Strategy

How to Avoid Online Email Scams

Top rules to avoid internet fraud

15 Types of internet scam

How to Protect Yourself From Online Identity Theft


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