Scammers have stolen large amounts of personal and financial information from thousands of Canadians via fraudulent phone calls offering lower interest rates on credit cards, an investigation by CBC’s Marketplace has found.
The fraudsters request a service charge between $500 and $5000 dollars to reduce the victim’s interest rate. The victim is required to supply their name, date of birth and address, as well as their credit card number, expiration date and CVV number.
Marketplace obtained a leaked list of records from an illegal call center in Pakistan, which “contained a wealth of sensitive personal information, including credit card numbers, social insurance numbers, addresses, maiden names, employer names, and annual incomes.” The information of nearly 3,000 Canadians was discovered in these records.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) states that Canadians reported losing nearly $20 million to identity fraud last year, but the agency believes the actual number is much higher. Marketplace notes that only 300 people reported such scams to CAFC in 2017, while the leaked records from just one call center contained the information of nearly ten times that number of victims.
The information stolen in these scams is essential to committing a host of other types of fraud, according to Muhammed Yousfi, a former call-center operator who now works in fraud prevention.
Emily Wilson, vice-president of research for Terbium Labs, says that once someone’s information is compromised, it will be available for use in future attacks for decades. New-school security awareness training can help your employees avoid having their information stolen by teaching them to be cautious about who they trust.