On March 4, the branch office of MTS North-West held a press conference on mobile fraud. Branch Director Ivan Zolochevskyi spoke about the traditional ways of cheating on the mobile phone and on how to confront this harmful trend.
Known methods of fraud
According to telecom operators, mobile fraud is today one of the major challenges of the market. At the beginning of the debate, the press conference the most popular means of deception were named .
For example, one of the known attempts to obtain money fraudulently is a message asking you to urgently fill the specified account with the specified sum of money. As pointed out by Mr. Zolochevskyi, the sender may pretend to be subscriber's acquantance, or a person who accidentally replenished the account of other person instead of their own, as well as to report on behalf of the operator about the prize, which can be received by filling up the account. In this case the telephone number of the sender remains not known, but when you try to call it turns out that the billing of the call was extended several times.
Also widespread calls from cheats who pass themselves for the police. They tell fictional stories about subscriber's relatives who are allegedly threatened with criminal responsibility for an offense. So the "policeman" offers to drop the charges in exchange for the desired amount of money.
Subscriber's trust costs more than easy money
Representatives of the mobile telecommunications industry were showered by numerous questions about how and why such fraud occurs. However, they assured that they themselves have the least interest to deceive their customers. The process of fraud is explained through the fact that it occurs by means of the content services, which quickly became available, opening the possibility of more informed people to make money in a fraudulent manner.
"However, not all the content is completely a lie. There are a large number of functional services, such as GPS-navigation (for example, to monitor the child), mobile mail, or checking the status of bank accounts", - says Ivan Zolochevskiy.
Meanwhile, the mobile operators actually recieve part of the fraudulent money - because the operator bears the costs associated with the transfer of content. However, as explained later by press conference participants, this amount is equal to the charging of services to other subscribers. "For example, we have 10 contracts with content providers that we provide resources, - says Ivan Zolocheivskyi. - From them we demand respect for the law, reporting and control over their advertising, but we give them the freedom of action - just as the callers, to whom we give the number and ask them what he would do with it".
This statement raised a number of issues relating to sanctions imposed against unscrupulous providers. Branch Director of MTS in St. Petersburg said citing the example of the company: in the case of fraud on the part of content providers, they should pay the fines. Significant amounts deducted for each case of justified complaints received from subscribers, at the same time, illegally obtained funds shall be returned to subscribers. Although, like any other, mobile fraud has another side: operators say that sometimes subscribers are pretending to be a victim of fraud.
Lessons of mobile literacy
Representatives of mobile operators believe that the mobile fraud patterns are based on ignorance, therefore, they advised to be vigilant. Thus, an important rule called by Ivan Zolochivskyi is accuracy in handling their own personal data. "If you leave your phone number in any retail chain for the discount card, chances that you will face some spam later on are high. They will routinely include the numbers in its mailing list, then any employee of the retail chain sells this base to some spammer-senders. This is absolutely standard scenario".
Guests of the debates agreed that the surest way to protect yourself in such a case - ask for a receipt on the non-disclosure of personal data. In addition, the owners of direct dial facilities may instead of the federal numbers indicate it in the format: +7 (812), etc. In this format SMS are simply technically not possible. List of advice was supplemented with the recommendation to have phone number of technical support operator around and the immediate presentation of a valid claim for fraud that has already happened.
Still, Ivan Zolochevskyi noted that this issue is infinite. Fraud may be mobile, but may have other forms. "If a man wants to be deceived - just find someone who will deceive him. Although the position of the operator is always connected to ensure the best protection of the subscriber or, if possible - to return the money".
by Elena Kravets