Roaming fraud is a special case where a victim’s handset is used to make exactly these expensive calls. Usually the victim is travelling, and a criminal steals the victim’s mobile phone. This phone is then excessively used until it is suspended/blocked out. In the early days of roaming, the home network had practically no chance of viewing the kinds of traffic its subscribers generated while roaming in a visited network. Back then, roaming CDRs took days, weeks, sometimes even months to arrive at the home network. It was only then that the home network had visibility. Fortunately, those days are gone. In those days of no or low roamer visibility, one of the first attempts to fight fraud was sending out “fraud reports” by the visited networks to the home network, pointing out excessive usage. Back then, calculations took a very long time, and it gave criminals many hours of time for fraudulent activities.
The GSMA Fraud Forum (now Fraud and Security Group) recognized this problem. When the NRTRDE (Near Real Time Roaming Data Exchange) format was developed and standardised, our CTO Hendrik Hoehndorf contributed substantially by leading the GSMA FSS working group which was tasked to define the new standard. This significantly shortened the time for the home network to analyze call data quickly. However, criminals still commit roaming fraud with tampered SIM cards to a large extent and use the minimum time span of 3-4 hours for call records to get back. Luckily, compared to 20 years ago, fraud managers today have practically 100% visibility of roaming traffic as they can feed their FMS with data all available in the home network. Data feeds and call records from the visited network are no longer necessary.
The factor of time and correct up-to date data is crucial
The list of security breaches and fraud incidents in the telecom industry includes a wide range, fraudsters relentlessly test firewalls for cracks and weaknesses. It becomes clear how crucial the factor of time and correct up-to date data is. Verifying numbers has never been more important, both for subscribers and MNOs. In our unique position, as custodians of data for hundreds of networks, we can help any operator at any stage of building defences – we provide the most up-to-date and correct configurations for various network elements to block any unwanted or unauthorized traffic.
Since we are experienced in developing the InfoCentre RAEX Tools application on behalf of the GSMA, our tools are fully compliant and can be most easily implemented. Talk to us, we will listen to you.