International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF) – A threat operators cannot ignore.

In the most recent CFCA fraud loss survey, International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF) has yet again emerged as the top 5 fraud loss type globally. However, compared to the results in 2011, IRSF fraud has occupied the top spot and is also the top fraud threat emerging globally, suggesting that the threat of IRSF is real and cannot be ignored.

Fraud Losses CFCA2013Source: CFCA Global Fraud Loss Survey 2013.

While the total communications fraud loss is estimated to be $46.3 billion annually – a 15% increase from 2011, IRSF fraud loss is estimated to be $1.8 billion.

So what should operators do to combat IRSF fraud? Bolstering the Fraud Management System with additional rules is perhaps the strategy that most operators would consider. But with what remains the question? Additional rules, thresholds and disallowing calls to and from high risk destinations may not help because there are over 220 countries from which IRSF can originate.

In most IRSF incidents, fraudsters will first call an IPR Test Number to confirm that the destination country and number range can be reached from their calling location and from the device they are using to originate the calls. IRSF databases have a collection of publicly advertised Test Numbers, which can be used as a hot list in an opeartor’s existing fraud management system. A hotlist alert from an IRSF number called will initiate an investigation and identify a pending IRSF attack, or provide confirmation that one has started.

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