Wednesday, June 08, 2011

A clever new scam employing an automated phone call and confirmation number

Here's a scam that could explode as malicious hackers leverage social engineering techniques to surreptitiously obtain your approval to perpetrate fraud under your (or your organization's) name. It was discovered in use at restaurants in Michigan, but could easily be applied to any organization.

Here's how the scam works (from Public Intelligence):

"The restaurant receives a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Health Department who provides the restaurant with a five-digit confirmation number. Then, the caller informs the restaurant they will receive an automated call later that day where they will need to enter the five-digit confirmation number in order to schedule an inspection. If the restaurant enters the confirmation number on that subsequent phone call, the fraud is successful and the scammer has been able to open an account not tied to their own personal phone number. The process enables the scammer to satisfy the verification controls of Craigslist, eBay or a similar web-based service, and to advertise and sell merchandise under an account connected to the restaurant."

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