Phishing scams come home via automated phone

I got a robotic call (literally - it sounded like the 1990 version of Creative Labs text-to-speech program) today, and the computer generated voice told my answering machine my flagstar bank account would be terminated if I didn’t log onto their site by the end of the day. Of course the weird threatning voice and the fact I have never dealt with Flagstar bank tipped me off it was a scam. Later in the day I see I’m not the only one that was contacted. It appears to be a more direct way phishers are reaching out.

My question to all you smart people. How long should it take the Feds before they can track down where the calls are originating from, and who runs the website? Should I contact the FBI if it’s already been reported by a lot of people?

Is it kind of scary these scammers are now bold enough to try calling masses of people at home? What’s next? Door-to-door campaigns asking people to log into their website?

The telephone companies can tell the FBI exactly where those calls originated form if the FBI is interested. There are a few ways to make it harder to trace but I doubt the average phisher is going to know them. However, if it’s a big planned scam there’s nothing to keep them from renting a place and getting a phone line or five under an assumed name and simply being long gone when the feds arrive.

Autodialer fraud is not a new phenomenon, and there’s nothing to suggest that the scammers have become any bolder than usual with this Flagstar scam.

I am disturbed that Dr. Sbaitso has been co-opted by sinister forces, though.

Dr. Sbaitso was the first man to say he loved me.

And perhaps he was the only one to have meant it… woe

Only after you told him to tell you he loved you =\

The others too. woe

What? The old Phreaking techniques don’t work anymore?

Sorry, intelligent networks killed all of that. It used to be that telephone switches were dumb contrivances that simply connected you to whatever circuits you wanted to talk to (as identified by phone numbers). Nowadays that same function is governed by computers and computers are very good at remembering what they have done and when they did it.

Any cellphone network that charges by time must be able to account for every second of call time. Who the call was from, where it was to, how long it lasted, and a heck of a lot more besides. This is required because it is the foundation of billing for said services and is thus precious financial information. Long distance calls and toll free number calls on landline networks have the same constraints, it’s billing information and is thus carefully kept. Pure local-to-local landline calls might not be monitored as closely nor records kept as religiously but considering how cheap computer storage is nowadays and how valuable the data can be I would be amazed if most telcos didn’t have at least 90 days of records for the local stuff.