The FBI released a warning to consumers concerning a new scheme using telecommunications Denial of Service (TDoS) attacks.
The FBI determined fraudsters compromised victim accounts and contacted financial institutions to change the victim profile information (i.e. email addresses, telephone numbers and bank account numbers).
The TDoS attacks used automated dialing programs and multiple accounts to overwhelm victims’ cell phones and land lines with thousands of calls. When victims answered the calls they heard dead air (nothing on the other end), an innocuous recorded message, advertisement, or a telephone menu. Calls were typically short in duration but so numerous that victims changed their phone numbers to terminate the attack.
These TDoS attacks were used as a diversion to prevent financial and brokerage institutions from verifying victim account changes and transactions. Fraudsters were afforded adequate time to transfer funds from victim brokerage and financial online accounts.
Protection from TDoS attacks and other types of fraud requires consumers to be vigilant and proactive. In Newark’s Public Service Announcement (PSA), they recommend consumers protect themselves by:
- Implement security measures for all financial accounts by placing fraud alerts with the major credit bureaus if you believe they were targeted by a TDoS attack or other forms of fraud.
- Use strong passwords for all financial accounts and change them regularly.
- Obtain and review your annual credit report for fraudulent activity.
If you were a target of a TDoS attack, immediately contact your financial institutions and your telephone provider.