Tuesday, June 22, 2010


The FBI Newark Division has announced a warning to consumers concerning a new scheme using telecommunications denial-of-service (TDoS) attacks.

The FBI pointed out that fraudsters compromised victim accounts and contacted financial institutions to change the victim profile information such as e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, and bank account numbers.

Describing the process, FBI noted that 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 sex menu. Calls were typically short in duration but so numerous that victims changed their phone numbers to terminate the attack.

According to FBI, the 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.

FBI noted that protection from TDoS attacks and other types of fraud requires consumers to be vigilant and proactive.

Guiding consumers, the Newark’s Public Service Announcement (PSA) noted that consumers should implement security measures for all financial accounts by placing fraud alerts with the major credit bureaus if they believe they were targeted by a TDoS attack or other forms of fraud.

Others includes using strong passwords for all financial accounts and changing them regularly while obtaining and reviewing their annual credit report for fraudulent activities.

FBI also noted that if anyone is a target of a TDoS attack, he/she should immediately contact their financial institutions, notifying their telephone provider, and promptly report it to the IC3 website at www.ic3.gov.

The IC3 complaint database links complaints to assist in referrals to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration. The complaint information is also used to identity emerging trends and patterns.