As most digital businesses have unfortunately come to learn, International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF) is a common and costly side effect to the use of voice calling to connect with customers. At Telesign, we’ve been educating our customers about IRSF for many years as part of our efforts to combat it. It’s a pretty straightforward attack that works like this:
- Fraudsters obtain phone numbers from an International Premium Rate Number (IPRN) Provider because, with these providers, they receive payments on a revenue share basis for every minute of traffic generated to the numbers.
- In order to generate the traffic that will result in revenue, the fraudsters then attack networks (web and mobile applications) with bulk account creation, knowing that voice calling to provided phone numbers is commonly used as part of a new account registration flow.
- The network used to send the voice calls pays a fee per call.
- The fraudsters then receive payment for every minute of traffic generated.
Luckily, with this simple fraud comes a pretty simple solution.
Fighting IRSF With Telesign
Our Voice Verify API is an easy way for businesses to build secure account registration flows through one-time passcode delivery to end-user provided phone numbers. With other voice APIs, this process would leave businesses vulnerable to IRSF. But that’s why Telesign is known for being the communications API provider, founded on security.
To combat IRSF, we have always recommended that our customers implement our fraud risk Intelligence API, Intelligence, into their new user registration flows. With Intelligence, the end-user provided phone number is passed to Telesign for evaluation of fraud risk before any calls are made to the phone number. Intelligence’s evaluation occurs in real-time and helps identify if a user is using the same number to create multiple accounts and if that number has associated data behind it that points to fraud.
Intelligence has been an effective way for our customers to stop IRSF. So effective, in fact, that we decided to make it even easier to add to registration flows that utilize our Voice Verify API. Using our Voice Verify API solution, customers can now address IRSF issues by performing an optional fraud risk Intelligence check before triggering voice transactions, using one single API request. By adding this simple step, you will be able instantly block voice calls linked to potentially IRSF-related premium phone numbers.
Here’s How It Works
- The user registers for an account on your website or mobile app and enters their phone number.
- Telesign performs an Intelligence check (fraud risk assessment – evaluates phone type, velocity, traffic patterns, and association to fraud database) and returns a risk reputation recommendation from 1 to 1,000.
- If the number returns a high risk score, the user is prompted to enter a valid/alternative number or asked to contact the company directly to set up their account. If the number is allowed, Telesign also identifies the country the user resides in and sends an OTP voice message to the number provided in the language appropriate for the user.
- For allowed numbers, the user enters the correct passcode on the login screen.
- The passcode entered is the same code that was sent to the user, so the user is verified.
- The user is then able to complete the account registration process.