(online newspaper): Right now, messages and phone calls are pouring in with the goal of deceiving you.
Many people have realistically received calls from “PayPal” asking if it is true that you have approved a purchase of several hundred euros.
There are text messages about packages that do not have complete delivery information. Are the police actually trying to contact you?
There are requests for simple part-time jobs – and camouflaged attempts to communicate simply.
In addition, fake messages from “known” SMS senders have started appearing, especially the numbers you receive SMS codes from.
– I get calls twice a week from Norwegian numbers that are just scams. A colleague recently told me that he was receiving texts and WhatsApp messages that were apparently scam/spam.
Most people agreed with that.
Previously, fraud and spam usually came via email, but now both Telenor and Delia confirm that fraudsters are more active in slightly more personal channels.
– Street lights turned into pure disco!
– The language is great and the methods are very strange
Delia informs Netavison that scammers have become more professional – the language is better and the methods are more clever. They suspect — with good reason — that some fraud today goes under the radar.
Fraud attempts have become more targeted, they say.
– We saw a three-fold increase in fraud calls at the end of the year, and this can be seen in connection with shopping holidays such as Black Week and Christmas shopping, says Øivind Kristiansen, fraud expert at Delia Norge.
The company says it stopped 18 million fraudulent attempts targeting Norwegian customers in the last three months of last year.
The same goes for SMS – especially where artificial intelligence plays a role.
– When it comes to the sophistication of attacks, traffic and the actors involved have become more numerous and/or more professional. AI/AI-like tools also come into play here when it comes to Norwegian text. Language is significantly better than it was in the past, and expression is much more difficult. We have an idea that these are organized criminal environments that share information and organizational practices among themselves and develop various new attack strategies. The actors here can be both Norwegian and foreign, says communications manager Ellen C. Sheen tells Netavisen.
And precisely artificial intelligence seems to be the big trend of the year.
– If we have to look into the crystal ball, we believe that there is an increasing number of social manipulation and fraud cases where multiple types of services are used in a single fraud attack to defraud Norwegian consumers, i.e. people are contacted both by SMS, calls and e-mails.
– Attempts at “account takeover” will also increase, Christiansen predicts.
Account takeover involves hacking into a user account so that unknown persons can access sensitive information and make changes to the services you subscribe to. At worst, they can take your mobile number and control it, he believes.
– 2024 could also be the year when artificial intelligence-assisted deep spoofing, or spoofing voices and images of others, is used on a massive scale against Norwegian mobile customers. In other words, says Christiansen, there's every reason to be vigilant in the new year.
Large-scale fraud attempts
In a nationwide survey conducted for Telenor's Security Pulse, Telenor says nearly 90 percent of respondents said they received a fraud report in the last quarter of 2023.
However, not everything comes. The telco suspended 11.2 million calls and 4.5 million text messages. In total, they stopped 293 different online security threats.
– Statistics show how important it is to take your own digital security seriously. If you are online, you will be exposed. The perpetrators of this type of cybercrime are well-organized criminal networks that have the skills and resources to carry out sophisticated attacks on a large scale. Without the necessary expertise and technology, it is difficult to protect yourself, says Birgitte Engebretsen, CEO of Telenor Norway.
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