UK NFIB issues warning over mobile phone scams
The UK’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has issued a warning to mobile phone users after being made aware of an ongoing mobile scam involving customers being “cold-called” by individuals impersonating employees of mobile network operators and suppliers.
What is the mobile network scam and what happens?
According to the organisation, the scams include offers of early handset upgrades, or new contracts with significant discounts. The NFIB says that, once scammers have convinced the customers that the deals are genuine, they then ask for online mobile account credentials, home addresses, bank account details, logins, and passwords.
Using these details, the suspects then place orders with genuine companies on the victims’ behalf, before selecting a different handset to the one requested, and sending it to that victim’s home address.
Once the victims have received the handsets, the suspect then explains that it was made in error, instructing them to send the handset to a different address not associated with the company they claim to be calling from. The NFIB says that these addresses are normally residential.
The final stage involves the scammers intercepting the supposedly returned devices before ceasing all contact with the victim, leaving them with no phone and no mobile network contract.
Since January 2020, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has received over 300 reports of this particular scam, reporting losses exceeding £86,000. So what can you do to protect yourself?
How to protect yourself from a mobile network scam
- If the caller asks about mobile upgrades and network contracts, hang up without giving out any personal information if you are unsure as to whether the call is genuine or if you think that the person calling is not from the company they claim to be from.
- Only contact your mobile network provider using a number that you know is correct. But what if you don’t know? There are usually contact details such as this and including a phone number on the operator’s official website.
- If you receive a device or handset that you didn’t order, contact the genuine sender immediately, the details of which will be displayed on the parcel or package the device was shipped in.
- NEVER post a device to an unknown address. Genuine employees of mobile networks would not ask you to do this and would always send a jiffy bag or empty package for you to return the device without any additional charges.
Any incidents can be reported to Action Fraud at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Mobile operators could benefit from the mobile gaming market
While their main focus is directed at the world of smartphones and mobile networks, it seems telecommunications companies can also benefit from the mobile gaming market as well. Worth US$75bn a recent study conducted by Analysys Mason has shown that entering the sector could provide mobile operators with the chance to make B2C and B2B revenues.
The mobile gaming market is the largest subsection of the mobile industry with 73% of 73% of all adults worldwide playing mobile games. In 2020, the market generated its US$75bn revenue, which equates to 51% of the worldwide revenue for digital gaming. As such telecommunications operators are looking for ways to enter the arena and impact the industry’s growth potential.
The role of 5G in the mobile gaming market
According to researchers, the development of 5G plays an important part in the mobile gaming market and in the revenue opportunities it offers to the telecoms industry. Martin Scott, a Principal Analyst at Analysys Mason, explained, “5G will drive spending on mobile gaming from US$$75bn in 2020 to US$138bn in 2025 when 30% of the smartphones worldwide will be 5G-enabled. 5G will strengthen the growth of mobile gaming services, giving gamers access to higher-value content”.
5G also plans to enable the next generation of cloud-based gaming services due to its availability to new customers, facilitating new gaming experiences such as mixed reality. Analysys Mason predicts that, due to its vital role in the success of these games, the network will create up to US$12.5bn in revenue in 2025.
“Operators should use the growth of 5G-enabled gaming to target the B2B opportunity and to build a mobile edge computing (MEC) proposition, which they can do in partnership with other operators and/or public cloud providers”, said Scott.
“As next-generation gaming ecosystems mature, operators should use their MEC, end-to-end network management capabilities to monetise the gaming service providers’ demand for QoS assurance, strengthening the go-to-market partner role”.
Operators could also partner with gaming service providers to create new devices, XR content, and new infrastructure. The possibilities and opportunities presented by the mobile gaming industry are definitely something telecommunications operators should consider.