iBASIS Joins Global Nonprofit Consortium to Defeat “One Ring” Wangiri Fraud

9 June 2020 The Risk & Assurance Group (RAG) welcomes iBASIS, the leading communications solutions provider, to the RAG Wangiri Consortium, a global initiative that uses blockchain technology to share intelligence about “one ring” wangiri fraud. iBASIS will join over 50 other telecommunications providers to exchange information about wangiri fraud, improving the efficiency of processes designed to identify calls from scammers who intend to trick victims into calling expensive destinations. The consortium only entered into operation in February 2020 but is already protecting 904 million phone subscribers worldwide. iBASIS will share their considerable insight into the passage of attempted wangiri calls with other telecommunications service providers.

“Though few phone users will recognize their name, billions of people rely on iBASIS to connect their international calls. That is why it is such a boost to have iBASIS sharing their insights into wangiri fraud. By connecting to the RAG Wangiri Blockchain, iBASIS will greatly assist other telcos to anticipate frauds before customers are hurt” says Eric Priezkalns, Chief Executive of RAG. “Pooling data from their extensive worldwide network will reduce many of the gaps when visualizing where the fraudsters are working and determining how to remove them from the global telecoms ecosystem. By joining our anti-wangiri consortium, iBASIS has shown they are not just large, but also forward-thinking with a sincere desire to tackle fraud.”

“None of us wants to live in a world where people are afraid to make phone calls because they are so worried about being scammed. The RAG Wangiri Consortium is leading this strong initiative to fight wangiri fraud by gathering all players in the industry, telcos, regulators and governments. We are sharing the same vision of creating value for our partners and customers in a trusted environment through strong collaboration and the adoption of best practices worldwide, as fraudsters do not acknowledge borders. iBASIS is strongly committed to leveraging its expertise and world class technology Fraud Alert system for real-time monitoring and protection to progressively reduce and eliminate fraud,” says Malick Aissi, VP Business Assurance and Risk Management at iBASIS.

In recent years, regulatory bodies have warned about a surge in ‘one-ring’ frauds, also known as wangiri, the Japanese word for ‘one (ring) and cut’. Scammers place calls from mysterious numbers that end as soon as they begin ringing, luring victims into dialing the number back. This generates a profit for the fraudsters as they take a cut of the cost for connecting these expensive calls. A new US law, the TRACED Act, requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to identify ways to tackle wangiri, and other governments have placed increasing emphasis on the need to protect phone users from this fraud.

Each member of the RAG Wangiri Consortium supplies anti-fraud data to a blockchain-powered repository, allowing them to send updates to this common intelligence resource and warn fellow telcos with unprecedented speed. The technology for the consortium was developed by Orillon Blockchain and is supported by some of the world’s leading vendors of telecoms anti-fraud systems, who are working to integrate the blockchain with the products they already supply to telcos.

About iBasis

iBASIS is the leading communications solutions provider enabling operators and digital players worldwide to perform and transform. Powered by Tofane Global to be the first independent communications specialist, iBASIS is the third largest global wholesale voice operator and Top 3 LTE IPX vendor with 700+ LTE destinations. iBASIS serves 1,000+ customers across 18 offices worldwide.

After its acquisition of the Altice Europe, N.V. international voice carrier business in France, Portugal, and the Dominican Republic in 2018 and iBASIS in 2019, Tofane continues to accelerate its consolidation strategy with its latest agreement to acquire NOS International Carrier Services in Portugal*, boosting its scale in voice, mobile and SMS services worldwide.

*Pending regulatory approval

About the Risk & Assurance Group

The Risk & Assurance Group (RAG) is dedicated to improving the practice of risk management, business assurance, fraud management and security within the providers of electronic communications services. RAG is a not-for-profit corporation run by experts in the field of risk and assurance within telcos. Its goal is to facilitate the education and networking of professionals in order to improve standards of performance, reduce waste, and better serve customers. Practitioners may attend our events and access our online services free of charge; financial support is provided by specialist vendors with an interest in highlighting the importance of the work done in this field, and in expanding its remit.