UK and Spain the main European hotspots for mobile roaming fraud, claims new report

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The UK and Spain are the two countries in Europe most affected by international mobile roaming fraud, according to new research by vendor Syniverse.

The report found the UK was the second most common origin point for SIM cards involved in mobile roaming fraud, behind Brazil. In total, just under 15 percent of fraud cases involved SIM cards that come from the UK.

Spain sat in sixth place among mobile fraud origin points. Syniverse found 56 percent of fraud in that country is perpetrated by SIM cards from the United Kingdom.

Mobile roaming fraud involves SIM cards of legitimate customers being cloned and sold on so that the users can fraudulently make calls from the customer’s account.

The United States and Spain were the countries where the most fraudulent calls originated from, while Cuba and Tunisia were the most common destinations for fraudulent calls.

Kyle Dorcas, Vice President, Policy and Risk Management, Syniverse, said: "Analysing first-hand data is invaluable in the fight against mobile fraud. Experiences with fraud attacks are not often shared between operators, which can limit knowledge and make the challenge of combating fraud much more difficult.”

In September last year, Vodafone UK rolled out new technology to help combat fraudulent, nuisance and spam calls. The operator said it had blocked almost half a million scam calls over the course of a single day, although Vodafone declined to say what technology it used.

The report used figures from Syniverse’s fraud protection database, which collects data originating from over 180 countries.