Skip to main content
BACK to News & Events
Press Release

With Communications-Related Fraud on the Rise, Analyst Report Examines Identity Theft and Consumer Protection in the US

October 5, 2021

  • What’s the News: A special report from Technology Research Institute entitled, The 2021 State of Communications-Related Fraud, Identity Theft & Consumer Protection in the USA, discusses the multi-layered blanket of security that provides timely—often real-time—protection from new, digital-enabled fraud threats, identity theft and account takeovers.
  • Why it Matters: This comprehensive report highlights the erosion of trust in communications, examining the role of government agencies, businesses and consumers in mitigating fraud threats and leveraging security strategies across the digital ecosystem to restore confidence.
  • Who’s it for: Telecom operators, large enterprises, identity aggregators, service providers and fraud/security professionals.

BRIDGEWATER, N.J.October 5, 2021 – Despite the numerous advantages and benefits that networks and digital devices bring, they inadvertently open up new avenues for fraud. A recent report from Technology Research Institute—The 2021 State of Communications-Related Fraud, Identity Theft and Consumer Protection in the USA—examines the complicated nature of today’s fraud, including:

  • The wider issue of digital society and abundant communications devices, the major fraud-fighting players and the systems across industries protecting consumers in an online world
  • The multi-layered blanket of security that provides timely protection from new, digital-enabled fraud threats, identity theft and account takeovers
  • The key role of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as industry watchdog and competition enabler, the importance of law enforcement in ensuring fraudsters pay a price and the consumer’s role in fraud prevention

“Trust in communication is fundamental to businesses that engage directly with consumers, but it has been steadily eroding as a result of fraud,” says iconectiv’s Chief Product Officer Michael O’Brien. “While the industry has come together to create solutions that can restore trust, there is more to be done if we are to re-establish long-term consumer confidence.”

The report underscores how scam and illegal robocall protection is a relatively new area of telecom fraud control but may be the most vital fraud to control in today’s era of runaway consumer scams.  Various frameworks such as STIR/SHAKEN, caller verification and robocall tracing from leading telephone companies and industry associations are now in place to address this.

“While our focus in this report is communications-related issues, we can’t avoid surveying the larger picture because telecom providers are a vital cog in the wheel of a vast inter-industry ecosystem that guards our digitally connected lives,” says Dan Baker, Research Director of Technology Research Institute (TRI), an independent analyst firm for 25 years. “Indeed, the public is largely unaware of the multi-layered blanket of security that provides timely—often real-time—protection from these threats, which is why this report is written both for fraud/security professionals as well as the consumers and enterprises who the telecom industry is responsible for protecting.”

The report covers 10 major areas, from exploring the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) U.S. fraud statistics to ID protection in the emerging 5G and IoT world. The section titled Fraud-Fighting Basics, for instance, takes a deeper dive into specific telecom fraud issues and solutions, discussing strategies and psychology of the fraud predators, the fraud vulnerability of the hundreds of smaller telecom providers in the U.S. market and the shift from in-person criminal activity to anonymous fraud online. The Digital Guardians section gives an overview of the “Triangle of Digital Trust,” which includes telecom, big tech and financial institutions who together create a firewall of protection that fraudsters must penetrate to do their damage to consumers and enterprises.

Read the full report here.