Black market call: who makes international calls


Scammers buy up in Ukraine tens of thousands of SIM cards to use them to buy up international traffic. How much money losing mobile operators?

Ukrainian state centre of radio frequencies (UCRF) for just one week showed 4865 cases of violations of the order routing of international traffic. Almost all of them relate to mobile communication networks. The message published recently the state enterprise on your website.

This figure is pretty solid. Correspondent ЛІГА.net talked with representatives of the UCRF and figured out where does so many violations when making international calls.

See also: Tricky room. As operators earn on other people's calls

It turned out that each violation is a separate mobile number. How to tell the representatives of state enterprises, the fraudsters are buying thousands of SIM cards and use them for speculation with calls from foreign networks on the Ukrainian rooms.

How does the exchange of international traffic

Before, say, a U.S. resident phoned in Ukraine should take place a whole chain of processes. The foreign operator must ensure that connection to the Ukrainian. This is a fairly complex algorithm, since the Telecom networks in the world great variety. With each contract will not sign it. Therefore, there is an easier and popular way is to go through the exchange of international traffic. Such in the world there are about a dozen. In our region, a large exchange - Viopexchange. Operators from different countries put on their wholesale price offers by dialing into the number of his clients, as well as looking for most favorable options to provide international connection for its own calls.


Data: UCRF

Where the fun begins. As a rule, mobile operators in one country the prices for completion of calls from foreign networks are almost identical. The average cost of one minute of incoming international traffic on the network Kyivstar, MTS or lifecell, according to the UCRF, is about 20 cents per minute. Given the fact that operators get from this direction the income in dollars, they really appreciate it. The margins of this segment is very high. For comparison, the rate of completion of calls to other networks within the country is only 23 cents per minute. And the costs for these services are not much different from each other. Except for getting access to information about trades on the exchange, each operator pays a monthly fee in the amount of $250 per month.

On what earn a Scam

But in 2015, the gold market of Ukrainian "Mezhdunarodny" started to melt. According to information received from one of the carriers, its total volume decreased by 17% to 1.7 billion minutes of incoming from other countries calls to mobile networks. How much is it in money, it is easy to calculate, knowing the value of one minute, approximately $340 million Approximately one fourth of all mobile money operators can earn on calls from foreigners.


Data are published in the collection of the working group of operators nccir

Mobile operators in 2015 for some reason lost a large sum of money, measured in tens of millions of dollars. Of course, there can only be one logical explanation - the economy last year fell, business activity has declined, has become less international.


But there is another important factor - the mobile fraudsters. Every week the specialists of the UCRF detected, about 5000-6000 phone numbers that are used for criminal schemes. They look as follows. The fraudsters registered on the stock exchanges of traffic as operators (or repurchased traffic operators) and serves for the completion of calls to Ukraine not 20 cents per minute, and 15-17 only. Having bought a certain amount of international traffic, they are using special devices (example pictured) are changing the international number of the subscriber in Ukrainian. When receiving a call the caller often surprised in such cases, the fact that he got a call from a relative abroad, and the number on the phone's screen is freaking out.

Ideal conditions

Ukraine is a Paradise for such scams. In the UCRF say that there were occasions when on one figure had tens of thousands of SIM cards generating solid income. Starting packages in any quantity it is very easy to acquire without even having a passport. And responsibility for such violations is minimal. According to article 361 of the Criminal code, the fraud will face a fine in the amount of 10 000 - 17 000 UAH or deprivation of liberty for a term up to three years. But usually such offenders receive up to one year of imprisonment conditionally. In addition, the market conditions are conducive to such activities. Because Ukraine, according to the UCRF and Viopexchange, one of the few remaining countries where official tariffs for ending calls is very high. The speculators have the ability slightly to bring down the price and make good money. UCRF appreciates that passes through them about 10 million minutes of traffic per year.

Much does it cost to complete a call in different countries


Data: UCRF, Voipexchange

According to approximate estimates of specialists of the UCRF, a major Ukrainian operators may receive less due to Scam hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Representatives of mobile companies the exact numbers of damage ЛІГА.net not provided. But the existence of the problem itself is recognized. "The company has implemented and operates a hardware and software system Fraud management system (Hewlett Packard), which we constantly update with new schemes, and even those which can appear", - says the press-Secretary of MTS Ukraine Viktoria Pavlovska. According to her, the operator cooperates on this issue with law enforcement and UCRF. System clock monitoring traffic and work in Kyivstar. "They all identify unusual and suspicious situation," according to the company. In 2015 they helped identify large illegal channel telephone traffic from Moldova.

How to deal?

In the UCRF now considering options of how to complicate the life of the mobile fraudsters. One option is to connect your control equipment to the Ukrainian traffic exchange points. It is through them, according to the state enterprise, runs the lion's share of international traffic in the form of Internet files, which the crooks then converted in conventional telephone traffic with the Ukrainian numbers. But the point of traffic exchange is not very want to see on their site "counters" government agencies. You never know what information they want to analyze. After the point passes a large part of the Ukrainian Internet traffic. Another option is to toughen criminal responsibility for crimes with international calls.