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September 2019

A New Black Swan Solution Guide:
The IPRN Database and its Use in IRSF & Wangiri Fraud Control

Black Swan Solution Guide: The IPRN Database and its Use in IRSF & Wangiri Fraud Control

Dear Colleague:

How does an individual operator, MNO, or MVNO stay up-to-date on global fraud threats like International Revenue Share (IRSF) and Wangiri fraud?

Fraudsters are notorious for breaking the rules to avoid detection.  So without a method to continuously update your industry-wide intelligence on the fraud threat, you’re highly vulnerable to the latest tricks the fraudsters play.

This is precisely why fraud analysts regularly gather intelligence from industry associations, conferences, industry surveys, FMS vendors, and international wholesalers.

Now, over the past four years, a new and innovative solution was created and groomed to provide early warning of impending attacks and other valuable fraud intelligence.  It’s called the International Premium Rate Numbers (IPRN) Database and it’s the subject of a new Black Swan Telecom Solution Guide.
Click the image below to download the 14-page Guide.

Iprn database solution guide cover

Colin Yates, Owner of Yates Fraud Consulting Ltd (New Zealand) and the commentator in this Guide actually pioneered the use of IPRNs in fraud control when he headed up Vodafone’s Group Fraud Management practice.

His team would regularly monitor the websites where IPRN Providers publish the number ranges Fraudsters use to commit IRSF and Wangiri fraud.  After leaving Vodafone, Colin teamed with FRS Labs in India to create PRISM, the first and most widely used IPRN Database on the market today.

Now, over the years Colin has explained what PRISM is about in interviews I held with him and published on Black Swan.

Trouble is, the value of PRISM is not so easy to grasp at first glance because it requires a knowledge of IRSF and Wangiri fraud — and the larger fraud control process.  So I contacted Colin and convinced him that a Guide like this was much needed.  And he agreed.

Here’s a preview of the things you’ll learn:

  • An IPRN Database is not an IRSF Blacklist.  And yet, it’s a bit confusing because one operator inserted IPRN ranges into its Blacklist and achieved a 25% fraud improvement.  Nevertheless, Colin urges caution and explains why this practice could be dangerous to the customer experience and to the business of other operators.
  • Monitoring IPRN test calls as an early warning of an impending IRSF or Wangiri attack is perhaps the most powerful use of the IPRN Database, but that’s not all: I was surprised to learn how PRISM has also become an essential risk planning tool.
  • Learn how PRISM is being used to aid fraud investigations.  Colin explains how he regularly answers requests from Law Enforcement to identify the source of numbers that led to large fraud losses — and very often PRISM would have greatly lowered the fraud loss.
  • A prevailing rule of thumb in IRSF control is to block numbers to “High Risk” Destinations, but that practice must now be seriously questioned since the number of IPRNs that Providers advertise has exploded six-fold in the past 2.5 years.  What’s more, the percentage of IPRNs in High Risk Countries has greatly declined.  Colin explains the huge fraud control ramifications of these trends.
  • Finally, much can be learned by analyzing changes to the IPRN Database, for it mirrors the strategic direction Fraudsters and their IPRN Providers are taking their fraud activity.

Aside from learning the Who, What, When and Where of IPRN Databases, reading this Guide will give you a much greater understanding of the key role a knowledgeable Fraud Analyst plays in this increasingly complex business of combatting the IRSF and Wangiri fraudsters.

Enjoy Reading!

Dan Baker Signature

Dan Baker, Research Director of TRI
Editor, Black Swan Telecom Journal


    The paper is the first in a new series of Black Swan Telecom Solution Guides — deep dive one-vendor-specific papers that focus on one Solution category. 

    These objective papers — written under TRI’s editorial and industry analyst guidance — educate telecom professionals and buyers on a Solution’s important features and benefits.

    The Guide may cover any number of topics from industry trends driving need for the solution... to mini-case studies, best practices, and advice around buying, implementing, and using the Solution.

    Interested in having a Guide prepared for your telecom solution?  Then email me so I can send you a proposal.

Copyright 2019 Black Swan Telecom Journal

Colin Yates

Colin Yates

Colin started his working life in Law Enforcement in New Zealand, then after 18 years moved to a Risk and Fraud Management role in Telecom New Zealand.

After 12 years there, he moved to Vodafone New Zealand and for the next 12 years had roles with Vodafone in New Zealand, Australia, Germany and the UK, leaving Vodafone in 2012 as Group Head of Fraud Management and Investigations, having had responsibilities for managing fraud and investigations right across the Vodafone footprint.

Colin has held Management positions in the GSMA Fraud Forum, CFCA, FIINA and Pacific Partners.

He is currently managing his own firm, Yates Fraud Consulting Limited which consults back to industry operators to review their Fraud and Revenue risk maturity.  He also manages an IPR Test Number database currently in use by some of the world’s largest operator groups.

Colin is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and is also a Fraud Adviser to PITA (Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association).   Contact Colin via

Dan Baker

Dan Baker

Dan Baker is research director of Technology Research Institute (TRI) and editor of the Black Swan Telecom Journal.

Technology Research Institute (TRI) has been writing analyst reports and researching telecom software and systems markets since 1994.

For the last several years, TRI has been following developments in telecom Fraud Management, Revenue Assurance and Analytics solutions.

Most recently, TRI is exploring telecom opportunities in IoT, connectivity, AI/ML and edge computing (4G and 5G) in the Asia Pacific market.   Contact Dan via

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