Phone Fraud Still a Problem For US Businesses

What has happened to fraud in the telecom industry? Do you think it is still a problem? Do you, as a business owner be concerned? Phone fraud is a problem for all businesses, regardless of the advancements in security technology. The mere thought of the possibility of thousands of dollars in the loss of a company because of fraud on the phone is a daunting thought. However, phone fraud is still a threat that has the potential to make your business unfit for business and that is an extremely scary prospect. Even with the advent of VOIP technology, thieves have continued to figure out ways to hack even most complex systems, and businesses like yours and mine can still suffer as a result.

Three major types of phone fraud should worry the majority of individuals. The article below will address them all. Nuisance fraud (cramming and slamming) and the proprietary phone system (PBX and key system) fraud voice mail fraud, and the most recent threat that is VOIP phone system fraud.

Nuisance fraud: Business professionals are likely to be a victim of nuisance fraud at one point or another. Also known as slamming, scrambling, and other types of fraud. The majority of the time, nuisance fraud will not be a major factor in a company's success in the event that it happens however it can eat away at profits if it is not checked on the phone bill.

check this is when a third-party provider charges for services or fees that the client hasn't approved. They cannot be requested or requested by your company. They could be for services like bogus voicemail service charges, operator-assisted call as well as calling program programs monthly charges including credit check services and monthly service charges. Additionally, fake white pages and yellow pages advertising may also appear on your business phone bills or be billed to you directly.

Cramming is the act of the addition of charges to a subscriber's phone bill for services that weren't requested or ordered by the client , or charges for services or calls which were not made clear to the consumer. These charges are often assessed by dishonest third-party suppliers of communications and data services which phone companies are required, under law, to permit the third-party to add to the bill.

Have you ever looked over your local phone bill and found strange charges from "other service providers that you don't recognize?" You're probably victimized. Large businesses may have hidden charges on their bills which are difficult to identify. They may continue to run for years without anyone being conscious.

How can you stop the cramming process and receive refunds? The first step is to contact your local phone service provider and ask for them to cancel the charges to the party who was responsible for the cramming. Most cases will be retracted. To file a formal complaint against them, contact the FCC, the FTC or the state attorney general. But first, inform the crammer that you'd like to offer them the chance to refund the money you paid.

Slamming can occur when there is an unauthorized switch or change in a carrier providing local and local tolls or long distance services. It is a frustrating experience because fraudulent telephone companies are able to change or "pic" your long distance service on their plans, typically at a significantly higher rate than the one you had chosen or preferred carrier had provided. You still have to switch all of your lines to the correct long distance service provider and receive an amount back. How can call phone number avoid this? Contact your service provider to set up an "pic freezeā€ on your phone lines. Insist on a corporate password for access on your every local, cellular, and long distance telephone accounts. limit access to those accounts to two people in the company.

Frauds within the phone system as well as voice mail types of frauds are still an issue for many businesses. They'll continue to be a problem as long as there is PBX and Key-type phone systems. Long distance calls can be costly and hackers have easy access. call cell phone of this type of fraud is much simpler than fixing it after it has been discovered. Let's admit it, as with most criminals hackers are lazy and they'll leave your company in peace and head to a different location provided that your system is protected by adequate security measures in place. Make sure that the master default passwords that are provided by your phone's manufacturer have been changed to your current address. Hackers know these passwords and can easily attack your system if can get access. Actually, many of these master passwords (i.e. : Avaya, Siemens, Nortel, Mitel, Cisco) are posted on the internet, available to anyone. You can change your password by calling the company that services your telephone system.

Make sure your remote access to you phone systems are secured. This is usually accomplished through the use of security encryption technology for remote access to your system. Then, ensure that your employees aren't using simple passwords such as "1111" to access their voicemail accounts. They can easily be hacked. You can also set your voicemail system so that it will prompt employees to change their passwords every 90 days. Be sure to remove all voicemails that were not used by employees when they quit the company. Why? The hacker takes control of the voicemail box and records "yes" The hacker then assigns an outside party in charge and instructs an outside agent to dial the number for your deceased employee's old mailbox. The operator says, do you agree to pay third party fees for Mr. Jones' call and the voice mail box answers, "yes" as programmed.

Another significant threat facing companies today is the problem of weak connections in the personnel, particularly receptionists at companies. It is often referred to as "social engineering fraud." cell phone and your receptionist should be on guard for calls that is received in which the caller may identify themselves as someone working for the company that is conducting tests on lines. They could say, "I'm with the phone company and I'm running tests of your telephone systems, I'd like to transfer you to a particular extension." To forward a caller's number to a certain number, you first dial 9 for access to the outside line. "Dialing the number 0" will connect you to the operator, who is able to make calls anywhere in the world. The calls are later being billed to your business. Hackers may also employ different techniques, for instance, finding the board members of large companies and then impersonating them when they make calls to the company. Because board members rarely communicate with receptionists as frequently as employees, it's possible that the receptionist will not be able to recognize their voice. However, because of a board member's prestige, influence or status within the organization, receptionists are fully aware of their authority, and the person calling them can gain unlimited transfer power to carry out his crime. Most often the perpetrator isn't identified until the bill is due. This scheme should be made known to both receptionists and employees. Numerous companies raked in thousands of dollars through international calls due to this crime.

If your company has a toll-free inbound number beware! Hackers could call the toll-free number and make use of codes and features to call abroad and also to charge fees for paid calling services.


It is also recommended to limit call forwarding and conference features on the phone system of your business. This will stop hackers from using your phone to forward calls for your. To ensure your phone system's security, talk to your provider of phone systems to perform a vulnerability assessment. The majority of major phone equipment makers, such as Siemens, Nortel, Nortel, and Mitel are armed with security bulletins that will aid in keeping your phone system safe.

VoIP fraud: The third and final concern regarding telecom voice fraud to be addressed is the latest threat to businesses and that is fraud via VOIP. Although fraud using voice over IP is not yet fully established, it is becoming more frequent. As stated in the earlier part regarding phone system fraud, one of the most effective ways to prevent this kind of fraud is to change the passwords for your system in your VoIP phone system.

There is starting to be more attention paid to recent attacks on VOIP systems, however actual instances of fraud that have been documented are just beginning to emerge as a problem. Two men were arrested in 2007 after they routed calls through an unprotected network ports at different companies to transfer them to providers. The two men routed half a billion calls to a VoIP service over three weeks. Federal investigators believe the two made as much as $1m from the fraud. But, actual instances of VOIP fraud on these systems are still somewhat uncommon, but there is plenty of potential for harm since weaknesses and flaws in security become common and are more easily exploitable by skilled hackers.

VoIP hackers are able to use system passwords to gain access to company VOIP voice systems and have and can potentially steal millions of minutes of long distance. How? How? They create and implement customized software code to decipher access codes, and gain access to exposed ports for data and computers and data gateways. Hackers could effortlessly utilize default passwords or badly selected passwords.

They can be thwarted and you should keep current with the most current technologies for security and fraud prevention advice. Contact the VOIP equipment suppliers to get specific details on how best to protect your system. If you have a large VOIP system, it may make sense for you to engage a professional to conduct a security audit on your system. IP business users and IT managers must make use of the most advanced encryption methods for their network access as well as train and monitor their employees on effective safeguarding of company data as well as IP system data.

A thorough audit of telecommunications is the best way to find out whether there is any fraud on the telecoms in an organization.



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