Five tips for businesses to prevent telecom toll fraud

Reports of toll fraud are on the rise. In this scheme, fraudsters hack into a company’s phone network and route calls to premium-rate numbers. It is also sometimes called international revenue sharing fraud (IRSF), because fraudsters arrange to take a share of the profits on a premium rate number in exchange for directing traffic to it.

The big question that comes with toll fraud is, who is liable for the damages? Most consumers assume that the service provider, much like credit card providers, will pay for fraudulent telephone charges. However, under current regulations it is actually the consumer who is liable for the charges.

The New York Times reported that toll fraud can have a devastating effect on a small business. This is especially damaging to the relationship between service providers and their SMB customers. In many cases, neither is equipped to pay fraudulent charges from a toll fraud attack.

This is why both the service provider and their customers must be vigilant to avoid such attacks. Service providers should be using telecom fraud prevention software, and their customers should make sure that their on-premises equipment is secure.

Here are five techniques that businesses can use to help prevent toll fraud attacks:

  1. Toll Restriction. Block international numbers and only enable those your staff needs to call.
  2. After-Hours Calls. Restrict outbound calling outside of your normal working hours.
  3. Passwords. Avoid using default or easy to guess passwords. Change user and voicemail passwords often.
  4. Unused Mailboxes. When staff leave, remember to disable their voicemail or change their passwords.
  5. External Forwarding. Restrict call forwarding and call transfer features. Configure your telephone system so that users can forward only to trusted numbers and restrict all others.

However, it is very difficult to achieve 100% lockdown of toll fraud vulnerabilities for the long run. Inevitably, someone will make a mistake and leave an opening for fraudsters. The only certain solution to protect against tool fraud losses is to deploy a fraud prevention solution that can detect and stop telecom fraud in real-time.

TransNexus fraud prevention solutions offer multiple layers of protection. Using historical traffic patterns and detailed fraud scoring, SIP Analytics can detect and block fraud before calls begin.