If you were to ask anybody about credit card fraud, they will probably have a story about themselves or a friend having had their card cloned.  It is a well-known and highly frustrating form of fraud.

But have you heard of Telecom Fraud? Last year, £1.5bn was lost by British businesses as a result of a crime, also known as Phreaking, which is committed by criminals almost impossible to catch, for which nobody will take responsibility and which apparently directly funds terrorist activity worldwide. That is four times the amount lost to business through credit card fraud.

The key difference between the 2 types of Fraud is that with telecom fraud, it is the customer who is responsible for the call costs generated by the fraudsters.

Telecom Fraud is known to be rife over extended holiday periods such as Bank Holidays and Christmas.  These are generally the periods where businesses close the office and may not notice that their phones are busy making lots of calls until they return after the holiday, or even worse, until they see their next bill, and by then the costs can rack up into the £000's.

With Christmas nearing, we are urging everyone to contact their telephone maintainers to discuss this subject.  At the very least they should have all admin passwords changed to "non-standard" passwords and lock down remote access to only trusted sources. FCS has also supplied us with this handy checklist. Although, with modern technology, if a Fraudster really wants to hack your system, they can, no matter what reasonable steps you put in place.

At 2 Circles, we actively monitor our clients' call spend with the networks and alert on any spikes in usage, aiming to stop the fraud as soon as it starts. However, this is only a reactive measure.  

We have therefore just introduced a new service called Voice Safe. This is an optional service for our Voice customers which enables us to pro-actively ban suspect numbers,  monitor calls, and if the worst happens and the Fraudsters still get through, we issue a bill credit for our customers of up to £10,000.

For more information on how you can help protect your telephone system from Fraud, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your Account Manager on 03456 200200.