What is toll fraud?
Toll fraud is a highly organised, illegal type of telephone fraud where business telephone equipment, lines and services are used by hackers to make fraudulent long-distance calls resulting in large call bills.
Over the past few years, toll fraud has seen a huge increase as it is a high-profit low-risk activity. Once the hacker has gained access to your telephony, they set up calls to international destinations which hold illegal tariffs, and these are then sold over the black market. Businesses usually only discover they have been the victim of toll fraud once they receive a large bill.
Who is at risk of toll fraud?
85% of businesses are at risk of being a target of toll fraud as they don’t have the right equipment and protection in place to prevent their business telephony from being compromised. Toll fraud attacks usually take place out of office hours so that they are easily undetected.
How does toll fraud occur?
Hackers can easily gain remote access to your telephone system usually via an open IP or SIP port or voice mailbox and the fraudulent calls that they make using your telephone system are very hard to trace back. The hackers gain as they will dial out thousands of numbers and be paid a commission per call or per call duration.
Your business could be an easy target for toll fraud if you have:
- Weak passwords or pin numbers especially voicemail passwords as it is easy for them to gain access. These should also be changed regularly.
- Unsupported, unencrypted, outdated or unsecured PBX (Private Branch Exchange which is a private telephone network used within a company or business)
- Unsupported, unencrypted, outdated or unsecured PBX host hardware or software
- Not having your system settings properly configured
- Malware or viruses that you are unaware of
- Call forwarding your business phones to unknown numbers
Aside from the cost, what are the other risks of toll fraud?
Some of the risks of toll fraud are:
- The hacker may sell your business phone lines to phone card systems meaning you will be frequently billed for someone else’s calls.
- The hacker also makes calls to premium or international rate numbers meaning you will be paying large sums of money for illegal tariffs that your business hasn’t been using.
- Details of any compromised phone line may be sold on the Dark Web
How do I prevent toll fraud?
However, there are a few methods of how to prevent toll fraud for your company or business such as:
- Strong passwords – use of upper and lowercase characters, special characters and numbers
- Having a firewall installed – which will help to keep your private information safe. A firewall will monitor traffic in both directions meaning your incoming and outgoing data are both safe and provides critical protection to keep your PC safe from unauthorised access
- Implementing international calling restrictions
- Review your call logs regularly so you can find out sooner rather than later
- Setup toll fraud insurance for your business to provide peace of mind
Infinity Group are specialists in business telephony solutions. If you are keen to find out more about toll fraud or our toll fraud insurance plan please get in touch.