In this article, we will show you how to successfully protect your business communication against fee fraud. Unfortunately, telephone fraud is nothing new: Telephone pickups, the grandson trick, spam SMS messages that promise to win a lottery, subscription traps or the misuse of special numbers are heard almost daily. Unfortunately, the trend is steadily increasing.
Every year, billions of dollars are damaged worldwide due to fee fraud in telecommunications.
Fraud Detection and TrustCom set a new security standard in VoIP telephony | toplink
However, it is not only the person who picks up the handset or opens the SMS that is cheated. It is also possible that the telephone of an uninvolved third party may be used without their knowledge to carry out fraud cases. So there is not just fraud on the telephone, but also with the telephone. The hacking of complete telephone systems, with the aim of gaining access to telephone systems of other companies and thus listening to their communication, is a widespread strategy in the context of industrial espionage.
Not wrong number, but fraud calls
Another equally common strategy is to hack a telephone system to use it as a platform for criminal activity. This is referred to as fraud calls: Telephone calls that have a fraudulent intent.
The classic fraud call looks like this: Criminal fraudsters gain access to corporate telephone systems over the weekend. In most cases, you use known weak points of the telephone systems used or their incomplete security configuration. If, for example, paid-for call forwarding abroad or expensive premium numbers are dialed via the telephone network, very high financial losses can be incurred in the shortest possible time. There are many other examples of fee fraud: The most common incidents include subscription fraud, identity theft or VoIP hacking. Incidentally, these transactions affect not only companies but also private customers. A home DSL router can be cracked very easily if the login name is ”Admin” and the password is ”password” or ”123456”.
All procedures have one thing in common: The liability for the resulting damage lies with the customer and the fraudster also makes a buck.
Gigantic financial damage worldwide
The study ” Global Fraud Loss Survey” shows an interesting development: In 2005, the sum of global financial losses in the telecommunications sector amounted to 61.3 billion US dollars, three years later still 60.1 billion US dollars. Surprisingly, this figure drops rapidly by almost 30% to 40.1 billion US dollars in 2011, before rising again to 46.3 billion US dollars in 2013.
The significant decline between 2008 and 2011 can be explained by a higher awareness of security aspects on the part of customers as well as by improved fraud detection measures on the part of the providers. It is of great interest for telecommunications providers to protect their customers from misuse and thus also to protect themselves against payment defaults. Especially for smaller customers, even a medium-sized fraud can quickly lead to liquidity bottlenecks. If a provider has several customers who cannot meet their demands due to misuse, it can quickly become problematic there as well.
Threshold values as warning signal
Previous software solutions work with defined user profiles and corresponding threshold values: Customers can move freely within their usage profiles. As soon as certain thresholds are exceeded, the connection is blocked for outgoing calls until the situation has been checked and the connection is released again. Exceptions are mostly national landline and emergency calls.
Reasonable parameters are, for example, the number of connection setups per hour, the length of telephone calls, suspicious connections abroad or the use of cost-intensive offers that are known to be susceptible to abuse. If, for example, a call lasting longer than 500 minutes is made from a telephone connection, the connection is automatically blocked.
If it’s too late, it’s too late.
However, such procedures are not capable of responding quickly enough to new fraud patterns. They do not take effect until the damage has already occurred. Their task is to limit the extent of the damage and not to prevent it from the outset.
TrustCom: Acting instead of reacting
In the long term, it is unsatisfactory to be constantly one step behind the fraudsters. For this reason, toplink has developed new software ”TrustCom” together with Software AG and Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. TrustCom is unique on the German market and sets new standards in fraud detection and prevention in VoIP telephony. Through a comprehensive combination of fraud detection and fraud prevention, illegal access to VoIP telephony should be detected at an early stage before it can cause damage.
TrustCom sets new security standards for VoIP
TrustCom identifies conspicuous anomalies in connection establishment at an early stage on the basis of defined detection patterns and can thus prevent fee fraud before financial loss occurs. As early as 2014, toplink was able to detect incidents of fee fraud in 1938 cases and prevent 1870 cases of it. In 68 cases it was not fee fraud and the connection was immediately unblocked. This enabled us to reduce 99.97% of potential losses for our customers. With TrustCom we now have a new goal in mind: Even more security for our customers!