The annual cost of telephone fraud in the UK runs into the billions – £17 billion to be precise – each and every year according to Action Fraud. As scammers get more and more sophisticated, ruthless and cunning and consumers drop their guard and up their spending around Christmas, you and your customers could well be at risk of getting caught out.
One in four UK landline calls was attributed to fraudsters in 2021. Whether piggy backing onto your system to run up astronomical international bills or they are impersonating your business to take customers’ money, could your company cope with the loss of revenue, disruption to service and damage to reputation if infiltrated by an unscrupulous scammer?
Thankfully there are lots of ways you can protect your business and customers from fraud this festive season and beyond:
- Be hot on security Passwords and access codes for current staff should wherever possible be hard to crack (include letters, numbers and symbols) and changed regularly. Make sure ex employees passwords and access codes are deleted immediately too.
- Audit your call logs regularly Checking for any calls made outside of your regular operating hours, any notably unusual call durations and any international numbers dialled and deal with discrepancies quickly.
- Block premium rate numbers and international calls Use the functionality of your VoIP system to restrict international or premium rate numbers to those staff who really need to make those calls and consider blocking outbound calls outside working hours.
- Do you know the full functionality of your system? Once you’re aware of its full capabilities you can restrict access to those features you don’t use to shut down any potential security weak spots. Don’t forget to deal with your mailboxes too – deleting or blocking access to any unused mailboxes and changing the default PIN numbers will shore up your security even further.
- Use a firewall A firewall will regularly monitor voice and data activity going through your network and stop any unusual activity in its tracks. Make sure you check your firewall logs weekly.
- Train staff well Look out for evidence of hacking e.g. blocked lines or call logs outside of your business hours. Ensure any smartphones accessing the VoIP system are set with PIN access.
- Limit physical access to the system in a secure comms room
- Update your VoIP devices and applications: A hacker can take over your VoIP system and make changes to your settings if your system is outdated and buggy. Regularly assessing and patching your VoIP software and firmware will make your VoIP system stronger and help protect against call fraud.
- Protect your business Exceptional Call Reporting cover can cover you in the event of attempted fraud up to the value of £5,000.
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