Have you heard of the term ‘toll fraud’? If not then you’re certainly not alone, but what if we told you that 84% of businesses in the UK are vulnerable to an attack and that the average cost for the victims can be as much as £10,000 with nobody to claim against? Now that we have your attention, let’s explain exactly what toll fraud is and how it works…
How does toll fraud work?
Toll fraud is essentially when hackers break into your phone system and begin routing calls to international or premium rate numbers at great expense. Whilst words like ‘hacking’ may seem miles away from everyday life as a business owner, toll fraud is becoming increasingly common. In the past twelve months there’s been an increase of 15% in reported cases and toll fraud costs the UK £1.2bn each year (we are the third most targeted country in the world!).
Attacks often take place out of office hours with the victims sometimes only realising when their next phone bill arrives. This means that attacks can go undetected for long periods of time, racking up considerable expense with nobody to claim against.
Are you one of the 84% of businesses that aren’t protected from toll fraud?
In order for toll fraud to take place on your telephone system the hackers need to find a way in and out. Some of the most common places for this to happen are:
1. Your exchange lines – these are the phone lines that connect your system to the local area.
2. Your telephone extensions – if you have multiple telephone numbers for your business then this can also be a vulnerability.
3. Unused telephone extension ports – does your office have telephone ports that are currently unused? Hackers can gain access even if there isn’t a phone present.
4. Voicemail boxes – can you dial in to your voicemail from outside of the office? If so then toll fraud attackers may be able to take advantage of this access if your protection is weak.
5. Auto attendant attacks – press 1 for reception, 2 for sales, 3 for support. Hackers have been known to gain outside access if you have these systems in place and not protected.
How do we tackle toll fraud and ensure our clients are protected?
We take steps to ensure that our clients are kept as safe as possible from the large potential costs of toll fraud. To do this we use NEC’s Toll Fraud Guard Application, which is embedded into the phone system meaning there’s no need for large servers or computers to be running the protective system itself.
How does it work?
The system monitors call activity on your phone system 24/7. As we’ve mentioned, potential attacks can often happen during out of office hours, so even when you’re at home you have the peace of mind that any attack should be detected and quickly.
Once something untoward is detected by the system you’ll receive an email to let you know. You then have the option to block or allow calls to continue (or you can set the system up to automatically block ongoing calls until you’ve had a chance to fully review the suspicious activity).
Because the system sits and runs in the background it won’t affect your day to day call activity, but it’s there to quickly and seamlessly protect you from attack.
What to do next…
If you’re unsure if your phone system is protecting you against toll fraud then it’s worth taking our free review in order to highlight any vulnerabilities in your system. You can find out more about our free review of your telephone system here:
For more information on our services and how they can improve your communications and even save money on your current costs, please give us a call on 01237 420010 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.