Don't Let Toll Fraud Take Its Toll!

You wouldn't allow a stranger to walk into your building and begin making phone calls to unknown destinations using company equipment. And yet, an individual who perpetrates toll fraud on an unsuspecting company is doing just that. In a recent incident, one company uncovered over 10,000 minutes of fraudulent international phone calls. It has been estimated that toll fraud costs American businesses well over $2 billion a year.

Exactly what is toll fraud, and what can you do to help prevent it? In simple terms, hackers attempt to break into your phone systems to place free phone calls as if they originated from inside your offices / systems.

Here are some things that you can do at work to minimize the risk:

• Guard your authorization codes and voice mail passwords carefully. Don't write them down and don't program them into auto dialers. Change your passwords frequently.
• When traveling, beware of strangers lurking adjacent to pay phones who may be able to view and steal your access codes or calling card numbers.
• Don't accept collect calls and beware of the seemingly innocent incoming caller who asks to be transferred within your system or to an outside line. These thieves try to deceive innocent people who answer the phone. Be alert to patterns, because if you become suspicious, you're probably right.
• Increase security around your telephone switch room and wiring closets. Secure documentation and reports that may reveal access codes or password information.
• Prohibit or restrict calls to cities and, countries where you do not do business. Many people buy the illegal use of phone numbers to call certain area codes.
• Notify your leadership team immediately when you are suspicious. Don't try to investigate a situation on your own.