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Risk Management Bulletin


By June 1, 2009No Comments

Phone fraud costs American businesses billions of dollars every year. How much is it costing you?

Although computer hackers might break into telephone systems for thrills, thousands of criminals make a living at it by selling their services to “retailers,” who offer stolen phone-access numbers to drug traffickers or illegal immigrants.

To protect your business against phone fraud, experts recommend taking these basic proactive measures:

  • Adopt a prevention program. Use the security measures that your system provides and change passwords and/or access codes frequently.
  • Block calls to countries where you don’t do business. Most phone thieves are interested in making international calls.
  • Eliminate direct inward system access or remote access systems, which allow employees working remotely to access an outbound line with an 800 number. Issue phone credit cards instead.
  • Review call-accounting reports to identify fraudulent usage. Check for repeated failed password attempts, long calls, calls after certain hours, and other patterns.
  • Secure your voice mailbox and auto-answer attendant system to prevent an inbound caller from getting an outside line via these automated devices. Change passwords to access mailboxes monthly.
  • Discuss security measures with your long-distance phone carrier. The phone company might have informational materials for your staff.
  • Educate all employees about phone fraud. Instruct your switchboard operator not to transfer incoming calls to an outside operator. Make sure that employees working on the road don’t have anyone listening or watching when they read or key in their calling-card number. Tell employees not to give their PIN to any caller (phone companies never call customers to verify a PIN).
  • If you have a PBX system, do a monthly security audit and check authorization codes. Consider buying a PBX protection package that can help you monitor potentially fraudulent activity, such as repeated searches for a dial tone, and can limit your liability for unauthorized calls. You might be eligible for a discount on toll-fraud insurance if you have a PBX security package.
  • Buy Toll Fraud insurance. If you have a PBX security package, you might be eligible for a discount.

Our specialists can help you create a comprehensive phone fraud protection program. Just give is a call.