As a duty of care, Business Communications is alerting customers and other partners of the on-going telephone system hacking and call fraud currently happening in the business world.
To put it in context, we have received a couple of customer calls that required emergency attention because of their telephone systems being hacked!
Call fraud, commonly known as call ‘Phreaking’ is when an external party remotely and fraudulently accesses your telecom lines and makes numerous outgoing calls. The destination calls are invariably to premium numbers and/or international mobile phones and this can easily rack up thousands of pounds of charges for the victims.
Unfortunately it is YOU, the customer, who has to pay the telecom provider for these fraudulent calls charges, which can be extortionate and which could cripple a small SME.
Fortunately Service Providers have security hacking surveillance systems that can detect abnormal calls and alert end users via ourselves so that alerts to potentially fraudulent calls can be made with parameters set up for calls above a certain value or call destination, such as premium and international calls. Call barring can also be put in place.
At Business Communications we provide ways of mitigating this which is an assurance to you but by no means an insurance. How?
The key warning signs that your business telephone system is being, or has been hacked are:
- If you notice your telephone lines are being used but nobody internally is on the phone
Please make it a habit to look at your phone bills and call times as these fraudulent calls often happen at night during ‘out of office hours’ or during public holidays i.e. Christmas, Easter, Bank Holidays etc.
- Frequent calls to premium rate numbers
- Frequent international calls
- Abnormal call duration
- Expensive phone bills
We advise that you monitor the spikes in premium and international calls, especially the time of day they occur and use this to review your call charges. Also:
- Customers with our telephone systems can also lock down their own system to prevent call hacking, by tidying up their security.
- Voicemail passwords are the main weak point and a door to hacking because a majority of businesses do not change the ‘default’ password to something else.
- We advise customers to regularly change the voicemail password from i.e. ‘1234’ to another that is less obvious.
- Unfortunately, customers and companies often ignore this and only act on it after the event, don’t let that be you!
- Business Communications can assist you by upgrading/modifying/locking your existing system to prevent illegal calls being made. Security programming in the voicemail is one of the ways we can do this.
So please do not hesitate to contact us directly with any questions you have regarding this blog – 01252 617 116 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember do not get caught out……. you have been warned!
– Find out more about the History of Phone Phreaking here