What is Toll Fraud?
Toll fraud is the theft of long distance telephone services. This is a growing challenge estimated to be a $40 billion worldwide problem and as high as $100 million annually in Canada alone.
- Learn how toll fraud can occur. Talk to your telephone equipment provider and learn how they can help you. Engage your long distance service provider and implement appropriate prevention measures. If your business doesn’t require international calling, consider blocking international calls from being initiated from your system.
- Limit access to your telephone system. Hackers may gain access to your telephone system and call long distance directly using your lines. Often this is accomplished through voice mail menus. They use system commands to obtain dial tone and place calls as if they originated from within your premises. Your system may still have factory default passwords. Simple passwords such as these enable fraud and make access easy to achieve.
Establish a toll fraud prevention plan.
- Implement prudent password management policies and procedures.
- On IP systems, block access to remote maintenance ports and system administration ports.
- Use complex access codes and change them regularly.
- Perform routine reviews of your system status and usage.
- Limit the number of consecutive log-in attempts to five or fewer.
- Delete inactive voice mail boxes.
- Review your long distance telephone bills monthly to detect irregularities.
Report incidents of toll fraud
- Contact your long distance provider.
- Contact your telephone system service company.
- Report the matter to your local police.
Fraudsters and hackers are constantly finding innovative approaches. The above recommendations do not address every possibility, so be diligent. Remember, you are responsible for the charges on calls originating from your system whether you authorized them or not.