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July 06, 2017

A Closer Look at Telecom Fraud

There are so many different types of telecom fraud that, quite honestly, it’s hard to keep track. From International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF) to A2P messaging fraud to Caller ID spoofing, fraudsters are always thinking of new and inventive ways to scam customers, operators, marketers and financial institutions.

In these cases, the old saying that “ignorance is bliss” could not be more wrong. No one should be blaming the abovementioned victims—the only people at fault are the fraudsters themselves—but there are precautions that individuals and organizations alike can take to ensure that they’re prepared for the possibility of fraud. And to do that, they need to know as much as possible about every type of telecom fraud out there.

To help in this battle against fraud, Purgefraud has compiled a list of the different types of telecom fraud. The company defines telecom fraud as “…the exploitation and misuse of airtime by fraudsters who have wrong intention of not paying any bills.” Let’s take a look at a few of the types of fraud we don’t normally discuss in this space.

According to Purgefraud, boomeranging is becoming increasingly popular amongst fraudsters. The organizations defines boomeranging as the “Hijacking and unauthorized use of IP-PBX bandwidth to rebroadcast data.” To combat this, organizations need to invest in fraud solutions so that they can ID and eliminate, in real time, the boomeranged traffic.

Meanwhile, with call forwarding/diversion fraud, “Fraudster[s] can login to a PBX and configure call forwarding to an expensive long distance destination in order to profit from IRSF.” As we already know, IRSF can be particularly damaging, especially if organizations and individuals don’t keep fraud top of mind. In order to prevent IRSF, the activity needs to be identified quickly so that it can be blocked and monitored as soon as possible.

Finally, subscription fraud “Involves the fake registration of SIMs in order to obtain subscriptions, often using false or stolen identification data.” SIMs can be tricky and easily abused, especially if organizations do not keep an eye on the market. It’s easy for them to be sold illegally through dealer networks or miss-billed. Again, preventing this kind of fraud comes back to awareness on everyone’s part.

Overall, all fraud is preventable; it’s just a matter of outsmarting the fraudsters. While organizations and individuals may be unable to read minds to know when and how fraudsters are going to strike, they can combat fraud by constantly being prepared. The best offense is a good defense, so they say, and having fraud protection in place 24/7/365 is the best way to defeat fraudsters once and for all.

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