Surely you've heard of (and hopefully never personally experienced) fraud — essentially any dishonest action that results in gain for the perpetrator. Common forms include credit card fraud and telemarketing fraud, but did you know that VoIP fraud is an issue, as well? Let's take a look at what VoIP fraud is and how it's typically performed.
The Definition: VoIP fraud falls under same category as any other type of fraud. It is defined as the unauthorized use of paid communication services charged to someone who isn't expecting it, whether that be the service provider or the customer.
The Issues: Obviously, you don't want any unauthorized personnel to be using your services no matter what they're doing, but the abuse goes further than that. The bills racked up in these breaches are colossal, sometimes reaching millions of dollars in illicit calls. In addition to the cost, resources are also being wasted by the perpetrators that should be allocated for normal activity.
Many times, international calls are performed, since they are more costly compared to domestic calls in the United States. VoIP fraud happens all over the world, but the top countries for its occurrence include the United States, India, Zimbabwe, and Cuba.
The Methods: Natalie, the VoIP Innovations Marketing Communications Manager, has written all about the methods hackers use to take over VoIP systems for their purposes; check that out for more info. Of the utmost importance is to be sure that user access is confined to only those who need it. The more spreading of sensitive account information that occurs, the greater the chance of a costly breach. It's always important to use strong passwords, and your VoIP accounts are no exception.
Another highlight from Natalie's piece is the trend of these abusive actions being taken on weekends, when the providers and users of the service are less likely to be keeping an eye on it. Often, nobody will suspect any problems until they enter the office on Monday and see that 500,000 calls were made to Nigeria.
Be Safe: It's a shame that VoIP fraud exists, but by knowing a bit about it and the signs of its occurrence, you can be better prepared should it happen to you, heaven forbid. While we're on this topic, check out the last post we did which feature tips on how to enhance your VoIP security!
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