Taking Extraordinary Precautions Against International Fraud

Here is an interesting article highlighting a very important problem in the industry today. Utility Telephone takes extraordinary precautions to safeguard your network and your pocketbook. If you are a Utility Telephone customer, we automatically offer call-barring features to block access to all international numbers. We’ve taken the initiative to research high-cost premium services including those in the Caribbean countries to protect you from this type of fraud.

We start with the assumption that customers do not need to make these types of calls rather than leave the “doors unlocked” and wait for someone to become a victim before we do something about it. We start with the doors locked and only unlock them for a customer who requires access to that risk to run his daily business.

While some customers have expressed annoyance with our international waiver process, which requires them to sign a separate document making it clear that if we unblock international and premium calling, this is never been more important. Just because it’s never happened before doesn’t mean that it can’t happen to you. The more technology is used, such as on-premise voicemail systems that allow outbound calling, or transferring calls to an international prefix such as 011, the higher the risk.

If your business does not routinely make international calls, we recommend blocking them. If you do occasionally or regularly make international calls, then we recommend a 6-12 digit account code(s) for accounting and security. This will require the system to prompt the user for a very difficult code to crack, and adds additional safety. The system will shut down after 10 attempts automatically, so it is not possible to simply try every possible code. They would have to get very lucky in their first guesses, and we don’t allow codes like 12345678 or 11111 for example.

International fraud is a serious problem and I only wish customers would appreciate how serious this is.

No system is perfect, but the more difficult you make it, the more likely the thieves will simply move on to another victim’s system that is easier than yours to bypass.