Protecting Against VoiP Fraud

 

For some of our customers, VoiP fraud protection is something they’ve never thought about. For others, it’s one of the reasons they made the switch to Socket in the first place.

What is VoiP fraud?

In simple terms, it’s an unauthorized user making calls from your phone system. It’s a simple trick that paves the way for a variety of scams; calling their own 900 numbers and racking up thousands in charges, for instance, or selling “cheap” (stolen) long distance minutes.

The end result for victims is the same – thousands in unexpected charges. And with most perpetrators located outside of the United States, there are few chances of recouping that money.

So what’s the fix?

The easiest solution? Prevent VoiP fraud from ever happening in the first place.

A few of the things Socket does to proactively prevent fraud:

  • We’ll only activate international calling for users if it’s specifically requested. For calls to some countries notoriously associated with VoiP fraud, we’ll ask for a waiver as well before activating call access.
  • All SIP devices and users require registration, plus a secure, unique password. There is no “default” password (the easiest way for a hacker to get into a phone system), and stolen passwords can’t be used on unregistered devices.
  • 900 & 976 numbers are blocked by default for all accounts. If access is required, it must be specifically requested first (and we’ll walk you through some risk mitigation techniques as well).
  • Some systems allow calls to be relayed through a remote-access voicemail system. Even with a password, placing calls or setting up new call forwarding through Socket's voicemail portal is blocked. We have chosen different, more secure, services to allow our business users to have access to their calling remotely.

Even with preventative measures in place, there’s no foolproof system. That’s why our team is also alerted whenever there’s odd international calling traffic, or calls to specific countries associated with VoiP fraud.

We’ll immediately lock down the account and block further calls until we can verify they’re legitimate – the same way a bank will lock a credit card making unexpected international purchases. This is especially important on weekends and overnight, when fraudulent calls might otherwise go unnoticed until you’re back in the office.

Naturally, this isn’t the total extent of what we do to combat fraud. No need to give fraudsters a guide on how to avoid detection! And we’re always on the lookout for the next scheme making the rounds, so we can guard against it appropriately.

Want to learn more about mitigating VoiP risk? Give one of our dedicated representatives a call at 1-800-SOCKET-3, or learn more about our business telecom services at www.socket.net/hostedpbx.