I know what you’re thinking… “What is Toll Fraud; and why would it affect my business?”

Managing Director Michael Smith, who’s been in the telecommunications industry and at Cobus for over 25 years wrote about this relatively unknown crime back in January 2016 and almost a year later we’ve taken another look to see what, if anything, has changed!

In the last few months a small number of our customers have experienced toll fraud and the costs associated with it. Toll fraud is when the offender makes telephone calls without paying – this is usually when a telephone system is hacked and used to make expensive long-distance or premium rate calls, with the owner being made aware of the situation once their ‘increased’ bill arrives!

Unfortunately Toll Fraud is still on the increase globally with an estimated cost of £25.5bn and it is happening to businesses in our region!

We have alerted our customers to the potential risks to their business and are working proactively on an individual and bespoke basis to help protect them from possible future attacks.

Our fraud protection options include hardware security, in the form of an intelligent monitoring system and additional reassurance provided with our Cobus fraud insurance cover. This protects customers up to £1,000 per number, per month, which gives an additional level of security.

Also working closely with our network operators (KC/BT etc.) and our chosen system manufacturers, Cobus are constantly working on new ways to identify and combat this growing threat to reduce our customer’s exposure to risk.  However it needs to be recognised that total protection is not always possible without the normal business operation being adversely affected but customers need to be vigilant and act now before becoming another unwelcome statistic!

One of our customers, Mark from Associated Plastic Components Ltd was recently affected by Toll Fraud and was relieved when he was made aware by the network of a possible fraud attack on his system and we immediately made sure all the restrictions were put in place, as per their line agreement, until we resolved the situation.

Acting this quickly as soon as we were made aware of the hacking didn’t stop the amount of unauthorised calls made totalling a massive £964.44, which ultimately the customer was liable for, however because they had taken our premium line insurance, they didn’t have to pay a penny as it fully covered the costs. Such a small monthly outlay stopped a huge bill landing at their door.

The UK is the 3rd most targeted country in the world with a rise of circa 15% per year costing UK businesses over £1.2bn alone! – it’s a worrying statistic that 85% of UK businesses are not safe from hacking and with an average cost of a UK attack estimated at £10,000 it’s something that needs to be taken seriously, very seriously!

For more information on Toll Fraud and/or other Communications features and services please contact: 01482 225666 or alternatively email: sales@cobus.co.uk or pop-in and talk to us.