Northern Ireland businesses have been the target of fraudsters who ran up bills of over £10,000 by hacking the phone lines of businesses in the area. An independent telecoms company in the area, Rainbow Communications, has said the scam is on the rise.
One firm in Belfast lost £10,000 over the course of a single weekend, while another in North Down was scammed around £3,000. The Head of Systems and Data Sales at Rainbow Communications, David Beatty, said: “We are all too aware of the term ‘phone hacking’ in the media, but this type of phone hacking is a real and serious concern for businesses in Northern Ireland. Fraudsters are making thousands of international or premium rate calls resulting in substantial costs at the expense of the unsuspecting company. It is the business that is solely responsible for the fraudulent call charges so it really can have a detrimental effect on any firm in Northern Ireland.”
The scam involves criminals breaking into phone lines remotely and racking up huge bills calling international and premium rate numbers.
Rainbow communications have issued a list of five tips to protect your business from the scam:
- Restrict the numbers that employees can dial and do not allow unnecessary calls to destinations such as international or premium rate numbers.
- Restrict after hours, weekend and holiday calling.
- Remove all unnecessary personnel who have remote access to your systems.
- Review your call logging reports regularly to spot any increases in call volumes or calls to suspicious destinations.
- Be vigilant against people posing as a company employee and asking to be connected to a switchboard operator to get an outgoing line.
If you think your business may be at risk of fraud and want to ensure you have all of the precautions in place, or want to investigate suspected fraud in your business, call Insight now on 0800 14 55 123.