This happened to an architecture firm in Norcross, Georgia over a weekend in March 2014. Hackers broke into the phone network of Foreman Seeley Fountain Architecture, routing calls to premium-rate phone numbers in Gambia, Somalia, and the Maldives for a bill of $166,000. This equates to 34 years of telecom bills.
Telecom toll fraud like this is not unusual and hits mainly small businesses. In 2013 it cost victims $4.73 billion – up from $1 billion in 2011 according to the NY Times. And unfortunately, the law does not protect the victim. Firms who have been targeted are often wholly responsible for the charges as the carriers, who are passing on charges from other carriers, are under no obligation to wave or credit the fraudulent charges.
However, there are steps enterprises can take to prevent telecom toll fraud, and we’ve written about them in a previous post. We encourage our customers to make sure they have strong passwords for their voicemail systems and engage in better behaviors such as limiting call forwarding and blocking international calls if possible.
Read our post from August to get more tips to help protect your firm.