Companies warned over high-tech scam

Carried out by organised gangs, 'toll fraud' is a method of theft that uses a business' telephone and internet connections. Picture: TSPL

Carried out by organised gangs, 'toll fraud' is a method of theft that uses a business' telephone and internet connections. Picture: TSPL

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EXPERTS are urging firms to guard against the growing danger of a high-tech scam that cost companies around the world an estimated £29 billion last year.

Carried out by organised gangs, “toll fraud” is a method of theft that uses a business’ telephone and internet connections. After hacking into the system, the criminals go on to rack up huge phone bills by making phone calls to high-cost premium numbers around the world.

Ricky Nicol, chief executive of Edinburgh-based Commsworld, said the charges could reach as high as £2,000. The unsuspecting business is left to pay the bill to their telecoms carriew.

Nicol said although toll fraud is not new, attacks are becoming more sophisticated. In addition, there has been an “alarming rise” in the number of service providers profiting from these attacks.

“Seemingly it is legally acceptable to profit in this way, but surely morally unacceptable to choose to make a profit from customers who have had a criminal act carried out on them,” he said. I find it extremely difficult to comprehend that any carrier firm will look to make an opportunistic buck on the back of crime carried out on their customers – and I have heard of numerous examples where we are not talking about a small profit.”

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