We have all become used to ‘those’ calls. The ones where the number dialling you doesn’t quite look right. Or perhaps those calls that drop after just a ring or two and the caller doesn’t leave a voice message. Over time we have become used to these petty scams and have learnt not to answer or return those suspicious looking calls.
Telephony fraudsters have recognised this and moved on to a new form of scam that is proving to be even more successful than the old ‘voicemail on hold’ tricks of bygone days.
The new weapon in their armoury is skilful use of that old faithful friend of the telephony fraudster, the 070 personal number. Genius, as most people quite wrongly think that the 070 number that they have been asked to call is a mobile telephone number. Infact 070 numbers are personal numbers that provide a share of the calling revenue for the number owner. What is more they are often used as ‘follow me’ numbers, giving fraudsters amazing flexibility as to who and where in their organisation they direct these incoming calls to.
The way that they use the 070 number has matured too. Prime targets are those companies that offer a call back service to their customers. Fraudsters now call up outside of office hours and leave a sophisticated and detailed voice message. The message requests a call back to discuss a high value private or business services requirement. Eager new and often even more experienced sales staff, easily mistake the 070 as a standard mobile telephone number and return the fraudsters call. They quickly find themselves being intelligently engaged in a complex, fake business enquiry and kept on the phone for tens of minutes, whilst in the background a hefty phone bill is being racked up.
For example, Holiday Companies were targeted earlier this year with fraudsters requesting a call to discuss holiday options for a complex group booking within a £1500 to £2,000 budget. Insurance and IFA’s, telephony companies, all sorts of services providers are now being targeted. In fact any companies are considered fair game if the fraudsters think they will be able to keep your teams on the phone for a substantial period of time.
So, what is in it for the fraudsters? Well, prices for calls to an 070 number can cost up to 65p per minute when calling from a landline (with a hefty 51p call set up fee). Calls from a mobile to 070 numbers are substantially more expensive and could cost as much as £1.50 per minute from some mobiles. Criminals can often be making £1 for every minute they keep your staff engaged on the phone. A fifteen or twenty minute call at £13 or £14 might not actually feel like such a big loss. However, often these fraudsters call many times, leaving different messages and different 070 numbers which they invite your teams to call. The losses can soon begin to mount up with your teams not even knowing that they are being scammed.
As with many frauds currently targeting UK businesses, the best and often only way to protect against these scams is good support, good information and good housekeeping.
At Evoke Telecom we have helped many of our customers to protect themselves and their teams against the many different types of telephony fraud now pervading in the global business market. For impartial, free help and advice as to how best protect your business against criminal scams and intrusions you need do nothing more than simply call the Evoke Telecom team, who will be delighted to help.
Stay in touch, stay informed and stay protected with Evoke Telecom Services Ltd.