Don’t let your guard down this Christmas! It is a shame but I feel we are duty bound to warn you that the festive period is a prime time for phone fraudsters to strike.
Just as we are all starting to wind down for Christmas, hackers are winding themselves up to prepare for what can be a very lucrative time for their fraudulent efforts.
Many businesses shut down for the festive season with some even downing tools between Christmas and New Year. Any length of time that a business or organisation does not man its phones gives hackers an opportunity to infiltrate their telephone systems to makes themselves some money.
The unhappy result is that the accounts department will come back to work on January 2nd to a hefty phone bill that a business may or may not be able to afford to pay.
Despite telephone or dial-through fraud, sometimes known as phreaking, being a highly organised criminal activity, it is rarely punished and the victim is expected to pick up the bill, unless they have protected themselves against this financial liability.
If you do not already know, these fraudsters break into your telephone system, usually via the voicemail service, and then set up outgoing calls to premium phone numbers from which they benefit from the profit.
There are a number of practical steps you can take to help protect yourself from this illegal activity this Christmas:
I would also advise you to check with your network provider to see if they offer financial liability protection. We offer a Fraud Management Service that means our customers never pay more than £750 per line should these hackers strike. You will appreciate that £750 is a lot more palatable than a bill that could run into the tens of thousands of pounds.
I feel a little mean warning you about something so un-festive in the run up to Christmas but I would not want to see anyone caught out while you are enjoying your time off work. If you need any more advice, please do not hesitate to contact me.