Fraud Alert – Fake Flood Diverts

Latest telecoms fraud alert: Criminals are using flood damage as a way of requesting fake diverts and gaining access to company accounts via hacking of telecommunications’ systems.

The increasing incidence of telecommunications fraud in the UK is not only costing businesses billions of pounds in lost revenue, it is now on its way to becoming the largest source of fraud in this country. This is a global problem though and one which is virtually impossible to trace. The only way to protect against this threat is to make sure you are aware of the potential dangers and to follow the correct procedures to protect your system in the same way you would in other areas of your business. For more information about telephony fraud click here.

Despite the dangers, awareness of this problem is still low. However, we take steps to make sure that our customers are fully up to date with the latest information. This latest news from the FCS highlights how criminals are finding newer and more devious ways to defraud businesses. Please read on and make sure you keep an eye open for this potential threat.

A reseller had a request from what they believed to be a valid end customer:

This end customer told the reseller that they required a telephone number divert due to flooding at their site. A day later, the end customer requested the removal of this call divert, to which the reseller complied and dealt with. The same thing happened again within the next 24 hours, with the end customer requesting another divert, followed by its removal the following day.

Around a week later, the reseller spoke to the owner of the building regarding an unrelated subject and asked him how the site was after the flood. The owner knew nothing of any flooding.

What happened?

The fraudsters had been intercepting the calls of this company in order to find out their bank details. In turn, they managed to withdraw £700K from this company’s bank account. In this case, the owner was lucky because the bank honoured the dispute and and they didn’t lose out financially. However, there is every chance that the bank could have refuted this claim. The fraudulent activity occurred due to hacking of the telephone system, so technically the bank was not at fault.

This also happened during the widespread flooding last year, with flooded premises given as the reason for a call-divert request. These fraudsters are opportunists. They will play on events such as these as a way of gaining access and because of the nature of the situation; no one is likely to suspect anything.

Please take extra care when asked for divert requests.

We urge all our customers to keep their wits about them in order to avoid falling for scams like this. However, there are ways we can help with day-to-day fraud protection. Click here to find out more about our Exceptional Call Reporting scheme.