Telecoms fraud is on the rise. If you suspect your business has been a victim of a phone scam or are concerned your account has been compromised, please contact us as soon as possible and remember to report any fraudulent activity to the police.

But you don’t have to wait for the worst to happen, you can defend your business against telecoms fraud.

A recent study carried out by YouGov for Barclays was interesting. It covered all different types of frauds against SMEs, including telecoms fraud, and found that almost 1 in 4 SMEs has fallen victim to fraud and that 44 per cent of SMEs have been targeted by fraudsters.

With telecoms fraud on the rise – it pays to have the best defence against it. We’re also aware of one person experiencing telecoms fraud charges of over £330,000.

With an estimated annual cost of almost £1billion to UK businesses it goes to show how damaging it can be.

What is telecoms fraud?

Fraud against SMEs can happen in many forms, but telecoms fraud, which affects businesses throughout the UK, isn’t widely talked about.

What happens with telecoms fraud is that organised criminals target your business phone lines. They ‘misuse’ your airtime, making high volumes of unsolicited calls with no intention of paying any bills. This results in significant charges mounting. Fraud attacks on unmonitored lines can go unnoticed until charges are invoiced and, more often than not, it’s you the customer who is typically left liable to pay the bill. All for calls you didn’t even make.

Be aware of the signs and protect your business

As there are many methods of this type of fraud, it means that we can’t guarantee to detect potential fraud immediately. At Clear Business, as your telecommunication provider, we’ll help you where possible. But we’ll need your help too. Fraudulent activity can involve a whole range of attacks, from cyber and telecoms to banking. And we know that telecoms fraud is a concern for you.

Detection can prevent a lot of unnecessary costs. Here are some top tips from Clear Business to help you to defend your business from telecoms fraud:

  • Always be suspicious of unsolicited calls relating to a security/system problem
  • Ask security questions about your account before continuing the call, if the caller can’t answer, they are not legitimate
  • Never give out personal information, such as credit card or bank details to a caller
  • Never agree to sign up for a product or service or allow the caller to take control of your computer system, as this allows them to gain access to your personal files and harvest information
  • Don’t go to a website, type anything into a computer, install software or follow any other instruction from someone who calls you out of the blue
  • If you use a public or shared computer, be security conscious. Remember, each time you exit your account you must sign out rather than simply close the window

A report* from law firm Slater and Gordon finds that more than £260million of fraud each year goes unreported by SMEs. Such a big loss goes unreported because small businesses don’t think it’s worth the hassle. They also worry about the potential damage to company reputation if reported.

SMEs are traditionally vulnerable to fraud, as they tend to lack the carefully-devised and strategic procedures that bigger companies employ. But not having safeguards in place can be detrimental.

How can I protect my business against telecoms fraud?

Early detection is key, and business owners can reduce the risk of telecoms fraud with the FraudDefender from Clear Business.

The FraudDefender from Clear Business:

  • Monitors your lines 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year
  • Detects unusual call activity on your lines
  • Alerts Clear Business to anything suspicious, so that we can investigate it
  • Suspends service if necessary preventing further fraud taking place
  • Reduces the risk of financial damage
  • We offer a FREE trial to all Clear Business customers – after that it costs just £1.99 a month

Visit the Clear Business Customer Zone for:

  • The latest fraud statistics
  • Our fraud jargon buster
  • More ways to help protect your business

You will find FraudDefender under telecoms in the services section of the Clear Business Customer Zone.

Your account security is our priority. We constantly monitor the network to safeguard our customers. However, if suspicious account activity is detected which makes us think that your account may be compromised or at risk, we’ll act to secure the account immediately.

If you suspect you’ve been a victim of a phone scam or are concerned that your account has been compromised, please contact us as soon as possible on 0333 014 3131 and report any fraudulent activity to the police.