Reliable statistics are hard to come by when it comes to phone hacking or dial-through fraud (DTF) but customer experiences are evidence enough in our opinion.
This crime, also known as phreaking, fixed line or phone fraud, is on the rise with The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau receiving reports totalling more than £6 million of financial loss since reporting began.
Other figures* estimate that phone hacking contributes about 10% of the overall estimated £1.2 billion telecommunications fraud committed in the UK each year.
It is also thought that phone hacking is significantly under reported, partly because of a lack of awareness or understanding of the issue.
As a fixed lines supplier, we can bear testament to the reality of phone hacking having identified two cases in June 2014 alone.
For those not in the know, phone hacking is the criminal process whereby fraudsters target telephone systems to make calls to premium rate or international numbers. The victims are then liable for the fraudulent transactions, which can cause significant financial harm or even bankruptcy.
Phone hacking most commonly occurs when businesses are most vulnerable, such as when they are closed, including weekends and public holidays.
Some lines providers monitor lines for fraudulent activity, which in our case revealed the most recent two incidents, and alert their customers as soon as possible to limit the potential costs.
And others - not many - offer further insurance to limit a business’s liability and prevent this crime reaching bankrupting proportions. We limit liability to £750.00 per telephone number.
If your supplier does not offer this service, it could be worth talking to a fixed lines supplier who does. Please do not turn a blind eye to this crime. You have been warned.