What constitutes telecoms fraud?

Telecoms fraud affects many businesses and individuals each year, but is not widely talked about. Why? Because many victims don’t wish to make it known that they have been a victim of telecoms fraud. This could be a business not wanting to seem like they have a lack of security to potential clients / customers, or an individual just wanting to get the situation dealt with without attracting too much attention.

Whatever the reasons, there’s a real lack of awareness when it comes to telecoms fraud. People who have never come across this type of fraud before don’t tend to know much about it, or they don’t think that much money could be lost through it. However, it’s important to know that telecom fraudsters can gain a lot of money if they target you, so you’ll benefit from knowing the facts about this type of fraud.

The different types of telecoms fraud

Like many other categories of fraud, there are many different strains that fall under the ‘telecoms fraud’ umbrella. These include, but are not limited to:

Text message scams

One of the pitfalls of modern technology is that it’s so easy to pretend to be someone else via text message or instant messenger. Even though it’s good to keep in contact with friends and family using these methods, it’s important to remember to approach any texts or messages claiming to be from a company with caution.

Banks, network providers, internet providers or any other company will NEVER ask for your password via text or instant message. If you receive a message that seems odd, call the company on the number you would usually phone them on and explain to them what has happened. You can never be too cautious in these situations.

Fixed line fraud

Fixed line fraud, also known as dial-through fraud, is targeted at businesses, and occurs when fraudsters gain access to a company’s switchboard. They then allow ‘customers’ to make calls through the system to high rate, international or premium rate numbers, with no intention of ever paying the bill.

It’s also common for fixed line fraud to include premium rate service fraud, which sees fraudsters make a significant amount of calls to a premium rate number, so that they can get more revenue from it.

Ringtone scams

This type of fraud is usually targeted at teenagers and young adults, and usually consists of a text message sent to the victim offering them a free ringtone. However, what the victim doesn’t realise is that by replying to that text, they’re actually subscribing to a service that will send them ringtones on a regular basis, and will charge premium rates each time.

Missed call scams

Many mobile phone users will call back a number that has left a missed call on their phone, even if they don’t know the number. This is where missed call scams can occur. This type of fraud works by redirecting the victim to a premium rate number when they make the call back.

Top Tip: If you see a missed call off a number you don’t recognise, don’t call them back right away. Google the number first to see if it’s safe, there are many message boards out there with people sharing their experiences to help save others from being scammed.

Phone insurance scams

This is usually targeted at customers who have recently purchased a new phone. Scam companies will make calls to the victim, saying that they are offering a ‘too good to miss’ insurance policy for the new phone, but it has to be claimed on the spot or the deal will be missed. The victim then tells the bogus company their bank details, and is scammed out of money.

What can I do if I think I’ve been the victim of, or I’m being accused of telecoms fraud?

No matter if you’re being accused of telecoms fraud, or you’re a victim, it’s important that you seek legal advice from a professional as soon as possible. Here at DPP Law, we have many years’ experience in handling cases like these, and we strive to get the best possible outcome for each and every one of our clients.

For a confidential chat with a member of our dedicated team, contact us today.

Posted on: Mon, 12 December 2016
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