VoIP Fraud: forewarned is forearmed
The main battlefield and the narrowing down
Internet community attempted to fight with frauds. The main ‘battlefield’ was numerous forums. Either fraud victims or sympathizing witnesses post their alarms. Though the information was insufficient, badly arranged and the required information search took a lot of time. Besides, IT companies publish their special reviews with swindle schemes explanations. However, such reviews are mainly treated as advisory features and do not offer guidance to concerned users.
A few years ago Speedflow Communications set an aim to make work conditions in VoIP business more secure. This company made an attempt to combine all the best features done by its predecessors, i.e. forums efficiency and professional safety approach. VoIP Fraud LIST was created in this way. The project motto is absolutely clear: ’Our aim — keep the money in VoIP industry’. The initiative has turned out to be very successful. At present, the project consists of more than 3000 registered users from all over the world who fill it with vital information which results in anti-frauds campaign enhancement. Google Analytics survey shows that the site is visited by around 500 people a day.
How can it help VoIP operators?
Why is this project attractive for VoIP market operators? First of all, they can find exact answers to numerous questions regarding VoIP business in the unique database. The other main thing is that the information is formed with the help of telecom companies from all over the world. Due to their help the site contains the most valid information about frauds, defaulter companies and fraudulent schemes.
Now every company can get the information about the potential risk in new interconnections. It is a kind of credit history model. The site contains systemized information about more than 250 companies which might be risky to interconnect with. It is one of the most complete debtor companies database on the VoIP market.
Initially, the site organizers didn’t plan to bear arbitral functions. Anti-fraud informational portal runs according to the following unpublished law: “everyone has the right for free thoughts and information access”. After registration, every company can make a post with a detailed description of the company with inappropriate deeds. The website administrator always contacts the company on which the post was made suggesting to refute if the information was false. Everyone has the right to defend his good name. Therefore, all the information placed on the site undergoes a multilevel check-up.
Anyway, the swindle wave which swamped VoIP market at its beginning has significantly diminished. The major fraud activities are directed to companies from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc. where VoIP services have recently started to expand. Brief experience and operators’ number prepare the ground for various cheatings. The frauds’ schemes aren’t extremely original: all existent schemes are displayed and discussed in detail on the Anti-fraud informational portal.
According to the request analysis, the majority of fraudulent cases occurred because of incomplete softswitch and billing systems which prevent full-fledged work on VoIP market. On account of programs and equipment limits there happen incorrect invoicing, balance formation, CDRs, routing mistakes, etc.
But the TOP problem today is trite non-payments. The slogan ‘Obtain the goods and don’t pay’ — is still vital. In our case — it signifies terminating traffic via some vendors without paying for transit. In order to avoid such situation checking your potential partner’s reputation is extremely vital. You can get all the necessary information without leaving the office owing to the internet sources.
The more information you can find about the company the better. The main feature is to check if the company is officially registered or offshore, how long has the domain been registered. A well-established company usually has not free domains, there have to be quite a few links for the company on various forums, news resources, and other sites, etc.
There is one more popular problem in VoIP sphere – FAS machines usage (FAS — False Answer Supervision). VoIP community has continually insisted on the FAS fight. However, the total elimination of this phenomenon is still impossible:
- firstly, the equipment and FAS schemes are being sophisticated day by day, therefore, even the up-to-date systems cannot clearly detect false tariffication;
- secondly, FAS disputes are extremely rigorous work claiming attention and efforts and not every company can afford it to have a specially qualified person as a full-time employee.
The sense of impunity results in frequent FAS routes and a great many companies still lose money paying for the calls which in fact didn’t happen.
VoIP companies often come across fraudulent scheme which is called ‘Groundless dispute’. In this case, the events go the following way. A new client cooperates successfully with your company, pays all the invoices regularly until his traffic volumes aren’t very high. At some moment he increases his volumes significantly and in response to the invoice, you get the dispute almost for all the sum of his terminated traffic. The most common issues are in calls’ absence on the client’s side, calls duration difference or FAS. You have to prove that there weren’t any cheating and the calls really passed from client’s IP-address and there was no FAS. Procrastination, prolonged examination and endless e-mailing is the following step. Your partner stops paying but continues using your services. It is hard to believe for a well-established company that the main aim of your partner was to use your services without paying. Unfortunately, the story end is predetermined: if you don’t stop providing your services on receiving groundless dispute, the odds that you will get your money are very poor.
Two more schemes
The first scheme is widely applied not only in VoIP business but also in other spheres. There always have been the ones who are eager to use the advantages of well-established companies. The attempt to copy the name and the style of a famous company has the only goal in VoIP business — to deceive the partner. Therefore, it’s recommended to start work with new clients on pre payment basis only and to provide credit only for those who you are 100 % sure in. You should follow the same practice with test accounts for potential partners. In order to avoid troubles setting limits for credit and test lines are advised.
VoIP Fraud LIST portal was created to save your money and nerves. The content is formed with the help of various VoIP companies’ experts from all over the world. All the published information goes through scrupulous check. There is a complete database of unreliable companies and a detailed archive of fraudulent schemes. The priceless knowledge and experience gained by the experts are offered. Use it for business prosperity.