Business scams

Takeaway messages from telecoms fraud workshop

Telecoms fraud workshop learnings

We covered a lot of ground in yesterday’s telecoms fraud workshop. A big thanks to everyone who made it and to sponsors Netaxis and Gamma. I don’t think there was a singe person in the room who didn’t contribute in some way and I’m sure everyone got something out of it.

A special thanks to the speakers Colin Duffy of Voipfone, Ben O’Leary from Gamma, DS Nick Kemsley of the City of London Police, independent fraud expert Dave Morrow and Manuel Basilavecchia of Netaxis.

Much was discussed in the three hours but the key points can easily be summarised here:

  1. If carriers were able to stop international settlement payments for known fraudulent traffic to premium rate numbers the problem would disappear overnight. “Apparently this is not possible”. Nobody could really say why.
  2. Fraud mitigation systems need to be automated and work in real time or as near to real time as possible. Most fraudulent “attacks are over in a short period of time. Manual systems that rely on human intervention take too long. This may result in “false positives” where genuine traffic is blocked but it is better this way than for end users to be hit with big bills.
  3. There has been plenty of work done that would help people model their automated (and non automated for that matter) systems. Get in touch if you want me to point you in the right direction.
  4. Criminals use automated processes that work their way through number ranges until they find an unblocked series to use as targets for their fraudulent calls. An automated system should be able to anticipate fraudulent activity by seeing calls from one destination working their way through such number ranges. \


I’m not going to go through the types of fraud involved. Much has been written before on this blog if you want a read. I’ve made it easy for you by providing a link to telecoms fraud posts.

Click on the link for Dave Morrow’s white paper on Missing Trader Intra Community Fraud.

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

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