Preventing Telecoms Fraud: Know Your Customer

Since remote working has become the norm for many businesses across the UK, we have seen a sharp increase in online transactions while fraudulent activity has also been on the rise. To protect your business, you need to know your customer and be able to recognise the tell-tale signs of fraud.

At DWS, we prioritise fraud management, working hard to ensure our business and our partners are protected. That’s why we’ve pulled together this guide to help you remain vigilant.

Do your due diligence

When you get an enquiry from a new business, it’s important to obtain as much information on the customer as possible before completing a purchase. We recommend you conduct a few checks on Companies House, WhoIs and a quick Google search of the phone number and address provided.

Spotting telecoms fraud

Telecoms fraudsters use a variety of techniques but the ones we see most often are:

Smishing is on the rise, in fact, 3 out of 4 people in the last year have fallen subject to smishing scam. These fraudulent SMS messages usually contain a link to a scam site; examples of recent scams are DHL and Royal Mail delivery charge texts.

Email Spoofing
Creation of email messages with a forged sender address is common. The central email conventions do not have tools for verification, making it common for spam & phishing emails to deceive people.
Always check the email address the email came from; it can be displayed as a legitimate company and really be a spoofed personal email account. Similar domain names can also be registered with subtle differences that you may not spot at first.

Caller ID
Fraudsters use automated dialling software to set up robocalls and decide what to display on your caller ID. As with emails, it is easy for fraudsters to display any telephone number; sometimes fraudsters will display a number they wish to commit the fraud on and use this to make you think they are calling from that number.

Dispatch of goods

Although many products in our industry do not require physical delivery, such as hosted voice or connectivity services, any Channel partners selling hardware should be wary when dispatching goods. Always check the delivery address when dispatching goods, it should be the same as the company address. If it doesn’t match, check the address online and look on maps; it’s not uncommon that a Google search will reveal an abandoned warehouse.

PBX fraud is a real risk

Fraudsters hack into a PBX and uses that PBXs services to make free long distance calls using call transfers. Most soft switches have no way of tracking a call once it is transferred out of the network, so fraudsters can generate a significant amount of traffic and spend before being caught.

Other PBX hacks include:

  • False answer supervision
  • Location routing number fraud
  • Revenue sharing fraud
  • Multiple transfer fraud
  • Call forwarding fraud
What to do if you come across a fraudster
  • The whole time they are talking to you, they are gathering and storing data; do not give any partial answers, information or account details.
  • Remain calm and do not let them know you believe they’re a fraudster; telling someone you think they are a fraudster can result in internal and external investigations if you are incorrect. If you are correct, suspected fraudsters may become aggressive.
  • Make a note of the date and time of the call and any key details they offer.
  • Ensure when communicating over email, that the email address and domain are correct.
  • If a telephone number is shown on your handset appears correct, do not use this as proof of origination of the call.

If you have any questions or concerns about fraud management, please contact our Fraud Management team at

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