Carriers Losing Nearly $40 Billion a Year to Fraudulent Calling

February 10, 2016
By: Laura Stotler

Telecom fraud is big business and poses a significant threat to carriers throughout the globe. According to a 2015 survey from the Communications Fraud Control Association, the telecom industry loses roughly $38.1 billion each year to fraud. And managing and mitigating fraudulent calling can be tough, particularly when regulations and responsibility are somewhat murky.

That’s where companies like Equinox come into the picture. The company has provided back office solutions for carriers for 30 years, with a focus on usage analytics, mediation and, of course, fraud management. TMCnet Senior Editor Peter Bernstein got a chance to speak to David West, Jr., executive vice president of Equinox, about fraud challenges at the recent ITEXPO (News - Alert) Florida 2016 event.

“In a VoIP world, fraud continues to be a significant threat,” said West. “So much of that has to do with the ubiquity of access now.” He added that 20 years ago it would take a significant effort to manually hack a PBX (News - Alert). Now that the process can be readily automated, carriers are open to much higher risks of fraudulent calling.

Equinox customers, which generally hail from Tier 2 and smaller markets, continue to see significant fraud according to West. The company offers its Protector fraud management system to help carriers monitor network usage in real time, identify suspicious activity and receive automatic alerts about fraudulent behavior.

The system was recently integrated with the PRISM database, developed by New Zealand-based Yates Fraud Consulting and India’s FRSLabs. The database includes more than 190,000 blacklisted numbers originating from more than 220 countries to help combat telecom fraud. Customers have the option to subscribe to the database directly through the Protector system.

Equinox also recently overhauled the user interface of their fraud management system for customer Teloquent Communications, a provider of virtual call center solutions. The company’s customers were receiving a lot of robo calls and unwanted solicitations.

“The robo calling thing is a real challenge in a lot of ways,” said West. “I think carriers tend to be somewhat confused about how they want to approach it. The wireline, VoIP, cable MSOs and the wireless carriers all have the exact same issue and all struggle with it in the same way.”

Equinox is working to bring the solution developed with Teloquent to a broader customer base as well as focusing on expansion and new product development.




Edited by Kyle Piscioniere