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Long distance

Toll fraud - How to protect your business

Toll fraud scams – where organizations are billed for long-distance calls made fraudulently through their voicemail systems – have cost Canadian businesses more than $1.1 million since 2013.

How does toll fraud work?

Usually, fraudsters will call a business after hours and try to identify its automated answering system based on its menus and prompts. This allows them to enter the system’s default passwords until they get access to a vulnerable mailbox – either by using an unchanged password or by trying simple sequences like “1234”. Once they’re in the system, fraudsters can rack up significant charges. The average incident results in $2,200 in fees – with some businesses getting billed up to $45,000.

You can protect your business against fraudulent activity by taking the following steps to safeguard your voicemail equipment and educate your employees about password security:

General steps for protecting against toll fraud

Fraud-prevention tips for specific systems features

What to do if you suspect toll fraud

Last updated: October 27, 2014