IRSF FRAUD STORY

PBX Services Limited* (PSL) has been operating for a number of years providing PBX services to small to medium businesses. They are a small business but have been reasonably successful in providing their services to an established group of customers. PSL Management are aware of the fraud risks associated with PBX’s, however have never been a victim of any significant fraud, and because they are a small company, did not expect that they were likely to be targeted by organised fraudsters.

During a long weekend in Q3 of 2013, the CEO of PSL received a phone call from his Account Manager at his Wholesale Carrier. He was advised that over the previous 30+ hours, 18,000 calls had originated from his PBX’s to destinations such as Gambia, Bosnia, Serbia, Latvia, East Timor and others. The value of these calls was around $US120,000, and his Wholesale Carrier, recognising that PSL may struggle to repay this debt, demanded payment in full within 48 hours, or their Network Services would be withdrawn. PSL had been the victim of PBX Hacking and International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF). Despite the fact that the PSL average monthly spend on international calls up to that point was around $US100, and such a huge increase in calling should have been identified through fraud monitoring, PSL was contractually obliged to make this payment. PSL did not have the cash reserves to make this payment as required by their Wholesale Provider, and without a Network Carrier, they could not remain in business.

PSL was not a PRISM customer, however was aware of the services provided by the PRISM developer in the area of fraud investigation (The Investigator). The Investigator was contacted and offered to help, receiving full details of the 18,000 fraudulent calls that were made.

Within these 18,000 calls almost 750 unique numbers were identified, and 261 hits were confirmed.

Many of these 261 numbers were called within the first 1,000 calls associated with this fraud, and had PRISM been used as a hotlist by either PSL or their Wholesale Carrier, 261 fraud alerts would have been raised.

The losses that would have resulted would then have been reduced to less than $US5,000, and this was a perfect example of how a minimal investment in PRISM, along with an associated FMS if one does not already exist within the organisation, can generate impressive fraud savings. It also highlighted the fact that IRS fraudsters are not concerned with the size, location or business interests of the victims they are going to attack. They will continue to search for the ‘weakest link’, put in place a strategy to maximise their fraudulent profits, decide on a time and date of commencement of the fraud, and then commence their attack. In this case the fraud was organised, with simultaneous PBX hacks originating from Germany, Palestine, Israel and other locations.

In this case, the end result for PSL was not as bad as it could have been. From using the data within PRISM, the Investigator was able to identify the likely IPRN Reseller who controlled most of the numbers used during this fraud, and also confirm that many of them were hijacked ranges which did not terminate in the countries to which the relevant country codes applied. Because of this information, the Wholesale Carrier agreed to reduce the amount owed, allowing PSL time to pay this reduced amount and save their business. However this was still a significant loss that could have been avoided had either PSL or their Wholesale Carrier made a small investment in what is generally accepted as the most effective IRSF detection tool available.

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FMSEVOLUTION: SCALABLE TECHNOLOGY FOR HIGH-GROWTH MARKETS

Vodafone Qatar, the Gulf Emirate’s newest communications company implements XINTEC’s FMSevolution Fraud Management System as the first step in their strategy to partner with XINTEC to deploy their innovative revenue optimization tools.

“The choice for FMSevolution was clear for several reasons, not least that we get all the functionality we need from a fraud management system without the show-stopping costs we see all too often” Rob James, Head of Fraud, VF-Qatar.

The Challenge

Vodafone Qatar, a consortium comprised of Vodafone Group and Qatar Foundation, received the second public mobile networks and services licence in the State of Qatar in June 2008.  Remarkably, they were able to switch of a fully functional mobile network on the 1 March 2009, with 1,000 customers. With a vision to be the most admired brand in Qatar within 3 years, and to grow to 1.6 million customers by 2018, protecting their customers from becoming victims to fraud while ensuring their own revenues were secure became extremely important to them. Wiithin months of going live, Vodafone Qatar started the search for a suitable revenue protection partner.

The Solution

As part of this search for a suitable revenue protection tool, Vodafone Qatar evaluated the XINTEC FMSevolution product, then known as FMSlite. This was perfect for them. It was quick to deploy, low-cost and a solution that was already proven.  It was also a modular solution that was capable of growing along with them, as they moved towards their vision of growing to 1.6 million customers. Vodafone Qatar were well aware that during this period of growth, particularly in light of the long established competition in Qatar, they would be wise to plan to extend their Fraud Management tools to Revenue Assurance and other areas of revenue risk.

The Result

Once the decision to use XINTEC was confirmed, the FMSevolution product was implemented and operational within weeks. The results achieved by Vodafone Qatar were immediate, with the system helping them to recover over €200,000 within the first few weeks of operation. Since this time, Vodafone Qatar have continued to add to their suite of XINTEC products which has included a full implementation of the XINTEC Revenue Assurance System (RAevolution). Vodafone Qatar have experienced customer growth to 1 million customers by early 2013, and the XINTEC revenue optimization tools have ensured that revenues have been maximised during this period of growth.