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Crime prevention Hertfordshire

Dial through fraud

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Private Branch Exchanges (PBX) are telephone systems commonly used by businesses. Hackers break into the systems and make a high volume of calls to premium rate numbers from which they can make money, or to international numbers.

This is most likely to occur when a business is closed but the telephone system is still live, such as at night, over a weekend or on a public holiday. Expensive numbers are dialled hundreds or thousands of times and the business is left to pay the bill. Often, victims have left their telephone system passcodes on default settings. Victims are often small to medium-sized businesses.
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How can I protect our business?

  • Ensure all default settings are changed to secure PIN numbers.
  • Disable access to your voicemail system from outside lines. If this is necessary for your business, ensure access is restricted to essential users and regularly update PINs/passwords.
  • If you never call international or premium rate numbers, ask your network provider to restrict access to these numbers. Ask your provider to prohibit all outbound calls at times when nobody is in the business.
  • Review call logging/reporting options and regularly monitor usage for suspicious call traffic.


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