Toll fraud is identified as the stealing of long distance call services by unknown third party hackers (Aginsky). The said call operators are after the money they can get from stealing and selling access to international calls. There are also instances that they are doing toll fraud schemes just for fun (Aginsky). It primarily uses telephone calls to gain profit in a very easy way by fabricating stories and disguising as company representatives.
Three Examples of Toll Fraud Schemes
(1) Toner Phoner or Voice Mail Penetration Scheme
This scheme usually happens when someone receives a call from someone declaring to be from any office supply companies and offers best deals and last chance promos for you to buy their products (Rosoff, Pontell, and Tillman 38-39). Upon payment, no supplies will be delivered and if ever supplies are delivered, it is overpriced and of low quality (Rosoff, Pontell, & Tillman 38-39). Once a complaint is filed against the supplier the truth will came out and the customer will be surprised to know that the one who called him/her has nor elation with the regular supplier (Aginsky). “Fraudulent companies often use threats of collection or legal action to get payment” (Aginsky).
The scam with telemarketing varies in forms. It can be in mail form or by means of phone calls solicitation of products to be donated in prominent charities only to find out that these charitable institutions are unregistered and fake (Rosoff, Pontell, and Tillman 35-41). Callers often disguise as sick or old and attempts to obtain delicate information like bank account or credit card numbers (Rosoff, Pontell, and Tillman 35-41). Another scenario of telemarketing is when business offices are called and they are asked of the brand and specifications of their products. After the call, shipments of unsolicited supplies will be received by the company and they will be charged with overblown prices. (Rosoff, Pontell, and Tillman 35-41).
(3) Phone Phreaking
Phone phreaking occurs by acquiring facts about the network operation of a certain telephone company in order to gain access to place unauthorized international calls (Rosoff, Pontell, and Tillman 366). Phone phreaks usually do this for personal use especially when their relatives are based abroad. It is also used for tricking telecommunication employees to gain technical information (Rosoff, Pontell, and Tillman 386-389)
The effects of fraudulent schemes to consumers and businesses
Victims of fraudulent schemes are not only consumers but business owners and employees as well. The reputation of businesses will be damaged and they will loose loyal customers because of wrong accusations against their company. Customer reliability is important to gain trust from customers who will patronize a particular business. Because of fraud schemes, this reliance is lost and business owners will be criticize and ridiculed Consumers are left with the burden of paying phone bills and certain products which they did not made or purchased (Rosoff, Pontell, and Tillman).