The Global Landscape of Telecoms Fraud

Last week it was my privilege to speak at the BICS Mobility in Action event that they held in Brussels. It was an opportunity to discuss the landscape of fraud as seen from the perspective of professionals working in the carrier services function of their telco. We all know that plenty of crime occurs across borders, with frauds like IRSF based on exploiting loopholes and weaknesses in the global management of telephony services. One benefit of the shift to IP-based networks is that the value of some established frauds is in decline, for the same reason that voice revenues are falling. However, we also need to be alert to new and emerging risks, some of which are made viable by cheap VOIP services. Common fundamental factors are driving all of the following:

Cheap and plentiful services can be used for bad reasons as well as good. The national policing mindset assumes the criminal and the victim act within the same jurisdiction. This is inadequate when dealing with crime that exploits the supply of services across a global networks. Communications providers may find they will suffer decreasing losses due to crime whilst simultaneously becoming the conduit for a lot more crime which targets their subscribers. Governments will need to reconsider how they cooperate in the field of law enforcement, and telcos will need to rethink all aspects of their approach to fraud detection and prevention, or else risk allowing a tidal wave of crime to flood their networks. That was the overarching theme of my talk, the slides for which you can see below.


Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.