ATIS Tackles VOIP Fraud

ATIS announces its Telecommunications Fraud Prevention Committee (TFPC) will review how to identify fraudulent users

April 19, 2005

2 Min Read

WASHINGTON -- ATIS today announced that its Telecommunications Fraud Prevention Committee (TFPC) will review how a person committing fraud would be identified in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) environment.

Using VoIP, it is possible for a caller to control components of a call that are used to identify information about the originator, including the physical location. By doing so, a scam artist can manipulate caller information so it appears as if they are originating a call from a bank or other trusted source – possibly gaining them access to valuable personal information and leaving a virtually untraceable trail.

“As VoIP becomes more widespread, so will the instances of fraud,” said Mark Yelchak, TFPC Chair and senior business manager, SBC Corporate Fraud and Database Management. “The fraud-related challenges of IP-based services are substantially different than those of the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Carriers that want to be successful in the VoIP world need to understand how their customers are using and misusing their networks. The industry participants must address these issues or run the risk of losing billions of dollars due to fraud.”

“As carriers migrate their networks to VoIP there are numerous technical issues that must be addressed to fully deploy the technology,” said Susan Miller, president and CEO of ATIS. “By working together, the communications industry can devise the operational procedures, standards and systems needed to minimize fraud and maximize network security.”

With VoIP, the source of the call can usually be determined by the IP address of the device that originates the call. However in some cases, the address is not permanent and can be manipulated by changing networks or by losing the “lease” for the address that is being used. As the IP address is not a stable source of identification, it cannot be used to identify location or as a point to deny service.

The TFPC is in the early stages of its examination of VoIP fraud issues. At this time, its work is focusing on VoIP call components that may be manipulated by the call originator. Work on this project will be taking place through mid-2005 and will most likely spur additional activities within TFPC and other ATIS committees.

Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS)

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