Menu Home Search

Advice on preventing telephone fraud

Updated on Friday, 26 August 2016, 774 views

GPC has been made aware that telephone systems used by practices may be vulnerable to fraudsters hacking into them and making premium rate calls. In one instance £2500 - £5000 of calls were placed over one weekend.

This is known as PBX/dial-through fraud, which occurs when hackers target Private Branch Exchanges (PBX) from the outside and use them to make a high volume of calls to premium rate or overseas numbers.

The victims are usually small to medium-sized businesses, but the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has also noticed that a number of schools, charities and medical/dental practices being targeted where fraudsters are taking advantage of flaws in security systems.

This type of fraud is most likely to occur when organisations are most vulnerable i.e. during times when businesses are closed but their telephone systems are not, for example in the early hours of the morning or over a weekend or public holiday.

There are commercial organisations that will install software to prevent this and practices should consider whether this is a cost effective solution. However, a simpler alternative might be to place a block on international calls with the telephone system supplier.

This raises an issue of where, for example, a patient is hospitalised abroad and clinician to clinician communication is required, but the advice of GPC would be to ensure that an alternative mechanism for making and receiving such a call was in place, such as the mobile of one of the practice staff. Any cost to the individual could then be reimbursed.

 

Related guidance...

MORE ACCURATE GENERAL PRACTICE APPOINTMENT DATA (GPAD): WE NEED YOUR HELP

MORE ACCURATE GENERAL PRACTICE APPOINTMENT DATA (GPAD): WE NEED YOUR HELP full document General practice should record all...

Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 5th February 2016

Sent to all Somerset GPs and Practice Managers This and previous updates can be found here Somerset Together-Yes...

084 Telephone Numbers

Practices may use 084 numbers to help provide a good service to their patients, provided that the cost to their patients is guaranteed...

Safeguarding: Adults

Introduction Safeguarding vulnerable adults is a complex area of practice. The potential client group is wide ranging from adults who...

Novel-Coronavirus (2019 n-COV)

Dear Colleagues All practices should have received and be familiar with and using the guidance from Public health England relating to...

Grip and Control

Welcome to my Feast! Today is St. Nicholas Day, and we’re deep into winter, with the traditional escalation calls sharing and comparing...

Who Cares? The Future of General practice

Original Document Reform claims to be an apolitical think tank but some commentators have pointed out its funding by big pharmaceutical...

Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 10 June 2016

Sent to all Somerset GPs and Practice Managers          This and previous updates are...

Alternative Reflections

February 3rd 2017 It's been a great fortnight, a really great fortnight. Frantic and tremendous! And fantastic. We have the best...

Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 20th November 2020

Sent to all Somerset GPs and Practice Managers This and previous updates are available here MARs charts a message from LMC...