[Sticky] VOIP/SIP Fraud schemes  


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Joined:2 years  ago
Posts: 29
03/12/2016 12:09 pm  

Bank guarantee and credit insurance

Bank guarantee. Today, on the market, more and more companies are giving you false bank guarantees that seem issue from 1st rate banks (like Barclays, Fortis...). The only solution to avoid such problem is to only accept standby L/C issued from 1st rate banks. A L/C is transferred from the customer bank to the supplier bank through swift. Also all the companies should know that bank guarantee could be issued only for certain sum after signing the contract. It can’t be unlimited or done before the contract is signed. And you should call the bank and ask about this guarantee. Also you should show it to your bank operator. All these steps will help you to understand if the papers are false. Credit insurance. An insurance company is giving you a certificate telling you that the insurance will pay you if your customer is not paying. Some French carriers accept those certificates (after check on the insurance cpy in Dun & Bradstreet, where the cpy exist with big assets). The carriers were never paid because everything was false.

Excessive trust

You work with the company for some respectable time. The invoice sums were not big and were always paid in time. Then you begin noticing that the traffic is increasing, but the payment still comes at the time. You feel uncomfortable making any limits to the client as you see no reasons for that: you work for a long time period and he is precise payer… You realize that he has really got the offshore company, he is not any time available, he is “one man show”, but he always pays at a right time. Then the weekly amount to be paid comes to the great sum and you begin feeling uneasy, but the payment still arrives. Then you relax your vigilance releasing him at enormous amounts counting your profit due. And the last invoice remains unpaid. He does not vanish and finds a bulk of reasons not to pay you but offers the routes so that you could take your money with the traffic. The routes work well, but the price is too high so it is almost unreal to collect the traffic. So you start to sell the routes at the discount price (lower than the purchasing price) to recover at least the part of the debt, thus it occurs that you send the traffic to another unlucky supplier. That was the way Lightspeed Telecom worked (Lightspeed Networks) directed by Steven Friedman. During the three years they managed to steal out few millions dollars from the suppliers. The reason for nobody posted them at the forums was that they didn’t vanish, but offered the routes at very high price with the limited capacity and the same story lasted for years till they have devastated the market for a million dollars at half of the year. We know more than 40 companies that suffered from their activity. The most careful and lucky have lost from 5 to 10 thousands dollars. The most careless have lost ten times more. We consider it to be the most dangerous swindle way because you expect it less.

Friday night call

Friday night your NOC receives the phone call where a “well known” company that used to send you the traffic more than a year asked to add the new IP urgent as they didn’t have time to make the mailing and they will be punished on Monday if your NOC won’t help them. What is unsuspecting NOC doing? Being sure that all the heard info is true add the new IP that can result the traffic acceptance on the sum from 1000 to 100 000 usd.

Friday night e-mail

You accept very similar e-mail that you usually get from your client company with insignificant difference: one letter missing or different in the company domain name. Who will pay attention to it on Friday night? No one will. And you add the new IP that is not somehow connected to the original company. Consequently you have got no one else, but you to blame for the absence of the company’ rules for the new IPs adding (both for clients and suppliers). You can feel secure about it with one way only: to ask for the new IP adding confirmation with the original company director signature. The signature must be identical to the signature stated in the signed agreement. Usually nothing comes after that and no one sends you any relevant mail. Sometimes a fake signature and stamp are sent with the confirmation. You can check its reliability by giving a call to your client’s office and ask him directly about the new IP adding intention. It is important to explain to your tech guys that it is better to wait for Monday to be 100% sure that the request is a subject to execution than to lead your company to a money loss.

Giant’s twins

All the well-known big-scale companies have got its “twins” that change the only one letter in the name of his original prototype. The “twins” use the same employees’ names, the letter and blanks style as the original company. To prevent such kind swindle you need to learn out the contact details of the company from another source and give a call thus comparing the information that you will succeed to get. As a rule, one call is enough to understand whether you are cheated or no. Our partner who is in business for years stated that in his company the matter was resolved in a very simple and efficient way: “If you want to buy the service from us please show your financial documents approved by the auditor providing that you are reliable company that have got the money. If you have got no such documents please prepay the service”.

Groundless dispute

Company starts to increase traffic volume heavily. For some time they pay for the routes correctly.
After several months company begins to dispute a decent amount of traffic, something about 10% (it's actually the whole of supplier's income). They discuss nor CDR nor dispute's reasons.
After a while they start to demand CDR for different time periods, with short calls and without ones. They wouldn't give a definite answer, they just stalled, and demand new CDR for the current time period. They stop payments as well.
In the end supplier understand that he got swindled (he has about 2-3 non-payed bills) and close routes. Soon supplier receive a letter from his client with talking point that 50% of all calls for the last three months - FAS. He doesn't pay attention for the call duration being more than 4 minutes.
Usually customer provide nor documents nor proof.
He doesn't want to pay anything, even non-disputed sum.
Company management begins to hide answering nor e-mails nor phone calls.
They can sent you a letter with scrambled request to decrease amount of money in the invoices in compliance with FAS (but they do not specify what exactly calls with FAS they mean).

The best way to avoid such swindlers - close company immediately after receiving a dispute for the large amount of traffic till all reasons becomes clear enough.

Hardware Servers Hack Via IPMI.

Hardware Servers Hack Via IPMI.

Recently a number of data centers have been facing up to various attacks/hacks of their hardware servers. The main aim of the hackers is to obtain root access with administrator's rights.

Theoretically, the data centers must secure the provided hardware against given attacks, but in practice - only few of them do.

Though, we'd like to warn all the market players against IPMI hacking that is widespread nowadays.

To hunt and detect the hacker is almost impossible for their making use of various proxy servers.

A recommendation by one of data centers Authorities:
"Related with the cases of servers hacking via IPMI (further reboot and user creating with administrative rights to the OS), and for the security of your server, it's highly recommended to change/update IPMI passwords for security reasons regularly, do not store passwords in your mailbox and/or browsers, as well as make sure you have an updated firmware versions.

There is a real vulnerability:  http://fish2.com/ipmi/cipherzero.html

Please update IPMI Firmware to the latest version (there is a link to the IPMI firmware on the website of your motherboard's manufacturer) and change your password (using not less than 15 characters, including numbers, as well as small and capital letters). "

We’d like to add - please do never send passwords via Skype or any other open social apps and systems of communication! Only a single blunder will turn you into hackers' target. Further complaints and blames on your software and/or hardware providers will not compensate your losses.

Intentionally bankruptcy

You cooperate successfully with some company for a few years and then it is reveals that the company has become bankrupt. They were keeping the secret on purpose to collect what is possible at the stage from all the suppliers at once as they have got nothing to loose already. The only way of protection in such case is to build good relations with the bankrupt company manager so to be one of the first who learns about what is taking place and to recover what is possible before the total bankruptcy of the company.

Loop calls as the way to earn money

Company 1 (customer) send a call to company 2 (supplier).
Company 2 (customer) send a call to company 3 (supplier).
Company 3 (customer) send a call to company 1 (supplier).
Company 1 duplicate a call to new supplier (company 4) and old supplier (company 2) in oder to send this call again to company 2 and 3. So the one call transform into three calls and bill is for three calls, not for one.
Then company 1 refuse to pay for three calls (to company 2) and pay only for one call. And in the same time company 1 send a request to company 3 to pay all three calls.
Let us make one call price as $ 1. So company 1 have $ 2 as easy money on this scheme.

Detection algorithm: checking all four parameters to be sure they match:
1) Start time - within 10 sec. for different calls
2) End time - within 4 sec. for different calls
3) B-number - completely match for different calls
4) A-number - completely match for different calls

Protection algorithm:
1) to close originator with notification
2) to change terminator for this originator
3) if a dispute is already open, then you should request a full payment for all three calls as in a technical matter - there are three separate calls.
p.s. this scheme is currently only a suggestion, as is it very hard to obtain a technical proof of this issue.

On behalf of the giant

You get the cooperation offer mail on behalf of the large-scale and well-known company such as France Telecom. The documents come from the company name. The test form contains the company’s IPs. Everything seems to be right. The only tech guy has got the hotmail address. But a realistic excuse for it is found. Then there comes a day with a huge traffic coming to your opened routes. Then you present your invoice and wait for the payment. But no money arrives. You start pushing your contact person but there is no one there… Your next step is to find the owner of the IPs you have been given. It reveals that the IPs belong to France Telecom and they have really send the traffic there, but the fact is that they have already paid the supplier for the traffic to another bank details according to another contract. At more careful agreement approach it appears that the director’s details are different from the pointed in your agreement and his signature is different as well… consequently you have got no one to claim to as the contract has got no legal effect. How to prevent the situation? You have only to give a call to France Telecom and learn out if they have got the agreement and verify their director name. And the main thing is to check if they have got the employee that intends to sign the agreement with you. You have to learn it out before the agreement signing and not after the incident. Usually everyone has got the courage to make a call after the case took place and not prior to that because feeling shy and thus trusting the swindlers what they willingly use.

Thief accountant

The "X" company sets up an agreement, sends the traffic and talks the accountant personally to the point of showing the false payment that never took place in fact. 2-3 month passes that way while circulating assets volume is enough for the normal company operation and the chief executive is out of the situation (as all the papers shown to him look good and all the invoices are paid). To the point when the chief executive begins to realize the problem the loss may amount from 10 000 UDS to 100 000 USD or even more. The accountant usually quits the job by this and shares the income with the X company. As a rule the cheat sum is huge enough to cover the risk for the accountant. The protection method includes the cash assets accounting automatic system that allows the banking abstract of account be processed WITHOUT a person interfere. The said systems exist and successfully run and as a result, help to prevent the assets of the companies’ owners from the unfair accountants’ activities as show the real figures of the clients’ debts. If the mentioned system is absence by any reason you can protect your funds by having a few (for example 3) employees controlling each other’s work as it is much more difficult to come to a swindle agreement with a few different persons than the only one according to the practice.

Unlimited test

The company asks you to open the routes for the test. It can occur in the evening or before the weekend. According to the test result you have got an agreement for the contract signing. At the nighttime or while weekend (if you haven’t limited a client by a credit) he succeeds to send a bulk of traffic to an open route and then disappears without paying. You can prevent the loss by limiting the client with the test lines (1-2), by the credit (10 USD is enough for testing) and to look after that he was denied to access the system after the test. Even if the access remains open the credit limit won’t allow him to send more than 10 USD traffic.

Well known manager

The "X" manager leaves from the large-scale company after a year or so working there saying that he was not given an ability to work and contacts his one year acquainted partners to begin working with him directly as he is going to find the traffic quickly and promises everything to be very smooth. Other words he has got everything for you to believe him. You open the routes to a “good guy” that you know for a year or so. Then he is sending you the traffic and after some time he begins to tell you that the offshore company is closed as he was cheated etc. So you realize that you were swindled by the “good guy” although he does not vanish and you have got the contacts but no money. He always complains that he can not collect the money due, to transfer you. Such a story can last for years. And you keep patiently waiting for the said time while the “good guy” can swindle other suppliers. And no one posts him at the forums as he promises to return all the money to his creditors. At that time the “good guy” continues successful swindling representing himself as the “company that is in business for a long time”.

Well tested route

You have been offered to test very good route at very good price. The test was successful, but prepay is required. The negotiations ended with the agreement signing, then you transfer the prepay and nothing happens or you get the route, that is beyond any comparison with the tested one. Next moment under any pretext you have been quoted the higher price consequently you are willing to send the traffic even to your own damage to prevent the biggest loss as you realize that it is the only way to get the part of your transferred money back. This is the way the providers themselves bring down the market forced by the desire to recover their “discounted” money by selling the routes at unprofitable price. But nevertheless it is better than to loose all the prepaid money that is more probably. That is why the prepay is worth be made to only companies that can send you their annual report approved by the auditor (almost all European tax offices state their reports on the web sites available thus making it available). So prepaying the unknown companies what don’t give any trade references and try to seduce you with the price and good testing results appear to be very risky.


We all know that it is difficult to get prepay – almost all work on postpay terms. But there are always such companies who provide the routes to the newbie for ten, twenty and more thousands dollars without any headache for the payment (as they have got the financial director to think about it and not the manager). But if we will start to implement the rules for the cooperation with the new companies, if we will start to verify them, if we will stop fearing to check once again their reputation and data reliability “before” and not “after”, if we will share the swindle information “on-the-fly”, then we will be able to clear up the market from that “vermin” and save the money in the VOIP industry. Consequently we will be able to develop, increase our facility and circulation, to apply the new technologies and not to give the money to the frauds who are just expecting that.

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Shawna Wilson and admin liked
Shawna Wilson
Active Member
Joined:2 years  ago
Posts: 9
06/12/2016 11:31 pm  

Nothing changes in this business. while minutes cost money there will be always people who will try to steal it. by the way very informative post.

New Member
Joined:2 years  ago
Posts: 1
26/04/2017 2:14 pm  

Excellent topic that help a lot.