Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Term Tuesday: Sweepstakes or Premium Fraud explained

In our on going series explaining how Telecom Fraud works and how to protect yourself and your company here is an example of how Sweepstakes or Premium Fraud occurs.

Not all Telecom Fraud requires that the fraudster hack your phone system or take any real risk. In many cases fraudsters try to trick you into making calls or into staying on the line a long time, thus defrauding yourself. These are easier than hacking your system and can be much more profitable.

Some examples of how they get you to call can be:
  • Message to your cell phone
  • Voice message (automatic return the call option)
  • Missed call
  • Email or fax offers
In most of these cases you will be asked to call a number, they then want to keep you on the line as long as possible, and if they can do it they want to encourage you to call over and over again by offering you chances to win. I came across one example recently that explains this clearly:
Thank you for calling dial to win applications, where you can win fabulous prizes every week, the longer you hold the line the bigger is your chance to be the winner, for every minute you hold you collect one lucky hit, the more lucky hits you collect the the bigger your chances, now get ready we will generate you unique code 322123179325. 
Well done, you have collected you first lucky hit for this call, please continue to hold etc...
What they don't tell you is that you are not calling a toll-free number and in fact can be paying more than $5 per minute, and there have been cases of over $20 per minute.

Be wary of these scams.

To read more about this type of fraud see: