Benefits of Joining the AB Handshake Community - Beyond fraud prevention

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telecom fraud prevention ab handshake community benefits
Imagine a world in which we have eliminated all telecom fraud, completely. Yearly losses to telecom fraud around the world in 2019 amounted to $28.3 billion. By implementing a telecom fraud management solution and effectively stopping such fraud all around the world we can return billions of dollars in lost revenue to legitimate businesses.

However, the benefits of eliminating telecommunications fraud don't stop at recovering lost revenues. Once you implement an effective telecom fraud management solution and stop the fraud schemes, the whole telecom landscape opens up. Current tools and processes within the industry, once free of fraudulent interference, have the potential to strengthen, streamline and boost telco and enterprise operations in many ways.

We can reduce direct revenue losses, but we can also stop customer churn. We can simplify troubleshooting and dispute resolution. Traceback requests become more efficient and much more.

By using an effective telecom fraud management solution and eliminating telecom fraud, we unleash a wealth of additional benefits that are as invaluable to a company's success as increasing the bottom line.

Let's look at this in detail.

What exactly does it mean to eliminate fraud on a global level?

How exactly can we make such a grand vision a reality?

To answer these questions, we first need to understand how telecommunications fraud affects businesses and telcos.

True Impact of Fraud on the Telecom Industry

By eliminating fraud with a telecom fraud management solution, the telecom industry takes on a new life. In some ways, it can be seen as a rebirth.

In a fully secure and trustworthy environment, businesses can suddenly strengthen and streamline their operations with more confidence and far less stress. Ordinary processes can suddenly achieve new goals, boosting customer relations, streamlining traceback requests, raising the bottom line and much more.

So, how exactly do current fraud schemes prevent this from happening? Moreover, how do current telecom fraud management solutions fail?

First, let's look at the telecommunications fraud schemes out there today.

Types of Telecommunications Fraud - What is telecommunications fraud

There are several telecommunications fraud schemes today that infiltrate the call chain, creating an insecure environment for operators, enterprises and end customers. Here is a brief list:

  • Robocalls: A computerized autodialer calls and delivers pre-recorded messages.
  • Wangiri: A fraudster makes a zero-duration call usually to a mobile device, leaving a high-rate missed call number luring the owner of the phone to call back and rack up charges.
  • CLI Spoofing: A fraudster disguises a call by changing the caller ID information displayed to the recipient of a call.
  • Short Stopping: A corrupt operator ends a call on their network before it reaches its intended destination and passes it onto a high-rate destination.
  • Call Stretching: Recording part of a conversation in a call before dropping the call on the B-side and keeping the A-side on hold with the audio recording playing back repeatedly.
  • Interconnect Bypass: Exploiting the difference between low and high interconnect rates for off-net and on-net calls.
  • PBX Hacking: When a fraudster accesses a business' PBX system and earns a profit by placing international calls at the business's expense.
  • Wangiri 2.0: Fraudsters initiate calls from companies to high-rate numbers via bots filling out a company's online contact form.
And all other forms of International Revenue Share Fraud. They all share one common goal - to steal revenue from legitimate businesses and subscribers.

However, telecom fraud attacks prevent many business processes from functioning in fundamental ways. While these processes may not often be associated with fraud or may be overlooked when we assess fraud damages, they are an integral part of business operations. Problems here amount to major losses elsewhere.

Let's look at the case of Wangiri/Callback Fraud and how it impacts companies beyond revenue losses.

Case Study #1: Wangiri/Callback fraud

Wangiri fraud can affect both enterprises and subscribers. The end goal of this scheme is to rack up charges by triggering calls from consumers or enterprises to high rate numbers. Depending on who the criminals attack, the business or the subscriber foots the initial bill.

In the case of traditional Wangiri callback fraud, the customer is the target and foots the bill. However, carriers are also deeply affected down the line, in a less obvious way. This problem arises when customers begin filing complaints about incomprehensible phone bills.
Loss of Customer Loyalty

In the case of traditional Callback Fraud, a subscriber receives a missed call to their cell phone or landline. Out of curiosity, they call back. Regardless of who or what they reach on the other end, even if they only connect for several seconds, they unknowingly connect to a high-rate number.

By placing thousands of missed calls to trigger callbacks to high rate numbers, the criminals earn enormous profits.

At the end of the month, the customer foots the bill. This is the initial cost. However, if this becomes a rampant problem, customers begin filing complaints. Without an effective telecom fraud management solution, carriers struggle to accurately identify where and how the problem occurred. They then face a dilemma – either foot the bill for their customers or risk immense churn.

In the case of Wangiri 2.0, enterprises are the target, and are duped into wasting immense resources.
Wasted Resources

With Wangiri 2.0, a bot submits high-rate callback numbers to thousands of online contact-request forms on enterprises' websites. The call centers of these enterprises then make thousands of calls to each of these numbers, racking up immense charges on their phone bill.

In many cases, businesses overlook their phone bills and pay them off without question. Of course, the businesses waste money and resources on contacts that never become leads.

Case Study #2: Short stopping

In simple terms, short-stopping occurs when a fraudster hijacks a call before it reaches its destination. Together with a fraudulent transit carrier in the call chain, they pump the hijacked call to a high-rate destination country. The fraudster and the fraudulent carrier then split the resulting profits, paid either by a carrier or the end customer.

After rerouting ("short-stopping") a call, the fraudsters use a range of tactics to keep the caller on the line and rack up a charged duration. Callers usually stay on the line for at least a few seconds before realizing something's wrong. Often, they don't even know the fraud has occurred until they get their monthly phone bill. Like Wangiri fraud without an effective telecom fraud management solution these attacks give rise to many issues, financial and more.
Financial Loss, Churn and Ineffective Dispute Resolution

Total revenue losses to short-stopping and other forms of International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF) in 2019 totaled $4 billion. Yet, short-stopping attacks also create other problems.

Carriers are often faced with choosing between the similar ineffective dispute resolution process described above or simply footing the bill for their subscribers. In this case, they also face increased churn.

Additionally, operators struggle to prevent short-stopping attacks with traditional telecom fraud management solutions. As a result, some take the desperate measure of simply blocking the whole numbering plan of many high-rate countries altogether.

Subscribers who legitimately try to call these countries are unable to do so, leading to increasing lost revenues, customer dissatisfaction and further churn.

The issue at the core of each of these problems is the traditional approach taken by fraud management services. As I mentioned above, traditional telecom fraud management solutions take an isolated, inward-focused approach to stopping telecom fraud. They struggle to eliminate these attacks and related issues, altogether.

Problems With Traditional Telecom Fraud Management Solutions

As I mentioned above, in the current state of the telecom industry, operators use traditional telecom fraud management solutions to work in isolation from one another in an attempt to better fortify the boundary between their operations and the fraudsters.

The result of such isolation is that operators don't know what's happening at each stage of a call chain. This not only results in a fragmented landscape that benefits the fraudsters, it makes it more difficult to stop them.

Additionally, most traditional methods used by telecom fraud management solutions are reactive. The end result is a game of cat and mouse in which operators reactively adjust their protocols after attacks occur in hopes of being better protected next time, without much guarantee.

A telecom fraud management solution using cross-validation drastically changes this picture.

By joining a community of operators that cross-validate call data in real-time, members enjoy a fraud-free landscape and a wealth of additional benefits that can transform their business beyond financial gain.

Here is what telcos and enterprises gain by joining the fraud-free AB Handshake community.

Benefits of Cross-Validating Call Details - Joining the AB Handshake community

1. Recover revenue loss
Global revenue losses to telecom fraud in 2019 amounted to $28.3 billion. Eliminating fraud, first
and foremost, stops major financial losses for telcos and enterprises.

2. Reduced customer churn

Subscribers call more actively and become more loyal to one carrier or brand if they experience
fewer problems with fraud.

3. Simplified dispute resolution
The originating and terminating operators are openly and fully aligned on the call details. Such
transparency and accuracy in the call data along the whole transit route simplify negotiations
between transit carriers.

4. Transparency
In continuation from the above point, any inspections into the transit route from any party can be
done more efficiently. With transparent data readily and easily available, things like traceback
requests from a regulator or other authorities are faster and simpler.

5. Confidence
No false positives. Only fraudulent calls are blocked - legal calls are not blocked. By accurately
blocking the right calls, we increase revenues as well as make services more attractive and
trustworthy. End-users and enterprises receive a better, safer service that facilitates trust.

6. Eliminate country-specific call blocking
By accurately detecting each and every fraudulent call, operators from risky destinations are able
to do away with the country-specific call blocking approach that blocks legal, legitimate calls.

7. Improve SMS revenues
Operators have seen SMS revenues decline as the use of flash calls to bypass A2P SMS
termination rates have risen. By accurately validating each call, operators can easily filter out flash
calls and begin recovering lost SMS revenue.

8. Replace dated, costly solutions
With the accuracy of call validation, we can decommission out-of-date, ineffective and costly
solutions like test-call generators, providing 24/7 monitoring of operators' routes by validating live
traffic.

9. More secure services for subscribers
By eliminating voice fraud, we open up new, fully reliable and secure means of verification and
other security measures. For example, voice calls can be used as an authentication method for
different kinds of services, including highly sensitive financial services.

More than 200+ operators around the world are already reaping the benefits of cross-validating their traffic.

The key word here is 'cross-validation'. Without it, this wouldn't be possible. To understand why cross-validation is so effective, let's look at how it works.

AB Handshake - How it works

By using the AB Handshake telecom fraud management solution to cross-validate traffic, we can shift from a fragmented and reactive approach that stops some fraud, to a proactive and fully secure approach that stops all fraud with 100% accuracy and zero false positives.
AB Handshake is a solution that utilizes the game-changing principle of cross-validation of call details on a call chain, from end to end, to accurately detect and eliminate fraudulent voice traffic before it connects.
Here's how the AB Handshake telecom fraud management solution works:

  1. When an inbound or outbound call is initiated, the details of the call are immediately delivered to a call registry.
  2. The call registry then uses special technology to simultaneously send a validation request to the terminating network, which always reaches the network before the actual call.
  3. The solution then cross-validates the call details from both networks to detect even the slightest forms of manipulation.
Any inconsistencies revealed by cross-validation can mean only one thing - fraud. The call is then signaled as fraudulent and the operator can choose to immediately block the call in real-time before it connects or let it connect.

All live traffic within the ecosystem is constantly validated in real-time, resulting in a 100% fraud-free community of operators.

As more and more members join the community, the volume of secure cross-validated traffic grows as the portion of insecure fraudulent traffic shrinks, eventually leaving the fraudsters with nowhere to go. If adopted on a global scale, AB Handshake can eliminate all voice traffic fraud for good.

Integration

In order to make the vision of a global fraud-free community a reality, creating a telecom fraud management solution with easy and affordable integration was an essential piece of the puzzle. Joining the AB Handshake community is incredibly simple and affordable to any operator in any country around the world.

Here're some key features that make integration effortless:

  • Compatibility with both IP and TDM networks, ensuring any kind of operator can use the system.
  • Integration without any upfront CapEx.
  • Quick integration - as little as one week (less time also means low integration costs).
After installing the solution to a dedicated server, it can be up and running on your network in a week.

You can then customize your own security policy rules for in- and outbound voice traffic and monitor the whole validation process via an online interface. This way, you can transparently see the action on your network as it happens in real-time.

You'll also have the needed logging and export capabilities to enrich all of the information processed within your existing fraud management system.

Join AB Handshake Today

When fraud disappears, the telecom landscape is a different playing field, in which telcos and enterprises can truly thrive. It's a win-win solution for all members.

The AB Handshake telecom fraud management solution is already validating live traffic to all countries around the world. This ecosystem of secure, fraud-free, cross-validated traffic has been growing for years. More than 200 operators around the world are already reaping the benefits of joining the AB Handshake community.

If you have any questions or you want to join the AB Handshake community today, feel free to get in touch with our team today. One of our onboarding specialists will respond shortly.

We're waiting for you.