We use cookies on this website. By using this site, you agree that we may store and access cookies on your device.

Telecommunications Fraud (phone scams)

Gardaí appeal to all business owner to review their business phone systems -

Hackers exploit poor security in a business phone system causing it to generate large numbers of calls to international and premium rate numbers. Typically the hack will occur when the business is closed (early morning, weekends, holiday periods*). The Hacker receives money from the calls, the hacked business foots the bill which can be many thousands of Euros.

Prevention of phone fraud - PBX IRSF

•         Get expert advice. Keep Phone System software up to date. Include Phone System in IT security reviews.

•         Review Phone System security regularly especially before holiday periods (Christmas, Easter, Bank Holiday Weekends).

•         Set strong Admin passwords. Do not use defaults (1234, 0000, 1111).

•         Set strong Voicemail passwords. Do not use password 7865 for extension 7865.

•         Block Calls to premium rate numbers.

•         Block calls to international destinations other than those needed. (Start with all blocked then unblock as needed).

•         Turn off remote access features unless absolutely necessary (remote voicemail access for example)

•         Limit Admin access to the Phone System and also physical access if possible. Keep a log of who has access (both Admin access and physical).

•         Hackers look for easy targets and will only spend a few minutes trying to gain access to a system before moving on. A few simple steps can be enough to put them off.

If you are hacked - 

•         Contact your phone service provider to report the incident.

•         Contact your Phone System maintainer to have your system security reviewed.

•         Report the incident to the Gardai. Give the Pulse number to your phone service provider.

* The holiday periods mentioned include bank holidays, Easter, Christmas etc.

ComReg provide some general advice re scam calls

ComReg is aware that scam calls can take on many forms, therefore, ComReg advises consumers to be vigilant at all times.

We would advise consumers that returning calls to unknown international numbers can be costly and we advise consumers to exercise caution when they receive a missed call from such numbers.

  • If your phone handset provides a number display that presents to you the caller’s telephone number, you can decide whether you recognise the number to answer the call or to ignore it if you are unsure.
  • Be wary of multiple calls/missed calls being received from the same number that you are unfamiliar with.
  • Do not call back any number that you don’t recognise where there is a blank or no voicemail message left.
  • If you dial back an unknown number by mistake, hang up immediately on calls where there appears to be no recipient on the other end or where you are left on hold.
  • If you have friends or relatives abroad that may be calling you, store their number (including the country prefix) in your phone and be aware of the prefix for the country where they might be calling from.
  • If you are getting persistent missed calls from an unknown number, or if you return a call to an unknown number, contact your service provider in the first instance and follow their code of practice, details of which are available on their website.
  • Some phones have the capability of allowing you to block a nuisance number from contacting you.  You should check your phone manual to see if this is a feature of your handset.
  • Do not provide any personal information, for example, banking details/PPS number/credit card details/name and address/passport numbers etc.

Unfortunately there is no way to identify a scam call number, and they can resemble a very normal, familiar, geographical or international number that we would come across on a daily basis.

The CommReg link for consumer advice re scam calls can be found here

Europol has a dedicated page to telescam prevention which can be found here.