Telecom Fraud was a hot topic at ITW last month, and rightly so given the magnitude of the losses. Despite the considerable attention that has been brought to International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF) over the past few years, significant increases in IRSF-related losses are evidence that the industry as a whole has fallen short of effectively managing this type of fraud.

According to a survey conducted by the Communications Fraud Control Association (CFCA), overall fraud-related losses have dropped by close to 18% globally between 2013 and 2015, from $46.3bn in 2013 to $38.1bn in 2015. However, IRSF-related losses have increased by 501% globally over the same period, from $1.79bn in 2013 to $10.76bn in 2015, making of IRSF the most lucrative, the least protected and fastest growing type of fraud. What these big numbers obscure is the true cost to victims, which include both consumers and operators/carriers.

Who really pays?

All operators, irrespective of location or size, are vulnerable to IRSF fraud. Some of the horror stories about telecom fraud describe carriers sending six-figure bills to enterprise customers who have been victimized by PBX hacking and then actually suing those customers for payment. The alternative, which is more common among large carriers, is to take the hit themselves and absorb the loss.

For established operators the consequences of falling victim to IRSF go beyond revenue loss; it can also lead to customer churn, damaged reputation, drain of resources and lost opportunities. For smaller operators falling victim to IRSF could ultimately lead to the company going belly up.

Certainly, the best course is to avoid the fraud or at least minimize its impact. Early detection, prevention and continuously improved algorithms are the only winning strategies.

iBasis developed our FraudAlert™ system to help operators of any size prevent and dramatically reduce losses due to IRSF attacks. This tool provides users with the visibility and control required to combat fraud attacks.

  • Complementary to your ecosystem: iBasis’ FraudAlert is a non-invasive fraud management tool – nothing needs to be installed in your system – it works as another layer of defense in your fraud management ecosystem.
  • Alerting and Control: FraudAlert immediately alerts the customer via SMS/email when fraudulent traffic is detected. Its user-friendly graphical interface provides detailed information on each alert so you can gain insight and actively manage automatic blocking thresholds.
  • Automated Blocking: By analyzing call detail records 24×7 in near real time, your business is protected during off-peak times when most fraudulent attacks are generated, using a sophisticated proprietary algorithm. Fraudulent attacks are automatically blocked based on customizable thresholds and can be fully adapted according to your needs.

The risks of IRSF are only increasing, raising the urgency for operators to strengthen their fraud management ecosystem. If you are interested in learning more about iBasis’ FraudAlert capabilities or would like to schedule a demo, please contact Product Manager Guillermo Hurtado (

For more information on FraudAlert, visit our FraudAlert Service Page.

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