Bandwidth's Fraud Policies

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Ashley Brodzinski

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Bandwidth International Fraud Policy

Bandwidth Voice Termination/Outbound Calling

Bandwidth’s termination service provides high quality voice termination to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), VoIP, and mobile networks in the industry. Through our nationwide CLEC network, over 35M end points, direct peering arrangements, and valued termination partners, Bandwidth can terminate your local, interstate, intrastate, and international calls at highly competitive rates.

 

International Termination Defined

International termination is defined as anywhere outside of the United States states and territories, as well as Canada. International does not include offshore locations like Puerto Rico, Northern Marianas, etc, ie. US protectorates.

 

About International Fraud

VoIP calls are transmitted via high-speed internet connections, rather than over a traditional land-line phone service. These types of calls are generally traveling through many layers of VoIP service providers and/or wholesalers, which can create more accessibility, least cost routing scenarios, and sometimes subsequently – fraud.

Fraud over VoIP can affect any type of organization who uses or sells VoIP services. It occurs when the ‘attacker’ attempts to take advantage of certain systems and vulnerabilities within the VoIP network by hacking into it making international calls, and having no intent at paying for the accrued charges. Without proper fraud prevention monitoring and prevention strategies in place, providers or customers using VoIP may be unaware of the fraudulent activity.

 

Bandwidth’s Fraud Policy and Precautions for Customers

Bandwidth requires that its customers monitor fraudulent behavior within their respective networks, and shut down necessary numbers, IP addresses or customers when necessary. 

Bandwidth’s customers are solely responsible for all usage charges, whether these charges are deemed legitimate or fraudulent. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Nevertheless, below are a few precautions to consider that may help you safeguard against international fraud:

• Remove any manufacturers passwords, such as with a VoIP phone

• Set time limits on your network to automatically shut off international calls lasting over 60-minutes, for example

• Ensure that all IP addresses are behind a well-built and protected firewall

• Disable the ability to access a dial tone from an old phone via the voice mail system

• Be aware of the inherent risks of offering international calling services

While this list is not all-inclusive of fraud protection within any network, they are a good start.

 

Bandwidth’s Algorithmic Call Pattern Detector

Bandwidth presumes our customers will detect fraudulent traffic. However to protect ourselves Bandwidth employs a custom algorithm to detect calling patterns, which are consistent with potential international fraud.

The system monitors calls to Bandwidth’s network in near real-time as they complete, and compiles call pattern statistics. The metrics are stored & tracked over time to build a calling behavior pattern that is continually groomed as traffic changes over time.

If any new data drifts more than an acceptable variance from the established patterned behavior, the system alerts the Bandwidth Network Operations Center (NOC) staff that there is potential suspicious calling activity. To enable us to pin point the source of this traffic we can trace suspicious activity at the customer or IP Address level.

The pattern recognition algorithms and alerting algorithms are proprietary and kept confidential to prevent potential exploitation.

 

Notification & Shutdown Process

In the event Bandwidth detects traffic in which our algorithm deems to be suspicious traffic, we will determine the originating point for that traffic and may:

• Block a customer’s international traffic or customer’s IP

• Block a specific country code or a group of codes

• Block a customer’s international traffic, customer’s IP or specific country code(s) and contact the customer to inquire about the traffic

o If the traffic is deemed fraudulent by the customer, the block will remain in place until the customer has resolved the issue and requested the block be removed and, depending on the amount of fraudulent charges, paid for that fraud

o If the traffic is deemed legitimate, and has generated less than $1K in charges, the traffic will be unblocked

o If the traffic is deemed legitimate, and has generated more than $1K in charges, the traffic will be unblocked once payment has been received for those charges

 

Bandwidth Domestic Fraud Policy

Domestic Termination Defined

Domestic termination is defined as all of the United States states and related territories, as well as Canada. Domestic termination includes offshore locations like Puerto Rico, Northern Marianas, etc, ie. US protectorates.

Bandwidth’s customers are solely responsible for all usage charges, whether these charges are deemed legitimate or fraudulent. There are no exceptions to this policy.

 

Bandwidth’s Cost Monitoring & Pattern Detector

Similar to international fraud detection, Bandwidth’s network monitors calls in near real-time as they complete, and compiles call pattern statistics. These statistics determine a baseline spend per customer for domestic termination.  

If any new data drifts exceeds the established patterned behavior, the system alerts the Bandwidth Network Operations Center (NOC) staff that there is potential suspicious calling activity. To enable us to pin point the source of this traffic we can trace suspicious activity at the customer or IP Address level.

The pattern recognition algorithms and cost alerting algorithms are proprietary and kept confidential to prevent potential exploitation.    

The Bandwidth Network Operations Center (NOC) staff will review the alarm and traffic to determine if there is a potential for fraudulent activity.  They will review patterns in traffic that typically signal fraudulent activity such as repeating originating numbers, repeating terminating numbers, similar call duration on calls, etc.   

 

Notification & Shutdown Process

In the event Bandwidth detects traffic in which we deem to be suspicious traffic, we will determine the originating point for that traffic and may:

• Block a customer’s traffic or customer’s IP

• Block a specific country code or a group of codes

• Block a customer’s traffic, customer’s IP or specific NPA-NXX code(s) and contact the customer to inquire about the traffic

o If the traffic is deemed fraudulent by the customer, the block will remain in place until the customer has resolved the issue and requested the block be removed and, depending on the amount of fraudulent charges, paid for that fraud

o If the traffic is deemed legitimate, and has generated less than $1K in charges, the traffic will be unblocked

o If the traffic is deemed legitimate, and has generated more than $1K in charges, the traffic will be unblocked once payment has been received for those charges

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