Private Branch Exchanges (PBX) Business Fraud

What is PBX Fraud?

Private Branch Exchanges (PBX) are systems which enable organisations to allow improved communication both internally and externally. PBX/dial-through fraud occurs when hackers target these systems from the outside and use them to make a high volume of calls to premium rate or overseas numbers to generate a financial return.

 How does it work?

This type of crime can take one of two forms:

  • Criminals use auto-diallers to identify systems which are easy to hack into, especially voicemail.
  • The system is subject to a sustained cyber attack to establish the pass code that will give them access to the PBX system itself. This can be relatively straightforward as often victims leave the password/code on default settings.

Once access is gained, the criminals can exploit in-built services such as message forwarding and call diversion and can make calls on the organisations account.

The criminal can make their money in two ways:

  • Dialling premium rate numbers to which they are affiliated
  • Dialling international numbers through the compromised telephone system, especially to Eastern Europe, Cuba and Africa.

Who is affected?

The victims are often small to medium-sized businesses, but the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has also noticed that a number of schools, charities and medical/dental practices are being targeted, with losses sometimes up to tens of thousands of pounds. It is anticipated that these types of organistions will be subjected to increased victimisation as criminals identify common flaws in security procedures.

This type of fraud is most likely to occur when organisations are most vulnerable i.e. during times when businesses are closed but their telephone systems are NOT, for example in the early hours of the morning or over a weekend or public holiday.


The good news is that some simple steps will significantly reduce your risk of victimisation:

  • Use strong pin/passwords for your voicemail system, ensuring they are changed regularly.
  • If you still have your voicemail on a default pin/password change it immediately.
  • Disable access to your voice mail system from outside lines. If this is business critical ensure the access is restricted to essential users and they regularly update their pin/passwords
  • If you do not need to call international numbers/premium rate numbers, ask your telecoms provider to place a restriction on your telephone line.
  • Consider asking your network provider to not permit outbound calls at certain times e.g. when your business is closed
  • Ensure you regularly review available call logging and call reporting options.
  • Regularly monitor for increased or suspect call traffic.
  • Secure your exchange and communications system, use a strong PBX firewall and if you don’t need the function, close it down!
  • Speak to your maintenance provider to understand the threats and ask them to correct any identified security defects

ActionFraudThe best way to fight fraud and fraudsters is to get people talking about it and reporting it to Action Fraud.

If you have been a victim of fraud, there are two ways to report it to Action Fraud.

Anyone witnessing a crime in action should call the police on 999.

If debit or credit cards, online banking or cheques are involved, your first step should be to contact your bank or credit card company.

Appeal following businesses burgled in Rougham

Police are appealing for information after three business premises in Rougham were targeted by burglars. The incidents took place overnight between Tuesday 8 July and yesterday, Wednesday 9 July, at the Industrial Estate.

The first burglary involved a rear door being smashed through and items including a CCTV hard drive were stolen along with a yellow and red Vauxhall Movano van, registration number AY02 KLM, which was driven out through a roller shutter door opened from the inside.

The stolen Vauxhall Movano was then used in carrying out the second break-in, where the van was driven into a secure yard after the padlock was cut off a set of gates.

A door into the building was then forced and numerous tools and electrical equipment were stolen, along with a black Porsche Carrera which was inside – registration number 864 DOF.

The final incident saw the offenders cutting a fence to enter another yard and then try to force their way in through a window, but were prevented from gaining access due to metal bars being in place on the inside.

Anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity in the area; who believes they may have seen the stolen vehicles; or who has any information relating to these incidents; is asked to contact Bury St Edmunds CID on 101 quoting reference BR/14/477, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Business owners are advised to regularly review the security of their premises, ensuring that: Perimeter and building security is robust and of a good standard – this includes fences, gates, doors, windows and locks; and intruder alarms and CCTV systems are in good working order – it is advised that CCTV hard drives are concealed and kept within a secure unit inside the building.

Anyone wishing for further security or crime prevention advice is advised to visit the ‘Business Safety’ section of our website or contact their local Crime Reduction Officer on 101.

Warm Weather and Staying Safe Information

Dont get burnt postcard

Whilst many of us enjoy the sun and hot weather, we should make sure we do it safely. We also need to remember that certain groups of people, including the elderly and vulnerable, are more at risk of the effects of heat, and for some it can become dangerous to their health

Please share the information below with friends and family and also check on any elderly and vulnerable neighbours too.

General Advice:
  • Keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
  • If you go out in the heat walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat and a light scarf
  • Avoid extreme physical exertion
  • Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • Have plenty of cold drinks and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks
  • Eat cold foods particularly salads and fruit with a high water content
  • Take a cool shower bathy or body wash
  • Sprinkle water over the skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck
  • Keeping your living space cool is especially important, particularly for the elderly or those with chronic health conditions or those who can’t look after themselves
  • Place a thermometer in your main living room and bedroom to keep a check on the temperature
  • Keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped
  • Close curtains that receive morning or afternoon sun
  • Turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment
  • Keep indoor plants and bowls of water in the house as evaporation helps cool the air
  • If possible move into cooler room, especially for sleeping

Look Out for Others:

  • Keep an eye on isolated, elderly or ill people to make sure they are able to keep cool
  • Ensure elderly people are not left alone in stationery cars
  • Check on elderly or sick neighbours, family or friends every days during a heat wave
  • Be alert and call a doctor or social  services if someone is unwell or further help is needed

Longer Term:

  • Electric fans may provide some relief, if temperatures are below 35oc
  • Consider putting up external shading outside windows
  • Have your loft and cavity walls insulated
  • Grow trees and leafy plans near windows to act as natural air conditioners

Additional Useful Information:

Each year the Met Office operates a heat health watch system in England between 1 June to 15 September each year in association with the Public Health England.

 Going Away – Leaving your Home Unoccupied?

Your home is more vulnerable when you are not there, so it is important to take extra precautions whenever you go away. The key is to make it look like you are at home, even when you are not. If you can, get a friend or neighbour to look after your home. While you are away, ask them to collect your post, draw your curtains at night and open them in the mornings, and generally make the place look lived-in.

Suggestions if you are going away:

  • Cancel any milk or newspaper deliveries
  • Don’t put your home address on luggage labels when travelling to your destination – thieves are on the lookout at airports and stations for indications that particular properties will be unoccupied for a while
  • If you leave your keys with a neighbour, don’t label them with your address
  • Remember to lock all doors and windows
  • Don’t leave curtains closed during the day and keep all valuable items out of sight
  • Allow a friend, family member or neighbour to park on your drive whilst you are away
  • Set timer switches to turn on lights, radios, and other appliances when you are out. These can be bought cheaply at DIY stores
  • If you have a burglar alarm, make sure it is set and that you have told the police who has the key

 Working in partnership to keep the people of Suffolk Safe


World Cup 2014 – Leave the kicking off to the football!

WomensAid Football United

Football United Against Domestic Violence is a new campaign by Women’s Aid, working with national footballing bodies, sports media, football clubs, the police, players and fans to send a clear message that domestic violence is always unacceptable. Together we aim to call out sexist behaviour that can underpin violence towards women and girls.

Kicking off a safe world cup

Suffolk Police are appealing to everyone to enjoy the matches, behave appropriately and leave the kicking off to the football! The Police are eager for everyone to be safe and enjoy the World Cup but are aware that an increased amount of alcohol and intensified emotions can lead to an increase in public order offences and domestic violence.  A series of posters are available to download for any premises that wish to display them. These posters cover domestic violence, public order offences and hate crime.

If you live in Suffolk and you want to talk to someone about domestic abuse, listed here are details of all the agencies that provide support, together with the national helplines telephone numbers.

Hate Crime Logo

The Suffolk Hate Crime Service supports victims and families of hate crimes and hate incidents.  If you need to report a hate crime or hate incident, there are various ways to do so.

  Working in partnership to keep the people of Suffolk Safe




Staying Safe at Outside Events

There are a number of great music and art events taking place in Suffolk this July including:



Suffolk Police and ourselves have previously produced and published a number safety messages about staying safe at events and festivals, these messages remain important and relevant to any and all large events.

To reduce the chance of being targeted by thieves please consider the following:

- Take valuables with you at all times.

- Do not bring large sums of cash, or lots of credit/debit cards. Only bring what you need and keep them on you at all times.

- If you arrive by car don’t leave anything in your vehicle, including satellite navigation systems/CDs, cash etc. Take everything with you or leave it at home.

- Be mindful of the activities of people around you when watching performances. Bags with shoulder straps should be worn across your chest, with the fastening towards your body.

- Keep mobile phones secure. It’s easy for a pickpocket to remove items such as these from a pocket or bag in a crowd without you noticing.

Also consider your own personal safety, remember:

- Stick with your friends. If you’re with people you know and trust the chances are you’ll look out for each other.

- Moderate your alcohol consumption. Overdo it and you’ll be less aware and less likely to spot dangers.

- Keep hydrated and wear suitable clothing, taking into consideration the weather forecast.

Camping 1


If you are planning on camping at any of these or future events, check out ROSPA’s safety advice.


Here is some previously published personal safety and vehicle security information.

Please take some time to consider your personal safety and remain vigilant so you don’t become a victim of theft or any other crime.

Have a great time and stay safe


Out and About

Suffolk is one of the safest places to live and work and the chances that you, your family or your neighbours will become a victim of crime are low. However, if you are planning a day out, going on holiday or just going out for the evening; take some time to think about your personal safety and the security of your home, your possessions and any vehicles.

There is a wealth of information available, so we have picked out some practical tips and advice for you to consider:

Also check out these ‘YouTube’ clips about how to secure your house, deter potential burglars and other security measures:

YouTube Logo

Top ten tips to keep your house secure and deter potential burglars
Further Home security tips
Don’t leave valuables in an unlocked shed, nor ladders or tools that could help a burglar
Lock windows and doors Security


 Working to keep the people of Suffolk safe

How to stop scam telephone calls!

Do you know someone that has fallen victim of a telephone scam and suffered financial detriment from it?

The effect of scam calls on vulnerable members of the community is a major problem across the UK, but one that is grossly under reported. The impact suffered by the victims is not just financial, but emotional

To help protect vulnerable Suffolk residents from telephone scams in the future, Suffolk County Council is seeking victims to come forward and take part in a national call blocking technology trial.

The new ‘TrueCall’ technology centres around a small device installed on a telephone line that blocks all unwanted calls. TrueCall has the ability to remember who residents like to speak to and who they don’t.

Phone numbers of family and friends are stored separately, whilst the details of nuisance callers are kept on another permanently blocked list. Residents, carers and family members can decide how calls are handled, for example there is an option for callers to be asked to identify themselves before ringing.

If you would like to register for the trial or for further information, please contact Chris Woods at Suffolk County Council’s Community Safety Team on 01473 260 816 or by email at

Whilst this trial is currently only available for previous scam victims that have suffered financial detriment, information about how to protect yourself and your loved ones against scams is available at or by calling
08454 04 05 06.