Odyssey Systems is warning that businesses in the region run the risk of falling victim to fraud unless they act to upgrade their outdated telephone systems.
A recent report from industry body, UK Finance, revealed the number of reported cases of impersonation fraud, including number spoofing calls, almost doubled to 40,000 last year.
Telecoms watchdog Ofcom has also warned that by manipulating caller ID, fraudsters can disguise their identity and appear to be calling from a trusted source, such as a bank, HMRC or the police.
All caller IDs are capable of being faked and currently there is no way of confirming the number that appears is genuine – with fraudsters able to match a caller ID on a phone screen or text message to an authentic landline, mobile or company name.
BT has already begun phasing out its obsolete analogue public switched telephone network (PSTN) and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) ahead of their 2025 switch off.
These are already being superseded by hi-tech communications protocols, such as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), used by most types of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones – a technology that allows the industry to put a stop to number spoofing.
The Stockton-based telecommunications firm said increasing concerns over number spoofing is yet another reason for businesses to future-proof their phone systems by switching to SIP ahead of the 2025 deadline.
It already offers a unique service that allows clients to report a spam caller, allowing Odyssey Systems to prevent them calling again, even if they block their caller ID.
Mike Odysseas, the company’s founder and managing director, said businesses risk falling victim to number spoofing – with criminals persuading employees to divulge confidential data or tricking the accounts department to authorise a false payment.
“Number spoofing can lull an employee into a false sense of security that a call has come from the company’s bank when, in fact, the caller ID is simply cloned,” he added.
“It is important companies ensure that their phone systems are future-proofed ahead of the demise of PSTN and ISDN.
“All telephones made in the last decade are SIP compatible, so it makes sense to install them now rather than wait for a last-minute dash closer to the 2025 deadline.
“There are a host of advantage to SIP, which delivers a more cost-effective, efficient, flexible and resilient service.”