Bell Atlantic Calls for Industry Cooperation to 'Outfox'
$4-Billion-a-Year Phone Fraud
March 3, 1997
ARLINGTON, Va.- With telephone fraud in the United
States costing $3.7
billion a year and rising at double-digit rates, Bell Atlantic today
called on industry rivals nationwide to band together to develop ways
to stop the menace. In an unprecedented call for cooperation, the
company urged all telecommunications carriers to join the Alliance to
Outfox Phone Fraud.
Created three years ago, the alliance is a broad-based international
group of telecommunications companies and related businesses whose
goal is to create consumer awareness about telephone fraud and its
prevention. The animated character "http://www.bell-atl.com/security/fraud/">Freddie the Phone Fraud
Fox® serves as the official mascot for the public awareness campaign.
In addition to Bell Atlantic, alliance members include The American
Public Communications Council, Bellcore, Communications Fraud Control
Association, Hewlett-Packard, Illinois Consolidated Telephone Co.,
Intelligent Switched Systems-Canada, HREF="http://www.nynex.com">NYNEX, Pacific Bell, Park Region
Mutual Telephone Co., Pennsylvania Telephone Association, Public
Service Telephone Co. and Southwestern Bell.
"The alliance is a key way for the growing number of carriers in the
nation to pool their resources and share information about phone fraud
occurrence and tips on prevention," said Mary Chacanias, director
fraud prevention in Bell Atlantic's Carrier Services organization.
The Telecommunications Reform Act of 1996 has brought hundreds of new
carriers into the marketplace, multiplying the opportunities for
criminals to commit phone fraud. The fast growth of the wireless
industry is one factor accounting for the rise in fraud in recent
years. Also, the advent of portable computing has made it easier for
ingenious criminals to commit phone fraud with less risk.
Phone fraud has gone beyond "tumbling," or guessing at,
numbers to cloning of wireless phones. The latest and fastest-growing
type of fraud is subscription fraud, which affects both wireline and
wireless carriers. Such fraud can occur when a user provides the
carrier with a false address, identification, or credit rating and then
makes long distance phone calls on that account.
The most effective perpetrators of phone fraud stay one step ahead of
the law by placing their calls quickly before telephone operators and
law enforcement agencies can catch them.
"All telecommunications companies must be faster and more skilled
chasing the crooks who know too well how to take advantage of our
networks," Chacanias said. "An aggressive, well-organized
program can stop the theft of millions of dollars in phone service.
"With the cooperation of all the carriers, we can put an enormous
in phone fraud," she said. "In the short time our alliance has
functioning, we've been able to make a difference in this problem."
For more information about the alliance or to join, those interested
should call 800-9-OUTFOX. The alliance can also be
www.gnat.net/outfox on the
Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE: BEL) is
at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the
largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication
marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in
Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing
high-growth national and international business opportunities in all
phases of the industry.