Humbug Helps ITSPs Prevent Telecom Fraud and Gain Visibility of Traffic

How Humbug Helps ITSPs Prevent Telecom Fraud and Gain Visibility of Traffic

PokeTALK is a leading Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP), serving millions of users worldwide. PokeTALK's innovative telephony applications are provided both online (web callback), offline (calling cards, dial-in services), as well as through mobile applications. PokeTALK has recently partnered with Lenovo which ships PokeTALK applications on its IdeaPad series.

The Challenge
As a growing ITSP, PokeTALK has faced many challenges, both handling fraud, and gaining visibility of their traffic. PokeTALK staff would generate separate reports for each of their points of presence, which would be consolidated using additional 3rd party tools. All analysis of the traffic was done manually on a daily basis. This procedure was both time consuming and cumbersome.

The largest challenge PokeTALK has faced has been setting up and developing its fraud prevention procedures. Trying to accomplish this in-house, particularly the development of security updates for each additional feature and service was distracting them from serving customers.

The Solution
After solution significant evaluation period, PokeTALK deployed Humbug Analytics and Fraud Prevention from Humbug Telecom Labs.

PokeTalk staff immediately gained fully consolidated reports of their traffic in real-time, with the ability to drill down on information. With Humbug's fraud prevention and smart alerting capabilities, in-house fraud prevention procedures were made redundant, expediting the release of new services and features and lowering the overall cost of operation and ownership. Throughout 2009 PokeTALK dealt with over 50 known attacks, with several penetrating both PokeTALK's in-house prevention mechanisms, as well as its underlying carriers, who did not detect or alert for traffic deviations.

As part of an effort to solve this problem, additional staff was trained on monitoring the network's behavior, especially during weekends when the problem was most prominent.

“After implementing Humbug's fraud prevention solution, PokeTALK gained a fully customizable fraud alerting system, based on historical traffic behavior, self-configured usage profiles, rule-based thresholds and parameters,” said Jeffy Binhas, operations manager at PokeTalk.“Humbug has been critical in helping us manage our network, allowing us to better– serve our customers.”

Humbug Telecom Labs makes it affordable for any sized business to have carrier-class fraud prevention and detection, while providing powerful BI (business intelligence) that puts the users in command of their telecom activity. Humbug also offers free Visual Analytics so users can view all of their telecom traffic in real time, concise, readable Google Analytics type format. No PBX report even comes close. Customizable real time alerts can be configured by the user to track telecom traffic behavior and keep track of spending. Humbug is ideal for call centers, ITSPs (Internet Telephony Service Providers), organizations that sell on the phone, or any business with significant telecom expenditures. Humbug easily integrates with a host of popular open source and proprietary PBX systems.

Worldwide Telecom Fraud
Telecommunications fraud is a reality that cannot be ignored. The costs are insurmountable, reaching $80 Billion in losses in 2009. According to the Communications Fraud Control Association (CFCA), operators are losing an average of 4.5% of their total annual revenues to fraud (subscription fraud, PBX hacking, and premium rate service fraud, among others). 78% of participating CFCA operators report that fraud is a constant nuisance within their organizations. Regardless of the safeguards instituted by telecommunications carriers, fraud related losses increase year after year.

Telecom fraud creates losses for telephony operators, but also affects the revenues of consumers and businesses of all sizes, which are constantly under fire from well organized fraudsters and hackers. Additionally, rapidly advancing telephony technology and the widespread adoption of IP platforms have created an emerging market of new services and offerings which create new opportunities for fraud to occur. It has become increasingly difficult to combat sophisticated fraudsters. The integration and use of dedicated analytics & fraud detection systems had historically been the sole privilege of carriers …until now.


An entrepreneur in the telecom industry with over six years experience in technical management, development and deployment of telecom and billing applications. Previously co-founder of an online telephony service provider serving millions of users worldwide.

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