Call Centre Fraud in the News: The Dangers of Giving Agents Access to Personal Data

Claire Finnie – Channel Marketing Manager

What do Optus, Telstra and Vodafone have in common? Aside from the fact that they are all well-known telecommunications companies, they have all recently fallen victim to call centre fraud. And, the resulting data breaches are making headlines.

AI Solutions, a Mumbai-based security firm, is under investigation for selling these companies’ Australian customers’ personal information to third parties for $350 to $1,000. The information, which includes phone records and home addresses, has been provided to AI Solutions by employees at off-shore call centres. The Sydney Morning Herald speculates that the information may be sold to companies engaged in corporate spying, private investigators and even organised criminals looking to steal someone’s identity.

Now, the affected telecom companies are under pressure to not only stop these data breaches, but also to minimise damage to their brand’s reputation. Although unfortunate for the companies and customers involved, this situation emphasises the dangers of allowing call centre agents to access sensitive information. Whether its home addresses or payment card data, the best way to protect your customers, maintain their trust and stay out of the headlines is to keep all personal identifiable information (PII) out of the call centre altogether. Criminals cannot hack – or in this case, buy – what you don’t hold.

Industry sources believe AI Solutions has been selling personal information for several years now, and it’s not the only private company doing so. They have been empowered by call centre agents, who have willingly handed them over PII data. This is a scary realisation that should not be ignored. Take the time to invest in the right technology to shield your customers’ sensitive personal data from your call centre agents. It could make all the difference in protecting your brand and keeping you from becoming part of another news story.