GLF and i3Forum strengthen Code of Conduct to combat international voice fraud

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The ITW Global Leaders’ Forum (GLF), in partnership with the i3Forum, has released an update to the industry-led Code of Conduct to fight fraud in the international voice market by the introduction of a new principle which will reduce incentives for IRSF

London, UK, 19th of April 2024 – The GLF, a leadership body representing the international connectivity industry, and i3Forum a membership-funded organization of the international communications ecosystem, have published an update to their existing industry-led Code of Conduct which aims to reduce fraud in the international wholesale voice market.

The update takes the form of a seventh principle to the existing Code of Conduct. This principle has been crafted by members of the GLF and i3Forum anti-fraud working groups to further remove monetary incentives from the international voice market by directly tackling the use of premium rate numbers.

What is International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF)?

Put simply, it is a motivation for committing fraud that has the end goal of generating traffic to high-rate destinations or premium rate end numbers. This encompasses many techniques to generate fraudulent traffic and is the most prevalent in the industry.

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2023’s GLF Fraud report found that IRSF remains the biggest challenge in terms of volume and financial impact on both the carrier and the end-customer due to the sheer number and intensity of attacks, which anti-fraud systems struggle to block effectively. Despite efforts to combat this type of fraud, its prevalence continues to cause concern within the industry. 58% of respondents reported IRSF as “high” despite operators changing policies and experimenting with pattern detection amongst other prevention methods.

The Anti-Fraud Voice Code of Conduct was initially launched in early 2018 and has since garnered over 40 signatories. In 2021, it was further strengthened by the implementation of a formal attestation process. This process requires signatories to demonstrate that they have the necessary capabilities and systems in place to comply with the Code of Conduct.

This update to the Code of Conduct highlights the industry’s dedication to combating fraud, a pervasive issue estimated to cause a staggering US$ 38.95[1] billion in revenue loss globally, directly impacting the revenue of telecommunications providers.

Eloy Rodriguez, Chair of the GLF's Fighting Fraud Working Group and Chief Wholesale Officer at Telefonica Global Solutions, highlighted the significance of this update: "Fraud has consistently remained a top priority for the GLF Board, representing a key area of collaborative effort within our industry. Establishing a common industry framework regarding the use of premium rate numbers, underscores the GLF’s dedication to combatting fraud and maintaining the integrity and reliability on the telecommunications industry."

The Code of Conduct sets out the principles the carriers have committed to adhere to, including a commitment to monitor and report on fraudulent activity, assisting in the investigation of fraud or taking the appropriate and swift steps to stop payments to those who commit fraud.

The new principle explicitly sets out rules around the use of premium rate numbers with the aim that by working the collaboratively, carriers can further remove financial incentives from fraudsters looking to exploit the international voice market and its consumers.

By signing the updated Code of Conduct, carriers commit to, at minimum, provide clients with the option to opt-out from specific number ranges. Below is the new principle in detail:

Principle 7: International Revenue Share Fraud

Carriers who directly breakout special number ranges for revenue share purposes, including “special services” and audiotext i.e typically higher rate destined for content related services, will clearly outline in their rate sheet that they contain such breakouts and offer customers the ability to “opt out” of such ranges prior to engaging in voice traffic. Intermediary operators will not be accountable if they are not aware of these breakouts.

“The Telecom industry is being swarmed with more fraudulent activity than ever,” says Katia Gonzalez, Head of Transactional Security at BICS. “The volume of the attacks, the sophistication of these and the impact on both the Voice and SMS services, can cause significant financial and reputational loss. It’s paramount to set actionable and ambitious engagements as well as best practices for carriers worldwide to protect their networks, their customers and contribute to a safer ecosystem. I’m proud that i3Forum is leading the charge in supporting this mission, jointly with GLF.”

The companies who have re/affirmed their commitment to this updated Code of Conduct are as follows:

  • A1

  • Airtel Business

  • Bayobab

  • BICS

  • BT

  • BTS

  • DidXL BV

  • e&

  • CMC Networks

  • Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier

  • Du

  • e&

  • iBASIS

  • Identidad Technologies

  • IDT

  • Orange International Carrier

  • PCCW Global


  • Sinch

  • Sparkle

  • stc

  • Tata Communications

  • Telefonica Global Solutions

  • Telin

  • Telstra

  • Ultranet

  • Vodafone

Join the fight against fraud today! Sign the Code of Conduct, the international wholesale industry framework.

For further enquiries, please contact:

Cristina Sanchez

Senior Programme Manager, GLF

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