Saturday, March 19, 2005

Con artists dial for dollars on Net phones

'Internet phone services have drawn millions of users looking for rock-bottom rates. Now they're also attracting identity thieves looking to turn stolen credit cards into cash.

Some Internet phone services allow scam artists to make it appear that they are calling from another phone number — a useful trick that enables them to drain credit accounts and pose as banks or other trusted authorities, online fraud experts say.

"It's like you've handed people an entire phone network," said Lance James, who as chief technology officer of Secure Science Corp. sees such scams on a daily basis.

The emerging scams underline the lower level of security protecting Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VOIP, the Internet-calling standard that has upended the telecommunications industry over the past several years.'
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