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GPC warns GP practices of thousand-pound bills from telephone fraud

The GPC has warned that GP practice telephone systems may be vulnerable to exploitation from fraudsters who can run up bills of as much a £5,000 in a single weekend.

Fraud watchdog the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has noted that a number of medical and dental practices have been targeted in private branch exchange (PBX) dial-through frauds, which typically affect small to medium-sized businesses.

A warning circulated by Wessex LMC said this is most likely to occur outside business hours, over weekends and public holidays, with fraudsters hacking into phone systems to make calls overseas or to premium numbers.

The LMC said commercial sector software security providers can be employed to install protection software, but this may not be cost effective and installing a block on overseas numbers might be simpler.

The LMC bulletin said: ‘GPC has been made aware that telephone systems used by practices may be vulnerable to fraudsters hacking into them and making premium rate calls. In one instance £2,500 – £5,000 of calls were placed over one weekend.’