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Membership Really Does Have Its Advantages

By Matt Lowe
January 28, 2014

The fight against telecom fraud is an ever-evolving one, because the methods used by fraudsters to illegally make money have shifted throughout the years. At one time, calling card fraud was the rage. Now International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF) has taken the lead. While telecom fraud is not likely to ever go away completely, it is possible to reduce its impact. Equinox helps customers combat fraud every day through Protector—the most widely installed fraud management system in the United States.

Equinox also leads the fight against fraud through its professional affiliation with the Communications Fraud Control Association (CFCA). Equinox has received many benefits as a result of CFCA membership for over 15 years. Fraud happens to every sector of telecom in every corner of the world, so CFCA’s members are diversified—both geographically and type of business. And that means the information shared through CFCA provides insight into the latest fraud trends and perpetration methods holistically. Since a number of our customers already belong to this organization, having access to this information allows us to better understand the challenges they face personally.

I had the opportunity to interview Roberta Aronoff, the Executive Director of CFCA, to see what she had to say about the organization and her role in leading the global fraud prevention team.

Matt Lowe:

For those unfamiliar with your organization, what is the CFCA?

Roberta Aronoff:

The Communications Fraud Control Association (CFCA) began in early 1985. It began as an organization comprised mostly of long distance carriers and security professionals primarily based in the United States. Due to the growing problem of fraud, they felt the need to organize to discuss the problems and determine potential solutions to combat fraud. The organization shifted and grew with the industry to eventually include ISPs, cable and satellite providers, law enforcement agencies, and wireless communications. Our membership has also grown to encompass global members across all continents.


What are the benefits of being a CFCA member?


The strongest benefit to members is that they a professional network of industry experts to engage with the collaborative goal of telecom fraud prevention. Our organization emphasizes information sharing and collaborative work. It is a trusted environment where people from all across the industry can come together to combat fraud. Once a month, there is a member’s only webinar to discuss the latest trends and impacts of fraud. Lately, International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF) has been a primary topic. The diversity in our membership base allows us to investigate and at times aid in the prosecution of fraudsters. Other benefits include:

  1. Online library of fraud articles members can research to broaden their understanding of telecom fraud;

  2. Information sharing forum that allows members to collaborate and inform others about recent fraud attacks;

  3. Certification program—Certified Communications Security Professional (CCSP)—through years of experience and education, members can take an exam to graduate from this program that denotes industry expertise.


How would someone join the CFCA?


Our application process begins online at CFCA.org under the “About Us” tab. There, potential members can review our constitution and privacy statement. There are a few considerations before joining—the size of the organization, how many members you want from your organization, the dues to be paid, and the application. Once the application is complete, our Membership Committee reviews the application and we notify the applicant of their acceptance.

I encourage potential members to attend one of our educational events as a guest. There are one-time and repeat guest rates for our conferences. There are webinars that we offer for open enrollment. Non-member involvement in the CFCA is always encouraged and available for those who are considering the full benefits of membership.

Membership is a great value. There are many educational opportunities within the CFCA, but above all, the collaborative nature of our organization is what unites us as we work together to prevent telecom fraud. A recent member recouped their annual dues as a result of a single fraud prevention case.


How long have you been associated with the CFCA?


I have been the executive director since 2006 when the CFCA moved from a self-manage model to an outsourced model, and our firm CohnReznick began managing the CFCA.


What is your background in Telecom?


CohnReznick managed the Telecommunications Risk Management Association (TRMA) which made us prime candidates for CFCA management. Prior to this, I was a consultant for many years in the telecom industry.

For more on CFCA and its mission, visit the www.CFCA.org website. To learn whether membership is right for you, check out: Why CFCA Membership is Valuable.

Equinox has been providing fraud management solutions for the telecom industry since 1986. If you need help mitigating your exposure to fraud, visit www.equinoxis.com or call (615) 612-1200 to discuss how Protector can help defend your bottom line.

About the Author: Matt Lowe is a Sales Engineer at Equinox Information Systems whose primary task is to evaluate and improve the company’s sales process, materials, and tools. He does so by acquiring and applying market intelligence gathered from the telecommunications industry. His other major responsibility is to coordinate project implementations by working with customers. In his spare time, Matt enjoys traveling with his wife and playing basketball with the guys from the office.
To learn more about Equinox, its product, and staff, visit www.equinoxis.com or call (615) 612-1200.