The New York Times is the latest news outlet to report on an Atlanta-area architectural firm being victimized by a “toll pumping” scam.

In April, TW Telecom billed Foreman Seeley Fountain Architecture $166,000 in international phone charges that the company did not make. The small business was the victim of a scam in which an offshore hacker broke into the company’s voice mail system and ran up thousands of dollars in fraudulent charges. The fraud occurred during a period when TW Telecom’s fraud detection system was down.

“I thought: ‘This is crazy. It must be a mistake,’” architect Bob Foreman tells the New York Times.

Womble Carlyle telecom attorneys Mark Palchick and Rebecca Jacobs are representing the architects.

The Opposition raises the possibility that other business may have been subscribed by TW Telecom to international phone service without their affirmative consent and been charged for international phone charges that they did not make. Companies should check their contracts and statements with TW Telecom. If they feel they have been victimized by TW they should advise the FCC by filing Reply Comments to the FCC here. Reply Comments are due on or before September 2, 2014, and should reference WC Docket 14-104. If they feel they have been a victim of toll pumping or international toll fraud they should contact the FBI at

Click to read the New York Times original article, "Phone Hackers Dial and Redial to Steal Billions.”

The toll pumping story also has been covered by the Denver Post and Atlanta NBC affiliate WSB-TV.


Mark Palchick is the head of Womble Carlyle’s telecommunication team and has been an attorney in the communications field since 1975. He is experienced in matters relating to Cable Television Program Affiliation Agreements, cross border copyright, E-rate funding, and FCC regulatory matters. Palchick currently represents cable television operators and telecommunication providers in the United States and the Caribbean as well as school districts and broadband providers on E-Rate matters. He practices in Womble Carlyle’s Washington, DC office.

Rebecca Jacobs’ practice focuses on the communications industry where she works with companies on a range of corporate issues including infrastructure expansion (fiber exchanges and lease agreements), industry service agreements, and privacy and data security.  She also advises clients on a range of regulatory issues including pole attachments, program carriage, multi-dwelling unit (MDU) agreements and copyright issues involving the cable compulsory license.  In addition, Ms. Jacobs works with both service providers and applicants interested in procuring federal funding for telecommunications through the Universal Service Administration Company (“USAC”) Schools and Libraries program (“E-rate”) and the Rural Health Care program.