Misterious Papua phone calls in telco bill

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Faustino Dina, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. I signed for a home internet service recently with my local phone service
    provider. When I check my monthly bill, it is a international call to Papua
    (New Guinea?) that I didn't do. Calling to my phone service provider it says
    that that call was made while I was connected to the Internet, when visiting
    some xxx pages. They said that the phone company has some kind of
    arrangement with such web sites therefore any visit to these paid pages are
    billed to the originating phone company and the telco bills me. I never
    heard something like that. I was confident the only way to bill on the web
    was by using a credit card or other services like PayPal that at the end of
    the chain also requires a credit card or bank account.
    Anyway, the real problem is that for second month the telco is billing me
    another call to Papua, and this time I'm 100% sure nobody went to any payed
    web site. Telco says that just visiting once such a page, it can be making
    international calls despite you are not visiting the page. So it looks like
    a virus, trojan, spyware or something alike.
    Do you have notice of such way of "doing bussiness"? I mean, pay per view
    web sites that bill clients by using the user's service provider telephone
    company?
    How can I protect from such viruses? (Telco said I should format the hard
    disk to be sure)

    Thanks in advance

    --
    Faustino Dina
    --------------------------------------------------------
    If my email address starts with two 'f'
    drop the first 'f' when mailing me.
     
    Faustino Dina, Sep 29, 2004
    #1
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  2. Faustino Dina

    Jim Watt Guest

    On Wed, 29 Sep 2004 16:44:10 -0500, "Faustino Dina"
    <> wrote:

    >I signed for a home internet service recently with my local phone service
    >provider. When I check my monthly bill, it is a international call to Papua
    >(New Guinea?) that I didn't do. Calling to my phone service provider it says
    >that that call was made while I was connected to the Internet, when visiting
    >some xxx pages.


    Google search for Spybot S&D download it and run it and in
    future don't install programmes from XXX sites.

    AND pay the telco.
    --
    Jim Watt
    http://www.gibnet.com
     
    Jim Watt, Sep 30, 2004
    #2
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  3. Faustino Dina

    Bill Unruh Guest

    "Faustino Dina" <> writes:

    ]I signed for a home internet service recently with my local phone service
    ]provider. When I check my monthly bill, it is a international call to Papua
    ](New Guinea?) that I didn't do. Calling to my phone service provider it says
    ]that that call was made while I was connected to the Internet, when visiting
    ]some xxx pages. They said that the phone company has some kind of
    ]arrangement with such web sites therefore any visit to these paid pages are
    ]billed to the originating phone company and the telco bills me. I never
    ]heard something like that. I was confident the only way to bill on the web
    ]was by using a credit card or other services like PayPal that at the end of
    ]the chain also requires a credit card or bank account.
    ]Anyway, the real problem is that for second month the telco is billing me
    ]another call to Papua, and this time I'm 100% sure nobody went to any payed
    ]web site. Telco says that just visiting once such a page, it can be making
    ]international calls despite you are not visiting the page. So it looks like
    ]a virus, trojan, spyware or something alike.
    ]Do you have notice of such way of "doing bussiness"? I mean, pay per view
    ]web sites that bill clients by using the user's service provider telephone
    ]company?

    Sure. There are millions of ways of separating suckers from their money.
    This is another one.

    ]How can I protect from such viruses? (Telco said I should format the hard
    ]disk to be sure)

    Do not visit such web sites.

    One way they do it, is that they install an activeX which hangs up the
    phone, and switches off the sound on the modem, and then makes a long
    distance call to remote site.

    Yes, you should wipe the disk and reinstall to make sure that the virus is
    no longer there.

    Anyway, you should dispute the bill with your telco as well.
     
    Bill Unruh, Sep 30, 2004
    #3
  4. Faustino Dina

    Jim Watt Guest

    On 29 Sep 2004 23:57:32 GMT, (Bill Unruh)
    wrote:

    >Anyway, you should dispute the bill with your telco as well.


    why? If you dial an international call by mistake you still have
    to pay for it, whether the mistake is yours directly -or- down to
    a dialler. I see there is one number that charges 99 euros a
    call.

    It also +could+ be a legitimate way of paying for a service and
    when I complained to the UK regulator about a dialler I was
    told they were licenced and legitimate.

    Its not a way I would chose to do business, but there again if
    you have a sheep shagging website you may have trouble
    taking credit cards, and the users might be sheepish in giving
    them.

    Due to a quirk in the way our mobile numbers work, you can
    end up dialling Chile if you hit reply on some incoming missed
    calls. You still gotta pay though. Telephone calls are not
    shareware.
    --
    Jim Watt
    http://www.gibnet.com
     
    Jim Watt, Sep 30, 2004
    #4
  5. > One way they do it, is that they install an activeX which hangs up the
    > phone, and switches off the sound on the modem, and then makes a long
    > distance call to remote site.

    Ok, but for doing that they should hook my current phone call to my local
    internet provider and place the international call, is it? It is not
    possible they can call while I'm browsing... Now I remember that sometimes
    while I was browsing, the connection suddenly got broken.

    Thanks for helping. I'll take care next time.
    Faustino
     
    Faustino Dina, Sep 30, 2004
    #5
  6. Faustino Dina

    Bill Unruh Guest

    Jim Watt <_way> writes:

    ]On 29 Sep 2004 23:57:32 GMT, (Bill Unruh)
    ]wrote:

    ]>Anyway, you should dispute the bill with your telco as well.

    ]why? If you dial an international call by mistake you still have
    ]to pay for it, whether the mistake is yours directly -or- down to
    ]a dialler. I see there is one number that charges 99 euros a
    ]call.


    Because if there is not sufficient notice that you are being charged for
    the goods, then charging for them is fraud, and you are not responsible for
    paying for fraud. Just as if you walk into a restaraunt, they claim that
    they will charge you $5 for a mean and charge you $5000 instead, you are
    not responsible for the $5000.

    I have no idea about the web page this person got stuck on. It may well be
    that there was a notice about charges.

    The telephone company is accepting this charge from the phone company in
    the Philipeans, and charging it on to you. They are essentially the agent
    of that foreign company. If that companies charges are fraudulent, they
    they have no basis on which to charge you.

    ]It also +could+ be a legitimate way of paying for a service and
    ]when I complained to the UK regulator about a dialler I was
    ]told they were licenced and legitimate.

    Sure it could be. It could also not be. You will certainly not find out by
    simply paying the bill.


    ]Its not a way I would chose to do business, but there again if
    ]you have a sheep shagging website you may have trouble
    ]taking credit cards, and the users might be sheepish in giving
    ]them.

    ]Due to a quirk in the way our mobile numbers work, you can
    ]end up dialling Chile if you hit reply on some incoming missed
    ]calls. You still gotta pay though. Telephone calls are not
    ]shareware.

    They are a service and must comply with all of the laws regarding charging
    for a service however.
     
    Bill Unruh, Sep 30, 2004
    #6
  7. Faustino Dina

    Jim Watt Guest

    On 30 Sep 2004 17:27:42 GMT, (Bill Unruh)
    wrote:

    >Because if there is not sufficient notice that you are being charged for
    >the goods, then charging for them is fraud, and you are not responsible for
    >paying for fraud. Just as if you walk into a restaraunt, they claim that
    >they will charge you $5 for a mean and charge you $5000 instead, you are
    >not responsible for the $5000.


    No. You enter into a contract with a service provider for telephone
    calls. They publish a tariff which says the cost of a call to outer
    Mongolia as $2/minute. The provide a service where you can
    call wherever. You install an apparatus which calls numbers
    automatically. Its really down to you.

    What next? I made a telphone call and didn't like the person on the
    other end so am not going to pay?

    >I have no idea about the web page this person got stuck on. It may well be
    >that there was a notice about charges.


    Its not the concern of the telphone company.


    >Sure it could be. It could also not be. You will certainly not find out by
    >simply paying the bill.


    Last month I got a water bill for 15x the usual amount, I suspect
    there was a leak, do you think I can wriggle out of paying? not
    if the leak was on the subscriber side of the meter.

    >They are a service and must comply with all of the laws regarding charging
    >for a service however.


    This is going to vary from country to country, and I am not an expert
    in the T&C of US telphone operators, however stupidity has to be paid
    for.

    Generally in the case of this sort of abuse the companies block the
    numbers. Not sure if thats strictly legal, but it works.
    --
    Jim Watt
    http://www.gibnet.com
     
    Jim Watt, Sep 30, 2004
    #7
  8. Faustino Dina

    Chuck Guest

    On Wed, 29 Sep 2004 16:44:10 -0500, "Faustino Dina" <*email_address_deleted*>
    wrote:

    >I signed for a home internet service recently with my local phone service
    >provider. When I check my monthly bill, it is a international call to Papua
    >(New Guinea?) that I didn't do. Calling to my phone service provider it says
    >that that call was made while I was connected to the Internet, when visiting
    >some xxx pages. They said that the phone company has some kind of
    >arrangement with such web sites therefore any visit to these paid pages are
    >billed to the originating phone company and the telco bills me. I never
    >heard something like that. I was confident the only way to bill on the web
    >was by using a credit card or other services like PayPal that at the end of
    >the chain also requires a credit card or bank account.
    >Anyway, the real problem is that for second month the telco is billing me
    >another call to Papua, and this time I'm 100% sure nobody went to any payed
    >web site. Telco says that just visiting once such a page, it can be making
    >international calls despite you are not visiting the page. So it looks like
    >a virus, trojan, spyware or something alike.
    >Do you have notice of such way of "doing bussiness"? I mean, pay per view
    >web sites that bill clients by using the user's service provider telephone
    >company?
    >How can I protect from such viruses? (Telco said I should format the hard
    >disk to be sure)
    >
    >Thanks in advance


    Faustino,

    In addition to the excellent other suggestions, here's a simple one which will
    be 100% effective. Get rid of the modem in your computer.

    If your internet service is PPP compatible, get an external modem, and a NAT
    router that can manage the modem. By not running your internet activities, such
    as browsing the web, on the same computer as your modem, you can totally
    eliminate any possibility of a modem hijack. No matter what you do with your
    computer, your modem will be totally safe.

    This is a pricey solution. Depending upon hardware availability, you could pay
    as much as $100 - $200. But that's a recoverable cost.

    A router can be used in the future, when you get a second computer. And with
    the internet connection protected by the router, your computer is safer.

    Whenever my DSL goes out (thanks a fucking lot, Pacific Bell), I switch to my
    dialup, with router and modem. I can reboot any one of my computers, without
    losing the internet connection on the other two. And no matter how much
    internet activity I have, no computer is overloaded by excessive traffic and
    managing the PPP connection.

    Cheers,
    Chuck
    Paranoia comes from experience - and is not necessarily a bad thing.
     
    Chuck, Sep 30, 2004
    #8
  9. Faustino Dina

    Bill Unruh Guest

    Jim Watt <_way> writes:

    ]On 30 Sep 2004 17:27:42 GMT, (Bill Unruh)
    ]wrote:

    ]>Because if there is not sufficient notice that you are being charged for
    ]>the goods, then charging for them is fraud, and you are not responsible for
    ]>paying for fraud. Just as if you walk into a restaraunt, they claim that
    ]>they will charge you $5 for a mean and charge you $5000 instead, you are
    ]>not responsible for the $5000.

    ]No. You enter into a contract with a service provider for telephone
    ]calls. They publish a tariff which says the cost of a call to outer
    ]Mongolia as $2/minute. The provide a service where you can
    ]call wherever. You install an apparatus which calls numbers
    ]automatically. Its really down to you.

    No. I am not sure about the OP, but many of these situations are ones where
    the other end charges say $50/min which they charge (like a 999 phone
    number) to your phone bill. Your phone company is acting as an agent in
    collecting this money from you for that other company. YOur phone company
    has in fact entered into an agreement with that other company (not with
    you) to act as their agent.

    IF the only charges on this person's bill was a regular long distance
    connection charge, and if it was incurred by your computer dialing out a
    long distance call via your modem to the other side, then the chances, as
    you point out are small of getting any satisfaction. But I think this is
    NOT the case.

    ]What next? I made a telphone call and didn't like the person on the
    ]other end so am not going to pay?

    Yes, if you phone a number which you were advised by the phone company was
    the number someone and it was not, then you probably do not have to pay.


    ]>I have no idea about the web page this person got stuck on. It may well be
    ]>that there was a notice about charges.

    ]Its not the concern of the telphone company.

    Yes, it is if the telco is acting as the agent for that company.




    ]>Sure it could be. It could also not be. You will certainly not find out by
    ]>simply paying the bill.

    ]Last month I got a water bill for 15x the usual amount, I suspect
    ]there was a leak, do you think I can wriggle out of paying? not
    ]if the leak was on the subscriber side of the meter.

    You certainly will not get a refund with your attitude. I agree completely
    that companies rarely provide refunds without being asked.



    ]>They are a service and must comply with all of the laws regarding charging
    ]>for a service however.

    ]This is going to vary from country to country, and I am not an expert
    ]in the T&C of US telphone operators, however stupidity has to be paid
    ]for.

    ]Generally in the case of this sort of abuse the companies block the
    ]numbers. Not sure if thats strictly legal, but it works.

    They cannot block a Phillipean phone number. That is why these companies
    operate on foreign soil.
     
    Bill Unruh, Oct 1, 2004
    #9
  10. Faustino Dina

    Ritter197 Guest

    Just do not go to XXX sites and then complain afterwards.

    No problem of the phone company, it is one of yours going there to begin
    with.


    "Faustino Dina" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >> One way they do it, is that they install an activeX which hangs up the
    >> phone, and switches off the sound on the modem, and then makes a long
    >> distance call to remote site.

    > Ok, but for doing that they should hook my current phone call to my local
    > internet provider and place the international call, is it? It is not
    > possible they can call while I'm browsing... Now I remember that sometimes
    > while I was browsing, the connection suddenly got broken.
    >
    > Thanks for helping. I'll take care next time.
    > Faustino
    >
    >
     
    Ritter197, Feb 1, 2005
    #10
  11. Ritter197 wrote:

    > Just do not go to XXX sites and then complain afterwards.
    >
    > No problem of the phone company, it is one of yours going there to begin
    > with.
    >
    >
    > "Faustino Dina" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >>> One way they do it, is that they install an activeX which hangs up the
    >>> phone, and switches off the sound on the modem, and then makes a long
    >>> distance call to remote site.

    >> Ok, but for doing that they should hook my current phone call to my local
    >> internet provider and place the international call, is it? It is not
    >> possible they can call while I'm browsing... Now I remember that
    >> sometimes while I was browsing, the connection suddenly got broken.
    >>
    >> Thanks for helping. I'll take care next time.
    >> Faustino
    >>
    >>


    Or surf them with Linux...
     
    Michael J. Pelletier, Feb 2, 2005
    #11
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