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Bunch of BS charges on my phone bill

shannonRN
October 27th, 2005, 08:40 PM
Okay, I stayed home from work sick, which I never do, and now I'm bored and ticked off. I walked up to get the mail--junk mail, junk mail, phone bill, magazine, credit card offer......Open up the phone bill, and there's $135 worth of MCI long distance and 1-900 calls to "integretel personals" on our bill! I know we did not make those calls! Will be calling the phone co. in the morning, but has anyone had anything like this pop up on their bills before? How the heck do you prove that you didn't make those calls :confused: :confused: :confused: I'm sure as heck not interested in paying for them.

yoda900_ca
October 27th, 2005, 08:52 PM
is it a cell bill or regular phone bill and our you sure no teenager in you house made those calls? If it's a regular phone bill and you can show you were at work at the time of the calls you can get out of it. A friend had this happen and it had something to do with her computer being hacked and her phone number being stollen and used to make long distance and porno calls. She got a $500 dolar bill. She was on dial up service. She got out of it by proving she and her hubbywere at work and her 2 kids were at school during the time 75% of the calls were made. Plus she convinced them that she had do relatives in Columbia.(where the majority of long distance calls were madeto ) I know w/cell phones years ago they used to be able to pull your number while you were making a call and then clone it onto another phone but i don't think they can do that any more. Good luck

Puppyluv
October 27th, 2005, 09:03 PM
I always get BS charges on my phone bill, but they aren't from phonecalls, they are things like "extra protection" services that I explicitly tell them I don't want, and then they add them to my bill anyways. One month I was being charged for 5 different "wire care" services on my phone, totalling $95.00 (pre tax).
Now every month, I get my phone bill and then spend an hour on the phone with the phone company dealing with the problems :mad:
All I can say is, good luck! The phone company is the bane of my existance... they drive me crazy!!!

shannonRN
October 27th, 2005, 09:04 PM
It was our home phone. Looking back, Mark would have been sleeping. As for me, it's hard to say. The calls happened right around 1:30am and sometimes I've gotten home by then, lots of other times I don't get home until 2 or 3am. (Gosh I love my job :rolleyes: ) No, no teenagers or anyone else around to use the line.

We do have dial-up internet service though. I wish I had enough technology in my background to understand how people are able to steal and clone phone numbers, hack into computers, etc. I'm lucky if I can figure out how to resize my digital photos :p

Grrrr, people really annoy me sometimes. I feel a little better though to know that people can and do get out of this sort of nonsense.

doggy lover
October 27th, 2005, 09:09 PM
I had that happen to me a few years ago, I was at work, my hubby at work, my kids were little and wouldn't have made those calls and they were at school. I called Bell and told them, asked what the calls were 1-800 #'s, I was thinking you know sex lines and the dirty stuff. They said it was sports lines, and asked if anyone was home to make those calls. I said no and none of us are interested in sports to call anyways, the only one home was the dog and I don't think he was calling. They took them off my bill, I never paid for them and never heard abouth them again. So give them a call and see what happens.

shannonRN
October 27th, 2005, 09:10 PM
puppyluv--I'm not really up on US-CA currency exchange rates but that sounds like a lot pampering for your wires. It's unbelievable how much you can get ripped off if you're not paying attention.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
October 27th, 2005, 09:17 PM
I work for a cell phone company, I would ask if they have a fraud department and report the charges. Its pretty obvious from looking at someones calling history what is and isnt normal for them.

CyberKitten
October 27th, 2005, 09:31 PM
I have sometimes had charges on my cell phone and landline that I never incurred - calls I did not make or charges for long distance when my plan covers that. I call the company and have always been accomodated by customer service - they usually give me a credit on my next bill (since I have a system where they deduct the bill automatically from my account). Lately it has happaned more often but it has been some 2.25 charge where it should have been 0 for a ld phone call.

Only once did I discover a 900 sex number on a bill I was responsible for - and it was for a political campiagn headquaters!!! It turned out to be the night I had asked my then teenage brother and friends to answer the phones at the HQ and he owned up to the calls. I offered to pay for the calls but the party wrote them off. (They actually tought it was funny since I tend to be rather serious and very professional, even in my volunteer work)

However, I did make my brother pay back the money - and I placed it into an account which he could access later for university. So, I do not know how old your kids are but if they are 12 plus, ask them - sometimes kids do not know 900 numbers are not free and it is not just sex lines (American Idol has a 900 number for example (Ithink??) tho I know for a fact Star Academie, the French version of Idol in Quebec) has a 900 number.

Then, if they did not make them, contact the phone company. They can tell you who the calls were made to - or you can google the number and see who owns it, kind of like a DNS service for phone numbers, DNS being one way to find out where a web site is located and like Whosis, who owns it.

Good luck!!

shannonRN
October 28th, 2005, 11:53 AM
After 3 phone calls, I've somewhat gotten to the bottom of this. First, called the phone company themselves. They were very helpful, set me up with a '900 number block' on my phone line--at least this won't happen again. They said I would have to call the companies reporting these charges (MCI, Integretel) directly to discuss the issue. The phone co. is just passing on a bill that was sent to them.

The call to MCI got me basically nowhere--my complaint has been filed and a letter will be sent within 6 days as to the disposition of the investigation. They said they don't decide complaints on the phone. I really don't like the sound of that because the complainant is very obviously being removed from the situation on purpose, but I will wait until I get the letter to worry about what's next. What other choice do I have?

The call to Integretel was truly absurd; when I told them I did not make these calls and I want them removed from my bill, they 'offered' to erase half of the charges, leaving me responsible for the other half. They said the connection was made using the internet and our number was verified twice, whatever that means. Sorry, that's just not acceptable--I didn't make any of these calls, so I'm not paying for any of them and I want to talk to your manager. He back-pedalled and said, "for one time only, we will negate this bill." REally gave me the impression that this co. is not entirely on the 'up and up.' Whatever, but send it to me in writing!

What a pain in the arse this whole thing is! I can't believe how many of you have had things like this happen to you before--this is totally new to me.

Luvmypit
October 28th, 2005, 02:29 PM
I thought is was just my dealings with the phone company. I always have to call I wont say the name but starts with a B and ends with a L. They overcharges us.
Once they cancelled my phone line after I made a call to change my phone number as I was moving in a month (wanted the number changed in a month). They cancelled the line the same day and when I called that same day they said I had requested this two weeks ago. :eek:

Not to mention on at least 3 occasions over charged me and then told me that I should pay it anyways and they will credit my account next month. Sorry I don't have the extra amount to cover your mistakes and pay for services that I haven't even used yet.
Arghhh ... Moral of the story... Always read over your bills!

CyberKitten
October 28th, 2005, 03:01 PM
Shannon, it does sound - of your phone line - was used, that some phreaker or hacker (hacker is actually a good term but some bad guys have used the term for themselves) might have compromised your internet connection. Phone companies tend not to be helpful in these situations, esp when they are not your ISP. Do you have a firewall? Even Windows XP has a basic firewall - not that effective but it might stop the lazier of phreakers. You can get software that lets you find out who has hacked into your system, usually the IP number so that you can contact their ISP and complain.

This happened to me with an ad on a web site. They did not "steal" anything but installed spyware software that monitored my web activity, changed my home page and made Yahoo useless when I wanted to search with it. I was furious!! I had a firewall but it could do nothing since I myself had accessed that page. I think it was a site that came up after I mistyped a common web site's name.

The home page was easy enough to fix on Internet Options but since that time, I prefer Firefox to Internet Explorer which has been an insecure browser from its inception!! I unfortunately need it on at least one HD to check to see how some of our web pages look, sigh!! I tried to get rid of the software by deleting it even tho I know you really need to uninsall software and change the settings on the Windows registry to truly be rid of it on a system, I did not really want to fromat my HD but I would have done that if necessary. This software was made in such a way that it was almost impossible to get rid of it.

I did not like the monitoring activity even tho I know most advertisers do it now. I did delete the cookie but finally had to manually uninstall every last file that came with the software after talking to others whose systems had been similarly compromised. I also discovered who owned this piece of *&^% - someone in Montreal who had contracts with rather large retailers and wrote to him and complained to the BBS there. What he did was not illegal but it should be! It is a huge inconvenience for ppl and if I had not known how to rid my system of it (All the regular anti-spam, virus checker systems do not delete it either), it would have been costly to do so.

Anyway, your invader may be some new software. You might want to run an anti-spy program on your sustem to see if any are there. And add a firewall.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
October 29th, 2005, 11:31 AM
The worst I have to deal with at work is people not doing their jobs properly, like cancelling lines on customers, or sending them phones they do not want, or renewing contracts without telling a customer, or telling them they eligible for a phone rebate when they are not. We arent allowed to credit for a bill that hasnt come out yet, however if a customer needs to avoid her service being shut off I will give her a temporary credit until an issue is resolved.
Also we get people calling in complaining about overages, all they would have to do would be to change plans to avoid these charges but they refuse and expect a credit every month, that I dont think is fair especially if they make the calls themselves and have been informed of other options but refuse to do anything about it.

shannonRN
October 29th, 2005, 05:13 PM
Well, I was stricken with a virus back in August when, ironically enough, I was reading a web page about canine nutrition!!!!!!!!! I opened a page, and a few seconds later, things were whirring out of my control. Everything I know about computers, which is not much, I learned from that experience. There are some very good free computer help websites that guided me through finding the files that I was unable to find and remove on my own.

Some of the things I learned included: use Mozilla firefox. Have anti-virus, anti-trojan, anti-spyware programs installed and use them regularly. I have some basic firewall protection and my computer shows up as clean when I run checks now, but I don't really know about back when those calls were made--that was 5 weeks ago now. Thanks for the tips--food for thought for anyone surfing the web with a naked computer.