Guyana targeted in 'modem hijacking' scams
Stabroek News
June 26, 2004

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Guyana is one of four countries to which Telus Corp., the second-biggest Canadian telephone company, will block direct-dialled calls come July 1, in a bid to halt 'modem hijacking' scams.

In a statement released yesterday by Telus Corp., to the Bloomberg news agency it was indicated that this scam affects clients with a dial-up connection who unknowingly download programmes from certain websites or pop-up windows, and these scam calls are found to originate mostly in Guyana, Guinea-Bissau, Nauru and Sao Tome.

According to the release, which noted that Telus has received about 300 complaints in the last three months, once the client with the dial-up connect has completed the download, that client's modem is then directed to make international calls, resulting in long-distance charges.

The victims of the scam only realised that something is wrong after they received unexpected long-distance charges ranging from Cdn$100 to Cdn$3000, the release quoted Telus spokesman, Charlie Fleet, as reporting.

"We try to be as flexible as possible," Fleet said. "Generally customers are responsible for tool changes."

Telus, according to the release, now has to compensate the long distance companies that carry the calls and persons now seeking to telephone persons in these countries at the same price as direct-dialled calls may contact the Telus operator.