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Have you received a call from an international number lately, answered it or even called the number back and right after noticed that your credit was eaten out? Well, we must tell you that you were probably scammed. Over the last few days Smart and Digicell customers have complained about receiving strange international calls. This caused both companies to launch an investigation and what was found out is that international hackers have found a new way to make huge bucks. So how exactly does the scam play out? Smart’s Public Relations Officer Ian Courtney explains.

text.may.30.2012sIan Courtney- Smart’s P.R Officer

“Our customers have not really been affected by it but we have investigated the reports that we have seen in the media and stuff and what it appears if that there is series of what are called Premium- numbers that these scammers have gotten hold of and they are calling Belizeans and if you answer or if you call back or if you have a miss call then you are being charged a rate and we have seen up to five to six dollars a minute these charges are happening and it decreases your credit quickly. So what is done is that and a lot of this is done electronically is that they have a list of numbers and they generate a call to these numbers and once the call connects then it disconnects so you would have your phone and when you see your caller I.D you see a miss call and when you call back the number the charges begin by the minute immediately so that even if you call and you get a recording and if you call and then hang up you are charged for the first minute automatically. There are some instances if you answer the phone you are charged for receiving the call so in some cases even answering the phone your credit is used up.”

According to Courtney Smart will remain on high alert.

Ian Courtney- Smart’s P.R Officer

“We have had our call centres on the lookout, we have also reported to our international partners in respect to Verizon that we are aware of this happening in the country and that they can use their resources to help protect Belizean customers and their customers because you know unscrupulous person utilizing phone services to commit these frauds.”

Numbers that customers should look out for include 001-224-444, 8184411, 88233, 88213 and 88193.

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