Headline — 04 October 2013 — by Kareem Clarke
Digicell users beware!!!

An international scheme is apparently being perpetrated by sophisticated phone hackers, in which an international call is placed to Digicell phone numbers in the region. However, when subscribers return missed calls, all their credit is automatically stolen.

Amandala understands that a great many cell phone users have been affected; and these incidents of telecommunications rip-off have received a vast amount of attention on various social media outlets, especially Facebook.

Today, Belize Telemedia Limited, the agent for Digicell in Belize, warned its customers via text message about the fraud. The message said “BTL advises that fraudulent international numbers are calling our Digicell numbers. You are advised not to return any calls to avoid being defrauded.”

Dr. Dionne Miranda, Public Relations Officer for Belize Telemedia Limited, told KREM News today that they conducted investigations to find out how the ploy worked, and when they checked into their system, they realized that the theft of credits was made possible, not when customers receive calls, but when they attempt to return such calls.

She said that they then checked with their international subscribers, which is when they found out that it is actually an international scam being carried out throughout the entire Caribbean region. She stated that they then sent out a series of notices to encourage cyber safety, because they do realize that such acts of fraud are being carried out increasingly around the world.

According to Miranda, BTL, along with their counterparts in the Caribbean, is investigating where the calls are coming from.

Dr. Miranda explained that cyber security has become a problem throughout the world, and people are advised to protect themselves and their devices, such as telephones, and computers, which are now able to provide data and voice services.

She acknowledged that customers have been calling, and mentioned that they have contacted their international suppliers about the problem; however, they must also pay attention to the fact that the customer is not defrauded unless they return a call to the number.

They therefore want to warn customers not to answer any international numbers that they are not familiar with, especially if they show up as an 11-digit number.

BTL is asking its subscribers to refrain from calling the numbers because such calls make it possible for their credits to be stolen. She also said that they are not returning any credits to defrauded customers because it is the customer’s decision to make the call back to the unknown numbers. Examples of the 11-digit international numbers that have been used to call customers are +88213300654 and +88242411955.

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