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BT Clamps Down On Rogue Diallers

Posted: 05th Oct, 2004 By: MarkJ
We've all read about those annoying applications that get on your computer and then systematically start dialling premium rate numbers via your modem. Thankfully BT has begun a clamp down by blocking 1,000 such telephone numbers:

The company announced positive action to tackle the dialler menace three months ago and has been taking action to block traffic to both UK and international numbers suspected of being used by a dialler since then.

A second warning email to 1.8 million BT Retail narrowband internet customers will be sent in the next few weeks to reiterate how customers can avoid becoming victims of a dialler. This will remind customers, for example, of options such as free premium rate number barring. So far, a total of 50,000 customers have taken advantage of BT's offer of free premium rate number barring since July, giving a total of 1.5 million customers who now take these services from BT.

The company has now dealt with 45,000 cases where customers have fallen foul of a rogue dialler, with a further 9,500 cases waiting to be resolved. BT does not want to profit from the disputed call revenue generated when people install the dialler software on their computers either inadvertently or without realising how much it would cost them. BT's tiny share of the call revenue - around 3 pence of the £1.50 a minute charge - will be donated to the charity ChildLine.

The company has previously emailed all BT narrowband internet customers to warn them about diallers. Advice on how to protect your computer was also included in the Update magazine which accompanies all BT bills sent to our 20million customers.

The Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS) is responsible for regulating premium rate services in the UK. It has also been cracking down on the operators of rogue diallers both in the UK and abroad. BT and ICSTIS have co-operated to identify and take down the 1,000 mainly international numbers suspected of being associated with diallers.

In the UK, premium rate services are typically offered by companies who lease the numbers from the 70 plus terminating network operators in our market, not from BT. These companies are therefore hard for BT to identify and pursue, so BT is calling for the terminating operators to take a more serious look at who they are giving premium rate numbers to.
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