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Phone bill scam just a furphy

THERE is a story doing the rounds of Perth offices, suburbs and especially in the pubs, that a 90# scam is being run enabling a third party to bill their mobile calls accounts to a victim’s account.

But Telstra says that it is impossible for third parties to access your telephone service using 90#.

They say that every several months this furphy does the rounds and Telstra gets buried in inquiries.

The current version is that people are receiving calls on their mobile telephones from alleged technicians making a test on the network and are being persuaded to insert the code 90#.

This code, the rumour has it, downloads vital codes such as the PIN number and billing data from the SIM-card onto the other person’s telephone.

This enables them, says the rumour, to bill all their calls to the victim’s accounts.

Not so, says Telstra spokesman Richard O’Connell.

“Dialling 90# absolutely will NOT allow a third party to access your mobile phone to make calls on your account or otherwise to interfere with your mobile service.

“This is the case for any Telstra service, or another mobile service on any network in Australia.”

Mr O’Connell said the rumour is a perennial urban myth that has its roots in the USA.

A few years ago employees found that with a certain make and model of an office PABX telephone system they could bypass the STD and ISD bar and make international and national calls free.

Via the Internet and e-mail the information was sent around the world.

“That type of telephone system was never sold in this country and the manufacturers soon put a stop to it anyway,” said Mr O’Connell.

“But every few months variations of the story raise its head. But it has no relevance to Australia.”

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