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petej21
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VirginMedia box making premium-rate calls?

My elderly mother-in-law was receiving a significant number of unwanted calls
so we fitted a TrueCall Secure box which has completely stopped them. I have
used the remote web monitor facility to observe untrusted calls and spotted
that there are repeated outgoing calls to premium-rate numbers which I know
are not being made by my mother-in-law who suffers from arthritis.

Here is a recent list of premium-rate calls the TrueCall box has recorded:

18/05/21 14:22 09068788123 00:10
18/05/21 14:22 090688123   00:13
19/05/21 14:28 09068788123 00:07
19/05/21 14:29 09086123    00:21
19/05/21 14:30 09086123    00:11
19/05/21 14:44 09086123    00:15
19/05/21 14:44 09086123    00:11
20/05/21 14:22 09068788123 00:08
20/05/21 14:33 09068788123 00:07
20/05/21 14:33 09068788123 00:17
20/05/21 14:34 0906889123  00:11
21/05/21 14:50 09068788123 00:06
21/05/21 14:50 09068788123 00:08
21/05/21 14:57 09068788123 00:09

You can see that as we add more of the 090 numbers to the blocked callers list,
whoever/whatever is quickly trying different premium-rate numbers.

We wondered if others had observed the same behaviour and whether the
VirginMedia box can be remotely controlled and/or programmed to make such calls at
predefined intervals as it appears to be automated?

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Robert_P
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Re: VirginMedia box making premium-rate calls?

Hello petej21

 

Thanks for taking the time to post in regards to your mother in laws TrueCall secure box and the premium numbers being called. We appreciate you raising this via the forums and welcome to the community.

 

From a quick Google search it appears this number is for various TV competitions, we would ask you to double check with your mother in law if she has entered any competitions from TV program's or quiz's she may watch.

 

Let us know.

 

Rob

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petej21
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Re: VirginMedia box making premium-rate calls?

Hello Rob,

Yes, we can confirm that my mother-in-law did not call those numbers and does not enter any competitions. On some of the dates/times my mother-in-law was not at home. In addition, due to my mother-in-laws arthritis she is not able to dial numbers quickly.

I also Google'd the same numbers and found that lots of other people were suffering with the same issue which appears to be targeted at the elderly.

Can you suggest a process to escalate this issue?

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Ayisha_B
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Re: VirginMedia box making premium-rate calls?

Thanks for clarifying that further @petej21

 

I have been unable to locate the account using the forum info so will pop you a PM now so we can grab some details. 

 

Speak soon!

Ayisha_B
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petej21
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Re: VirginMedia box making premium-rate calls?

@Ayisha_B, I've just replied to you PM.

For the record, since May 2020 there have been 33 charged premium-rate calls on the bills my mother-in-law has received from Virgin Media.

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Ayisha_B
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Re: VirginMedia box making premium-rate calls?

Thanks @petej21,

 

Will pick your PM up now 🙂

Ayisha_B
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goslow
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Re: VirginMedia box making premium-rate calls?


@petej21 wrote:

My elderly mother-in-law was receiving a significant number of unwanted calls
so we fitted a TrueCall Secure box which has completely stopped them. <snip>

You can see that as we add more of the 090 numbers to the blocked callers list,
whoever/whatever is quickly trying different premium-rate numbers.

We wondered if others had observed the same behaviour and whether the
VirginMedia box can be remotely controlled and/or programmed to make such calls at
predefined intervals as it appears to be automated?


Random 09 numbers appearing on customers' bills has been mentioned in the past on the forum towards end of last year

https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Home-Phone/dodgy-call-charges/td-p/4443987

https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Home-Phone/Scam-call-on-phone-bill/td-p/4459497

https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Home-Phone/how-do-i-block-090-premium-numbers-land-line/td-p/44...

Don't think there have been any more recent mentions nor any explanation of what had taken place to generate the calls.


I believe the trueCall Care device should be able to block incoming/outgoing number ranges so you should be able to block 09 via the device rather than trying to do individual numbers.

https://www.truecall.co.uk/category-s/139.htm

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petej21
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Re: VirginMedia box making premium-rate calls?

@goslow Many thanks for the links. One of the threads mentioned a "crossed-wire in the cabinet" and I've also been told it could be due to 'interference on the line'. I was taken to understand the VirginMedia cable box was VoIP for the telephone so I find these excuses somewhat difficult to believe.

Looking at the 4 calls made on the 20th May for example, there was 11 minutes between the first and second call. The third call was made immediately after the second and then the fourth call to a new 090 number was made one minute later. So, I'd appreciate your opinion on my initial question as to whether the
VirginMedia box can be remotely controlled and/or programmed to make such calls at predefined intervals?

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goslow
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Re: VirginMedia box making premium-rate calls?

Unfortunately, I can't give you a good explanation as to why/how the calls are being placed and charged. There are usually around 3 or 4 mentions per month on the forum of customers complaining about being billed for phantom calls. A small minority of these have been to 09 premium rate numbers. Sometimes the customers don't even have a phone plugged in.

The VM forum team usually jump on these types of query pretty quickly and take them off to private message. No further information or explanation ever works its way back to the public forum. On a few occasions the OP does post back that they had been refunded.

The 'crossed wire' explanation is relevant/real if you have a conventional telephone connection via a wall socket but not so for a connection via the back of the hub. I would imagine there could be some kind of electronic 'soft' crossed connection or back-office billing error which might generate the phantom charges for a phone connection via the hub.

I am not sure how the trueCall device would be logging these as outgoing calls though since the trueCall device sits on the customer's side of the connection and calls pass through the unit.

In your calls list, it looks as if it is the same number being dialled or being part dialled or being mis-dialled. The pattern of the timings and the numbers being (mis)dialled do not look like normal activity.

If you look up the complete number on the PSA website

https://psauthority.org.uk/for-consumers/service-checker

you can see that it was for a TV phone-in number and you can check the expected billing for the call which says it should be £2.00 plus network access charge. In a past case, a simple look at the amounts being billed for did not match the information and expected amounts on the PSA website which showed there was some kind of billing error going on.

The only other explanation which has come up in the past has been when there has been some other equipment connected to the line which has the capability to dial out (in one past case, a trueCall unit itself was 'phoning home' to update the weblink feature via a 020 number and running up charges). Other possibilities might be things like burglar alarms, health monitors, personal/medical alarms etc. but doubtful they would be dialling 09 numbers and this may not apply to your mother-in-law’s situation anyway.

Sorry that’s not more helpful. I'd suggest blocking premium rate in/out on the trueCall device and see what happens then.

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