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Telus blocks long distance direct-dialed calls to four countries

Telus Corp. will begin blocking all long distance direct-dialed calls to Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Nauru and Sao Tome...


June 25, 2004  


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Telus Corp. will begin blocking all long distance direct-dialed calls to Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Nauru and Sao Tome on July 1 in an attempt to reduce modem hijacking.

Most hijackings originate from either one of the four countries, the company says.

Telus customers who want to make legitimate calls to these countries can contact an operator who will process the call. Customers who make an operator-assisted call will be charged the same rate as if they dialed directly.

“Due to a rise in modem hijacking incidents in Canada, (we are) taking this step to help our customers,” says Jill Schnarr, Telus’ vice-president of customer marketing. “It is important to note that this will not eliminate the risk. People need to be aware of scams such as modem hijacking, and ensure they are taking the appropriate steps to protect themselves.”

Modem hijacking can affect anyone with a dial-up connection who unknowingly downloads programs from certain Web sites or pop-up windows.

While ADSL or cable high-speed Internet customers should not be susceptible to this scam, those who have a dial-up connection such as a fax modem in addition to a high-speed Internet connection can be vulnerable.

“Modem hijacking can occur when a Web site prompts users to access information by downloading a file via a pop-up window, accepting the Web site’s terms and conditions, or downloading a special viewer or dialer to access content,” the company says.

“When the user downloads the file or accepts the terms and conditions, the downloaded file accesses software on their computer and causes the modem to dial phone numbers in foreign countries, resulting in long distance charges.”