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How to protect against long distance fraud

Protecting yourself

As a subscriber, you must pay for all calls originating from or charged to your telephone line. This applies to all business and consumer customers, no matter who made the calls or accepted the charges.

But you can protect yourself. Start by adopting good telecommunications habits. And if you notice any suspicious activity on your line, contact your long distance provider at once.

Here are some good habits to get into:

  • Check your monthly phone bill carefully for any unusual charges.
  • If you receive a collect call, make sure you know who the caller is. Otherwise, don't accept it
  • Don't let strangers use your phone. If you do, dial the number yourself.
  • Never tell anyone your Calling Card PIN.
  • When you use your Calling Card at a pay phone, make sure no one is watching you key in your PIN.
  • Be careful when surfing the Web. Some sites will try to draw you in with a free offer, and then secretly download a program known as an Internet auto-dialer. The auto-dialer commands your browser to dial a long distance number - and you get billed for the call.
  • When travelling outside the country, use Canada Direct to avoid unexpected charges on your phone bill.
  • Be aware that when a phone number begins with 011, it is an overseas call and the related charges are usually higher.
  • Note that calls to some area codes can be considered overseas calls even when the number begins with 1 (i.e. 1-XXX-XXX-XXXX).

Fraud costs us all

Fraud creates an enormous financial burden for all of us:

  • Internationally, telecommunications fraud costs around $12 billion a year.
  • Canada accounts for about $30 million of that loss.
  • Almost one in four international companies has been or will be the victim of some type of toll or long-distance fraud.
  • All of these losses must be covered by the prices of the goods and services offered by the businesses that are defrauded. That means consumers like you pay the cost.
  • Contact Bell MTS immediately if you notice any unusual activity on your phone line.

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