Important Consumer Alert - Internet Modem Switch Scam

Trinidad -

TSTT wishes to alert all Internet users of an 'Internet Modem Switch Scam' that may be a potential threat. The following is a statement supplied by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US as a consumer advisory.


Internet Modem Switch Scam


Consumers have informed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that they have been billed for international calls that occurred as a result of using local (domestic) Internet service providers to access Web sites. The FCC wants you to know that we are monitoring the situation and that there are some precautions you can take to minimize your chances of becoming a victim.


Here’s How It Works


Some Web sites encourage computer users to download software in order to view certain material. Unknown to that user, the downloaded software disconnects his or her computer’s modem and then reconnects it using an international long distance number. The result: the modem may actually be placing a call to as far away as Chad, Madagascar or other countries, and the computer user may be billed for an international call.


IMPORTANT: Don’t download programs from the Internet without reading the disclosures. Some Web sites may be advertised as "free and uncensored" or may allow information to be downloaded. However, a pop-up window with a disclaimer should appear. The disclaimer usually reveals information on possible charges or the rerouting of the Web site. It may say, "you will be disconnected from your local Internet access number and reconnected to an international location" (which may be Chad, Madagascar, or Vanuatu). It is important that consumers read the disclaimer to learn what charges will be assessed before they click the box. If they still choose to download, consumers should be prepared to receive a phone bill with high international toll charges. There may also be charges from a non-telecommunications company that provides a billing service to the Web site in question.


To minimize the risk of this happening, consumers should get from the local phone company an INTERNATIONAL BLOCK on their computer line.