CRTC urged to help end phone fraud

OTTAWA — The CRTC is being asked to halt the growing problem of tele-hackers who set up fake 1-900 numbers in order to rack up large telephone bills from unsuspecting individuals and businesses.

OTTAWA — The CRTC is being asked to halt the growing problem of tele-hackers who set up fake 1-900 numbers in order to rack up large telephone bills from unsuspecting individuals and businesses.

Ottawa’s Telepath Corp. has asked the regulator to place a $1,000 limit on calls to special services such as advice and sex lines during any billing period, unless the owner of the telephone line confirms the activity.

The CRTC looked into the issue four years ago without creating new regulations, but a consumer advocacy group believes the time has come to take a second look.

“The bottom line is that the telephone companies are best able to control activity on their networks and protect all of us,” said Michael Janigan, executive director of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.

Telepath, a boutique wholesaler of telephone lines with about 200 business clients, made the appeal to the CRTC after becoming a victim this winter, when fraudsters racked up $100,000 in calls by hacking into the telephone lines of two of its clients.

Company president Dali Bertolila said he was frustrated with Rogers, which he said has threatened to cut off service if he does not begin to make payments next week.

And he said he is frustrated that the government and the broadcast regulator appears to have washed their hands of the issue.

“It’s a very serious problem,” said Bertolila. “When somebody gets hit, they get hit hard. It’s not $1,000, it’s $100,000 or $200,000. ”

“The fact is we are complicit in handing over our hard earned cash to criminals, who could be terrorists as far as anybody knows.”

He equated the position of the telecoms to blaming the victim in cases of credit card fraud.

Rogers spokeswoman Nancy Cottenden said the telecom does monitor its network for signs of unusual traffic, but cannot do so with the individual clients of re-sellers of services like Telepath.

“Our contract with Telepath stipulates that it is their responsibility to monitor the activity of their individual clients and their responsibility to detect and alert (them) of unusual activity,” she said.

She did agree with Bertolila that telephone fraud is a major problem and that perpetrators “are becoming more sophisticated.”

A CRTC spokesman said the commission would look into the matter once it has reviewed the request.

Just Posted

Men posing as repo men attempt to steal vehicle in Red Deer County

Two men attempted to steal a utility vehicle from a Red Deer… Continue reading

Red Deerian spreads kindness with one card at a time

One Red Deerian wants to combat bullying by spreading kindness in the… Continue reading

Bowden baby in need of surgery

“Help for Alexis” Go Fund Me account

PHOTO: First Rider bus safety in Red Deer

Central Alberta students learned bus safety in the Notre Dame High School… Continue reading

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Woman has finger ripped off at West Edmonton Mall waterslide

SASKATOON — A Saskatchewan woman says she lost a finger after her… Continue reading

Uncertainty looms over Canada’s cannabis tourism, but ambitions are high

TORONTO — Longtime marijuana advocate Neev Tapiero is ready for the cannabis-driven… Continue reading

Feds mulling safeguards to prevent ‘surge’ of cheap steel imports into Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government extended an olive branch of sorts to… Continue reading

Ontario govt caps off summer session by passing bill to cut Toronto council size

TORONTO — The Ontario government passed a controversial bill to slash the… Continue reading

Updated:Italian bridge collapse sends cars plunging, killing 26

MILAN — A 51-year-old highway bridge in the Italian port city of… Continue reading

Saudi Arabia spat affecting Canadians embarking on hajj, community members say

TORONTO — Members of Canada’s Muslim community say recent tensions between Ottawa… Continue reading

Tug carrying up to 22,000 litres of fuel capsizes in Fraser River off Vancouver

VANCOUVER — The smell of diesel filled the air as crews worked… Continue reading

Nebraska executes first inmate using fentanyl

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska carried out its first execution in more than… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month