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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 19 October, 2019
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Regulator says mobile users shouldn't pay price for Slovenian scam

ComReg says it has worked with mobile networks so that users are now unable to return calls to a Slovenian premium line.

Image: Phone photo via Shutterstock

IRELAND’S TELECOMMUNICATIONS regulator has said it does not foresee that any Irish mobile phone user who was targeted by a Slovenian telephone scam will be left out of pocket.

A spokesman for ComReg said the regulator was working with Ireland’s four mobile phone operators to ensure that anybody who returned a missed call from a Slovenian number – which may have been mistaken for an Irish one – was not charged for doing so.

“We don’t foresee anybody being left out of pocket because of this,” the spokesman said.

The regulator has also worked with the networks to block any outbound calls to the offending numbers, so that no other customers could fall victim to the sting.

Thousands of Irish mobiles – mostly with the 087 prefix – received brief calls from a slew of Slovenian numbers late on Saturday and in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The numbers appeared in the format +38681897xxx – a number which could be mistaken as originating from an Irish mobile using the 086 prefix, but which is actually a Slovenian premium-rate number (similar to a 1515 number in Ireland).

The idea was that someone could mistake the number for an Irish mobile and return the call, unaware that they were actually dialling an expensive Slovenian service.

ComReg said it could not indicate how much a customer would have been charged to call the number, but that it “did not foresee” any Irish customers being left permanently out of pocket as a result.

“If you see a number you don’t recognise, and there’s no accompanying message explaining who the caller is, be vigilant and wary about it and not call back,” the spokesman said, warning against the possibility of a similar scam being operated in future.

The regulator has also been in touch with its counterpart authority in Slovenia to advise them of the misuse of the numbers.

Read: Mobile phone users targeted by Slovenian premium number scam

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Gavan Reilly

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