Modem Hijacking

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Matthyro, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    My ISP has sent this info:
    Modem Hijacking
    I got stung for $43.89. Not as much as others but wonder if anyone else has been caught.

    Lately we have noticed an increasing number of victims of what we call the "dialer scam". What happens is that a program puts an unwanted dialer on your machine and at set times it dials - often to Africa. Unless you are at your machine you are unaware that this is happening and your first indication of a problem is a huge phone bill. That's how this scam works. They use your phone company to collect the charges. The OPP considers this fraud and advises that you not pay the disputed charges.

    There is no easy solution to this problem. Here are my suggestions:

    First scan for viruses and when you know you are clear download and run a free program called Spybot. (You can find this through a search engine like google). Remove any parasites you find. Note that this may cause some programs to fail but these programs are invariably the ones that brought the parasites in the first place.

    Go to:

    Another good one is Adaware. You can find it at:

    Other things:

    1. Turn off the computer when not in use.

    2. You can unplug the phone line when not actively using the Internet. If you want, pick up a phone line extension free at Aztec and tape the jack within easy reach.

    Fight the charges. It doesn't seem right that a phone company should either profit or collect charges that are fraudulent. Make sure you pay the legitimate portion of your bill but dispute and withhold payment of the fraudulent charges. Fax the disputed bill with a brief note to the OPP at 1-888-654-9426. Detective Staff Sergeant Barry Elliott says they need as many as they can get. Feel free to use Aztec's FAX machine.

    If Bell provides your long-distance and their customer service won't cancel the charge, call Bell Head Office at 1-800-267-7734. James Campbell in Bell customer relations says they often waive charges. Phone but be polite. Take their time and explain about ethics and the responsibilities of Corporate Citizenship. Ask why they don't block those known overseas numbers or at least hold back payments to rogue phone companies. Both of these solutions are easy for the phone companies, after all, we can block spam and that is much harder to identify.

    Here are the Ethics:

    The phone company cannot control the equipment plugged into its network. This is a point for the phone company.

    On the other hand, according to the OPP this scam constitutes fraud in that it involves "deception with deprivation and intent". In my opinion the phone company, in collecting and profiting from this fraud becomes party to the fraud. Threatening and bullying behaviour on the part of a phone company therefore constitutes extortion.

    As a final note, the phone company may claim that "you must have clicked on something" or "agreed to something" thereby bringing this down on yourself. In the first place this is irrelevant. You never agreed to be robbed. Secondly these things can happen while surfing and entirely without your consent. It's called a "drive-by" in the Internet industry.

    Good luck,

    Rick Hall
  2. neb1211

    neb1211 New Member

    If you have read my profile you may know that I work as a computer technician for a computer store that me and my cousin own. This is not a very uncommon thing to happen. Most of the time when a computer gets checked in a run both Ad-aware and Spybot Search and Destroy (the two programs they suggested) on the computers right away. Many times the computers are loaded with spyware and adware.

    Adware is the less malicious of the two. All it basically does is pop up ads. Some websites have a few popups but if you are getting more things popping up than usual adware is to blame. It will pop up ads relevant to what you are searching for on google for say or it will also pop up ads when you aren't even browsing the internet.

    Spyware is what you really need to watch out for. It will collect personal information such as what site you go to, commonly ran programs, user names, passwords, credit card info and much more.

    Both spyware and adware can also make your computer run slow.

    What I recommend doing is running both Adaware and Spybot Search and Destroy on a weekly basis. Make sure that you update the software before running a scan. If you do not update the adware/spyware definitions the scanner may not detect all the junk that is on your system. This will help keep your system up and running smoothly and also protect your privacy as well as save you money.

    Also I would suggest running a web based antivirus (such as the one found at ) to scan for viruses. There are a few viruses out there that will attack Antivirus software installed on your computer and prevent it from working properly. Since the web based scan is not always on your computer it is ALOT harder for a virus to hide from it.

    For more information on Spyware and Adware check out

    PS. I have tons of tips and tricks when it comes to computers. If you ever need any help please feel free to ask me and I will try and help you if I can.
  3. jkristia

    jkristia Member

    Good advise.
    I don't have the problem with modem hijacking since I'm using DSL, but I did have a problem with virus killing my computer sometime last year, and after spending some time restoring everything I finally decided to 'protect' myself.

    So right now I feel protected, I have both Ad-aware and SpyBot - Search & Destroy installed, and I run them once a week or every other week. On top of that I have ZoneAlarm firewall installed with all the privacy and security settings set to 'high', and on top of that, I'm running McAffee virus scanner. Problem with running a firewall in high privacy is that you have to 'train' it, by default it doesn't allow persistent cookies, so you will have to go in and allow cookies from sites you trust and use all the time, but that is a small price to pay for being protected from all that !@#$ out there.

    I can only recommend every with a computer connected to the internet to install security programs such as a firewall or anti virus sw.

  4. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Thanks very much Nick. Now I am just waiting for my next phone bill to see if there are any more of those 900 numbers listed for calls I didn't make. My ISP is very concerned because he is losing some customers due to this.
  5. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    Thanks for letting us know about this. I will have to check my computer to make sure i don't have it on here. Thanks once again.

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