Disconnect Missed Call Scams - Prendergast

Labour MEP for Munster Phil Prendergast today demanded that the European Commission take action to prevent the repetition of this weekend’s missed call scam, which affected 087 customers throughout Ireland. Irish mobile users received missed calls from a number that appears to be from the 086 network but, when the users rang it back, they were put through to a premium rate number in Slovenia.

Labour MEP for Munster Phil Prendergast today demanded that the European Commission take action to prevent the repetition of this weekend’s missed call scam, which affected 087 customers throughout Ireland. Irish mobile users received missed calls from a number that appears to be from the 086 network but, when the users rang it back, they were put through to a premium rate number in Slovenia.

Speaking from Brussels, Ms. Prendergast, a full member of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee said: “I have asked the Commission to make it impossible to mask or automatically redirect a national number to a premium line in this fashion or, at the very least, to explain what scope for technical and legal safeguards we have in place to prevent or dissuade these chancers without borders.

“I congratulate ComReg for blocking access to this premium line from Ireland and for its work ensure redress for the Irish mobile users caught unaware by the scammers but I believe that we need action at European level to make sure that this kind of scam will not be technically feasible in the future.

“We can’t just stand by, allow this practice to spread and scramble to remedy it on an ad hoc basis with operators, customers and communications regulations every time some tech savvy fraudsters with enough resources to chase easy money cobble up a similar scheme at everyone else’s expense.

“ComReg is in touch with the Slovenian authorities, to whom they flagged the premium rate number misuse but I expect the Commission to engage with the regulators concerned with a view to building a proactive response.

“We must prevent the repetition of a scam that will cost money to any mobile user courteous enough to respond to a missed call.”