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Showing posts with label Virgin Media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Virgin Media. Show all posts

Monday 18 November 2013

0844 number scam (08445715179)

This is a particularly insidious scam that relies on mobile phone users in the UK not knowing that an 0844 number is much, much more expensive than a normal phone call. The scam SMS goes something like this:

ATTENTION! We have tried to contact you, It is important we speak to you today. Please call 08445715179 quoting your reference 121190. Thank You.

In this case the sender's number was +447453215347 (owned by Virgin Media Wholesale Ltd, but operated by a third party). The catch is that the calls to an 0844 number can cost up to 40p per minute (see more details here), a large chunk of which goes into the operator's pockets. So what happens when you ring back? You get put on hold.. and left on hold until you have racked up a significant bill.

Sadly, I don't know who is behind this scam, and in this case it was illegally sent to a TPS-registered number.
If you get one of these, you should forward the spam and the sender's number to your carrier. In the came of T-Mobile, O2 and Orange the number to report to is 7726 ("SPAM"). Vodafone customers should use 87726 ("VSPAM") and Three customers should use 37726 ("3SPAM"). Hopefully the carriers will act if there are enough complaints. You should also send a complaint to the ICO who may be able to take more serious action against these spammers.

Thursday 3 May 2012

How to access The Pirate Bay on Virgin Media

I don't approve of pirating copyrighted material, but I also don't approve of censorship.On balance I think that censorship is the worst of the two, so I was quite annoyed to find that Virgin Media is censoring the Pirate Bay.

Sorry, the web page you have requested is not available through Virgin Media.

Virgin Media has received an order from the Courts requiring us to prevent access to this site in order to help protect against copyright infringement.

If you are a Virgin Media home broadband customer, for more information on why certain web pages are blocked, please click here.

If you are a Virgin Media Business customer, or are trying to view this page through your company's internet connection, please click here.
It isn't Virgin Media's fault (they have a shedload of their own, this is not one of them), but something they've been obliged to do through the courts.

Here's a newsflash. Not everything listed on the Pirate Bay is actually subject to copyright. As with many things, it's what you do with a tool like the Pirate Bay that counts. So, let's say that you have a legitimate use for looking at the Pirate Bay and you're a Virgin Media customer (or another UK ISP that has blocked TPB).. how do you do it?

Well, there's a mirror of The Pirate Bay hosted on the same IP address and domain as the UK's Pirate Party at https://tpb.pirateparty.org.uk/. Not many people know that all UK political parties have to be registered at the Electoral Commission, and the Pirate Party is indeed a properly registered political party (click to enlarge)..

Although the technology employed by Virgin Media is perfectly capable of blocking part of a website and leaving the rest accessible, it's quite possible that censoring part of a website belonging to a legally constituted political party might just be a step too far..