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Uni warns staff against phone scam

Fake phone calls are costing the University of Copenhagen money, warns the IT department. Staff are being tricked into returning expensive calls from abroad

University of Copenhagen personnel with work phones are being warned not to return calls from international numbers.

The message to staff is on KUnet, the University of Copenhagen’s internal website (here, needs log-in).

The calls are from fraudsters who deliberately do not leave a message on voice mail. The numbers are in fact a form of premium-rate phone service that you pay dearly for if you call back. This phenomenon has been widely reported in the press, writes

UCPH gets the bill

»The problem isn’t confined to mobile phones,« says telecom specialist Henrik Ardal from University IT.

»Staff members who use digital phones or IP telephony services with Caller ID should also be careful. If people want to contact you, they should be expected to call back or leave a message on your voicemail,« says Ardal.

At the moment, the expensive calls are being made from Sierra Leone (+232) and return calls are overcharged at DKK 60 a minute. The normal price is about DKK 12 a minute. The scam is only discovered when UCPH gets the bill and by then it’s too late: the call and the charge have been made and the money is lost, the University warns.

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