UDATE 3: 24th NOV. 2012:  Zain Bahrain investigated deeper and responded to my requests to check the IMEI numbers of the erroneous calls made and the bogus SMS we supposedly received and responded to.  Bingo!  Not us.  A mighty BIG thanks to Ruzaina and indeed Khalifa who with great pains, sifted through the mess and removed all charges.  That is not the end of it though, they are still determined to get to the bottom of this.   Bahrain Telecommunications (Batelco) supposedly investigated for a few minutes and came to the conclusion that I/we had made the calls and responded to the the SMS thus closed the case.  Lightspeed removed the charge after a huge battle, but are still convinced I/we made the calls or sent the SMS.  AMEN…..or maybe not.  Read the story below.

UDATE 2:  4th NOV. 2012:   Zain Bahrain just confirmed – so far 2 of my mobile numbers fraudulently charged.  A total of 95 scam SMS supposedly received and replied to during the last month,  plus calls to Madagascar, which defeats Lightspeed’s assessment that I was physically responsible for the calls. (See below Scam 1).  Total value of the theft now amounts to not far short of BD 200 (Over US$ 500)   This is is so serious now, it is a war. 


Geek warning!  (See update 1:  03 Nov 2012 below). Today’s blog is about you and me getting fleeced daily by criminals using perfectly legitimate telecommunication channels.  For good measure, I’ll throw in Jimmy Saville’s name  – the Briish disc jockey who is thankfully being posthumously … um…. buried for  fixing his jimmy where he shouldn’t have. A distasteful man who I well described, if not warned about 40  odd years ago. Owz abaht that then..?  Unlike a Pakistani marriage, the two subjects are not related. I know, I normally rattle on about media corruption or corruption in the media and the occasional telecom rant, but bear in mind telecommunications is everything media, it carries media, it is a medium, so in this case, the two subject are related.

To get your hackles up and battle dress on, let me inform you that you and me are paying through the nose for thin air and legally being ripped off big time by crooks manipulating our everyday communication systems.  My household (IP based) telephone has been hacked with someone making extraneous calls and nobody wants to admit it.  It never rains, it pours and our mobiles have been raped too.

Here’s a scenario; you’ve just received a massive phone bill demanding you pay a stupid amount above what you normally pay per month, or you’ve just topped up your credit on a prepaid system only to find

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As I have said before; calling granny on your phone is very different these days to the good old times of waiting for little mechanical or digital relays to  physically connect your calls on hard lines. Nowadays, what the geeks call 4G is not only different-to-air radio frequencies, but a virtual matrix and done by mirrors in the ether and we are nothing but little IP addresses (INTERNET PROTOCOL); which is why you can move a thousand miles away from your roots and still take your old loved and cherished telephone number with you – or indeed change providers/operators – or if they would let you and we had suitable phones, send text messages to a land-line handset or box (which nobody does yet as greedy telecos don’t think there is any money in it).

For sure, scamming has been going on for years and long before the Americans starting getting twitchy with huge telecom switch providers like the Chinese Heuwai , Geggyboy was not waxing so lyrical about it or indeed the caliber of those installing it.  Just ask any of the Batelco technical boys on on the platform. They are sick to death of me bleating about this or that.  I get shouted down loudly by many in the biz, dispelling my theory that any IP based system can be easily hacked at customer level, but they respond by saying that it is ‘unlikely’ and that I am a bit of donkey not knowing what I am talking about.  It is sort of like the default reaction when you hear the name ‘Geg Hopkins’ or you are unfortunate enough to meet me for the first time and have to endure my gesticulating.

All well and good, but my theory is that it is a doddle for the initiated to quickly hack a network.  For sure the FBI

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