Search

Hornchurch residents latest victims of Guinea-Bissau phone fraud

18:00 24 July 2014

Rod Ballard

Rod Ballard

Archant

Puzzled residents fear they are the latest phone fraud victims after their bills showed hundreds of pounds of calls to west African nation Guinea-Bissau.

From Hornchurch to Guinnea-BissauFrom Hornchurch to Guinnea-Bissau

The four victims, from the Hornchurch and Elm Park areas, all deny they made the pricey international calls which took place over the same hours at the beginning of the month.

Rod Ballard, 51, of Grey Tower Gardens, was billed more than £500 for 55 six-minute calls to three different numbers.

He was alarmed to read in the Recorder that he was not the only victim.

Mr Ballard happens to be a phone expert and has worked in the telecommunications industry for 30 years.

Steven Roome says his landline has been hacked and on Friday night calls were made to Guinea Bissau in west Africa every 6 minutes all night totalling £385.60.Steven Roome says his landline has been hacked and on Friday night calls were made to Guinea Bissau in west Africa every 6 minutes all night totalling £385.60.

He reckons that the technique being used this time is much more “sophisticated” than in previous attacks of so-called “teeing” – where green boxes in the streets are tampered with to make fraudulent calls.

Often, he said, residents down one road may be targeted by hacking one of the cabinets, owned by BT company Openreach. But these victims are all supplied by different boxes.

And all of the calls started late at night on July 4 and ended about 6am the next day.

Mr Ballard said: “It looks like multiple people targeting more than one cabinet, someone using autodialers, or perhaps someone at the telephone exchange up to no good.”

He recalled an incident at Covent Garden Telephone Exchange 20 years ago where this happened.

Duane Miller, 30, of Ullswater Way, was struck with a “ridiculous” bill of £350, which like the others he is trying to claim back.

Steve Roome, of High Street, supposedly made nearly £400 of calls despite admitting: “I didn’t even know where Guinea- Bissau was.”

John Thornborrow, 31, of Windermere Avenue, was billed nearly £200 for the international calls. He said that provider Zen was being “careful” about giving him a refund.

Openreach have not responded to the Recorder’s request for comment.

If you find fraudulent calls to Guinea-Bissau on your bill contact Sam on 0208 477 3892 or sam.blewett@archant.co.uk

Read more:

‘I didn’t even know where Guinea Bissau was’ - Hornchurch ‘fraud’ victim charged hundreds for calls to west Africa

Havering councillor warns residents on scam phone calls

Harold Hill woman escapes jail after £76,000 benefit fraud

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00
Bad Manners performing at havering Show

Buster Bloodvessel, the eccentric, bald-headed, frontman of ska band Bad Manners has pledged to get his audience to their feet as he closes this year’s Havering Show.

Yesterday, 12:00
Richard Skeats in his computer room

A computer whizz has been unable to get a job for 10 years because he has Asperger’s syndrome, and instead offers his services in exchange for hot food.

Yesterday, 10:00
Havering Town Hall.

Start-ups are set to get a leg-up from a new company aiming to help new businesses in the borough.

Fri, 19:07
David Efemena, 14, of Elm Park, died while on a cadet camping trip in Hampshire.

An inquest into the death of a 14-year-old at a military base heard of the frustration felt by a more senior air cadet as he struggled to contact group leaders.

Most read news

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder