Demand soars for BT scam buster

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The Independent Online

Telecoms giant BT this week said it had received more than 80,000 complaints from customers affected by the "rogue dialler" software scam.

Telecoms giant BT this week said it had received more than 80,000 complaints from customers affected by the "rogue dialler" software scam.

The company said more than 2,000 customers a day are downloading free software it is offering, so that they can protect themselves from internet fraudsters. But thousands of customers will still have to pay huge phone bills, racked up after their computers were infected with the software.

The rogue dialler programmes secretly install themselves on internet users' computers and change the number called when people go online so that they are routed through a premium-rate service. Many computer users have only discovered they have a problem when they have received much higher phone bills.

BT has been attacked for requiring its customers to pay these bills, but earlier this year it launched the free protection software. It is also giving away an early-warning system, which computer users can install so that they are alerted if their machine comes under attack.

BT's group managing director, Gavin Paterson, said: "We are pleased up to 83 people an hour are protecting their computer." A spokesman for Icstis, the premium-rate telephone regulator, said it had introduced regulations to protect consumers. But it cannot force phone companies to waive bills.

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