Dentist hit by phone fraud

A DENTIST has warned businesses to be on their guard after fraudsters hacked into his phone system and made �1,200 worth of calls over a single weekend. Harminder Singh, who lives in Stevenage, has spent the last two months trying to reclaim this money, f

A DENTIST has warned businesses to be on their guard after fraudsters hacked into his phone system and made �1,200 worth of calls over a single weekend.

Harminder Singh, who lives in Stevenage, has spent the last two months trying to reclaim this money, following the fraud which took place in January.

Dr Singh, who runs aesthetics dentistry in Parkhouse Court, Hatfield, said his receptionist had received "15 or 16 calls" on the Friday where the caller hung up as soon as the phone was answered.

"We thought they were crank calls," he said.


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But on the Monday, he received a call from his telephone company, which informed him that a "high number of calls had been made to premium numbers over the weekend".

He was also told the fraudsters appeared to have tapped into his answerphone and used it to make outgoing calls.

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As if this was not bad enough, Dr Singh was later slapped with a telephone bill for �1,200, which he had to pay or face losing his business number.

The 36-year-old said the incident had left him feeling both "angry" and "frustrated".

He added: "It [fraud like this] is becoming quite common, but because it isn't that well publicised people are not aware of it.

"If they did that to me I am sure they are going to be targeting other local businesses."

Dr Singh has subsequently reviewed the security of his phone system and is giving other local businesses the following advice: "If they don't need to use premium telephone numbers or international numbers, get the phone company to bar them from making outgoing calls."

Police say no arrests have been made and officers are still investigating.

* Have you been affected? Call The Comet newsdesk on 01438 866200 or email editorial@thecomet24.co.uk

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