NEW INFORMATION-READ COMPLETELY:
This scam is the result of several companies attempting to extract money and fees by wearing you down trying to resolve a fraudulent billing to your telephone.
The scam work first by covertly installing a computer-autodialing program on your hard-drive and making an entry in your computers registry to call the program for installation at a certain time. After a complete installation the program apparently waits for a period of inactivity on your computer and then dials an international telephone number using an access code. This access code tells your local telephone company that another company will handle the call and therefore will gain access to your personal billing information as provided by your local telephone company.
You will then see these fraudulent calls on your regular telephone bill since local telephone company probably has an agreement with a third party biller (who represents the company that routed the fraudulent call) to collect and pass on the third party's charges (less a fee for collecting by your local telephone company). In the meantime, your personal info has been sent by your telephone company to the third party biller and is being shared with the company that routed your call by the international access code.
That company then uses another third party biller to bill you for services rendered while your computer was connected to the international telephone number. By the way, the bill from the second third party biller may have slightly different information than your telephone bill. This is probably due to the malicious programs ability to scan your computer's registry and pull personal information out of it. As far as I can tell the companies involved are USBI, One Web Direct Bill and others.
ARE YOU MAD ENOUGH?
YOU MUST REMAIN OUTRAGED; THIS MALICIOUS AUTO-DIALER PROGRAM POSSES A THREAT TO LIFE AND SAFETY AS YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE AN EMERGENCY CALL AND THERE IS A CHANCE THIS MALICIOUS PROGRAM IS USING YOUR TELEPHONE LINE!
WHAT TO DO:
If you have received a bogus bill from One Web Direct Bill - DO NOT PAY. Please do the following, as this company and the others associated with it will only cease their illegitimate practices when legal action is taken. First call your telephone company and put them on notice that you have been the victim of a malicious program that took over your computer modem to make dead calls to a foreign telephone number. You should insist these charges are illegitimate and you want THEM to file a report with the FCC reporting the malicious and dangerous program that takes over your telephone line; And you will not pay any foreign long distance charges on your bill.
Call the Federal Trade Commission at (877) 382-4357. Work your way through the menu until you get to complaint section for 900 number and pay-per call services. After dialing the number above select 4,5,1,1 this should get you right to the appropriate department. You may be on hold for 5-10 minutes. Have your bill handy as you will be asked for some information from it. Also, be ready to take down a file number they will give you so future contacts can reference this initial complaint. They will ask you for an email address so they can send you information on disputing bills and protecting yourself from future scams.
TAKE HEART: This is not the first company to do this. The FTC and other agencies went after another company named Alyon. Read more at this website: http://www.atg.wa.gov/releases/rel_alyon_053003.html
The next step is to call the New Hampshire Bureau of Consumer Protection. That number is (603) 271-3641. This call is to simply put another angry consumer on their radar screen. They will tell you to write a letter to them at: New Hampshire Bureau of Consumer Protection 33 Capitol Street Concord, NH 03301 . This letter should simply state that you have never knowingly used the online foreign service(s) described on their bill and charges incurred were due to a malicious computer program covertly installed on your computer, causing the modem to dial a telephone number. Also send them a copy of the bill (both sides of all pages) you received. Then do the same with your own state consumer protection agency.
Another useful letter would be to the Federal Communications Commission. In this letter you should indicate the malicious Trojan horse auto-dialing program is a threat to life and public safety as you cannot make or receive telephone calls when the program takes over your computer modem. Follow instructions here: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/complaints.html
Finally you should write One Web Direct Bill a certified, return receipt requested letter through the U.S. Post Office advising them you have reported the fraudulent activity to all the agencies listed above and you refuse to pay their bill. Further more demand a letter rescinding the charges and you demand to know the names of the companies whose data generated this bill. If you hear from them, please let me know because I have not. But take some precautions when writing them: DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY MORE INFORMATION THAN WHAT THEY USED TO BILL YOU! What this means is, if they misspelled your name or sent the bill to an address which is not exactly yours etcetera, DO NOT CORRECT IT. If you do, you would be giving them more information about you than they deserve to have.
CAPE MAY, New Jersey