• Report: #141690
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Thu, May 05, 2005
  • Updated: Sat, July 09, 2005

  • Reported By:Houston Texas
Nationwide U.S.A.

USBI, ZPDI, OPTICOM, ONE CALL COMM Ripoff fraudulent phone charges Internet


*Consumer Suggestion: You have a trojan modem dialer installed somewhere

*Consumer Suggestion: Be professional but be firm

*Consumer Comment: Anti-spyware programs work best when run in Windows safe mode.

*Consumer Comment: Many of us don't have these "dialers" on our computers.. Could this be another Alyon or is this Alyon!

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I've received a big phone bill from my local phone carrier SBC for Apr 2005.

One charge from USBI / One Call Comm for $51.13 (20 min to United Kingdom?)

Two charges from ZPDI / Opticom for $97.50 (10 min and 20 min to Manhattan, NY?)

We never made a call. Never heard of these companies.
Have called them to dispute the charges and informed SBC for the credits.

Have reported fraudulent charges and bad practices to FCC.
But never been able to find out how they got our names and/or phone number and who's behind the billing.
One coincidental event (perhaps?) that these charges appeared the day we installed our first internet (DSL) with SBC. We questioned SBC how in the world that these scams could obtain our local phone number through DSL so that they could bill (us) through SBC assuming our computer were hijacked / virused / spied or whatever. Our computers are equipped with XP-SP2, Zone Alarm pro, Norton SystemWorks 2005, AdAware pro, MS AntiSpyware. All softwares are miticulously maintained up-to-date.
Could SBC or someone at SBC have anything to do with these?
Be aware.

Houston, Texas

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/05/2005 03:40 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/usbi-zpdi-opticom-one-call-comm/nationwide/usbi-zpdi-opticom-one-call-comm-ripoff-fraudulent-phone-charges-internet-141690. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Suggestion


AUTHOR: Cheryl - (U.S.A.)

I am visiting my friend in Indiana. Her phone bills for the last two months have been over $400. In running (free) antispyware we found a program called "mainpean stardialer" installed on her sons computer. According to Microsoft antispyware this program creates bogus call charges. USBI and ONE CALL COMM are reaping the benefits of this. No you did not make the phone call, nobody made any phone call, it is this dialer program making up bogus charges. My friends six calls were all exactly 20 minutes each in length.

To keep new charges from being made, immediately download, install, and run one or all three of these antispyware programs; Spybot Search & Destroy, Ad-Aware Se, and Microsoft Antispyware. I did this yesterday for my friend.

If you play games or have teenage children who play games and download "freebies??" online you should be regularly scanning with these programs to protect yourselves. These types of "free" deals are laced with spyware.

I had to run each of these program many times to remove the 883 items from my friends computer. Get yourselves an antiviris program too. There is actually a free one of those out there too, for those who feel they can not afford to pay for Nortons or McAfee.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

You have a trojan modem dialer installed somewhere

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

You have a trojan dialer on your computer that automaticly dials up via your modem.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Be professional but be firm

AUTHOR: S. - (U.S.A.)

I work for a very large organization and manage telephone bills for over almost 200 locations. I've seen a lot of this sort of thing.

Contact your local phone company, (SBC?) and tell them you are disputting those charges and do not pay them. Do pay your regular phone bill and any charges you do not dispute, but deduct these charges from the total amount. They will not cut off your local service as long as you pay your regular bill, but you must let them know what you are doing (why you did not send the full amount) to make sure your payment is properly applied. The charges will still appear on your bill until you resolve with the billing company, but should be listed separately under "Disputed Charges".

Also call the companies that are supposedly imposing the charges; Opticom, One Call, etc. and tell them you did not place the calls, authorized the service, etc. and that you are disputting the charges, that you wil not pay it and that you have informed your local carrier that you are not paying those charges, and insist that they credit ALL charges back to your phone bill, past charges and any future charges and also that they block your number from any future billing. They may balk and make excuses or offer to credit a portion of the charges, but they can do these things.

Inform them that you intend to file a complaint with the FCC, FTC & NFIC (and any other fraud prevention group, like your state's Attorney General). And DO file those complaints - it only takes a few minutes. They have 800 numbers posted onn the websites and online forms you can fill out. You may or may not hear back from them, but they do act on these reports, especially when they get a lot of complaints against the same company. In fact, the National Fraud Information Center has an ongoing investigation of complaints against USBI - I know because I filed a complaint against them this morning and they told me they had a lot of recent complaints against USBI and were investigating them.

Here's a link to the NFIC site:


I hope this helps.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Anti-spyware programs work best when run in Windows safe mode.

AUTHOR: Robin - (U.S.A.)

Anti-spyware programs have a better success rate when run in Windows Safe Mode.

Dialers install and change the registry to ensure they load at each boot. In Windows regular mode, the dialer runs in the background and makes it almost impossible for the anti-spyware program to completely remove it. Then when the computer is rebooted, it is back again since it is in the registry.

In Safe Mode, Windows will load only the bare minimum of processes to make the computer run, which prevents the dialer from loading. (Even the screen display will look odd, but this is normal and nothing to worry about.)

First, update all your anti-spyware apps in regular mode because you will not have access to the Internet in Safe Mode. Then reboot.

Safe Mode can be accessed by repeatedly tapping the F8 button during startup, following the boot beep. A menu should appear asking what you want to do. Select "Enter Safe Mode" and press the Enter key. If you fail to get the menu screen, reboot and try again.

Once in Safe Mode, run all of your newly updated anti-spyware apps to remove every vestige of the bug.

Reboot and Windows will revert to regular mode and you should be rid of all of it for good.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Many of us don't have these "dialers" on our computers.. Could this be another Alyon or is this Alyon!

AUTHOR: Donna - (U.S.A.)

I see people that do find these dialers on their computers so that explains they're calls and I know how those dialers work. I do not have a phone line hooked up to my computer and I have no dial-up modem in my computer even if there was a phone line hooked up to it. I can't believe these people (USBI) actually say in their FAQ that even without a phone line hooked up to your computer or a dialup modem, your computer CAN dial a phone number without your knowledge. I run three different anti-psyware programs and one is Webroot Spy Sweeper which is a great program and I have no spyware or hidden dialers on my computer. I want to know exactly how they came to bill one of our phones for a call to Israel (on the same day as many others here reported calls to Israel) when neither our phone nor our computer dialed the number. Is it as someone suggested - they roam the online directories and pick random numers knowing some will pay? The person I spoke with at USBI went through the same rhetoric with me about kids dialing, then it was our computer. Well, if it was a computer dialer that dialed the number, why the guessing game? And why do they think they can get away with telling people they can not tell us anything about the calls except that we made them and one reason they can't tell us is for the other company's privacy? What a load of crap! That sounds like something someone in another country would say because here in America, we are entitled to explanations of bills they want us to pay!
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