Premium rate / Scam Telephony VOIP services and numbers

fundutzi

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 18, 2010
Messages
316
Dear All,

A post for those that want to listen or read.
Contributions and recommendations are most welcome from those in the know.
=> This post will be updated and expanded in future when needed.


Short version.
Take care in the IT/ telecoms world.
The decade old problem to “scam / exploit the many and benefit a few” is perhaps being bread at an industrial scale today compare to decades past.
Compared to normal Telkom PSTN number to numbers calls you/ “your clients” will pay between 25% to 293% more to make the same call to a premium rate/ scam phone number.
Once you or the clients realize this, fewer clients! Credibility lost!

Longer version
A. Background

Recently was asked to review a proposal to replace Telkom PSTN lines and DSL with fibre line, port PSTN numbers to VOIP.
Surprised I am the majority of the world is still unaware of this decade old monster being bread at an industrial scale.
A decades old problem. In the old days it use to be people being tricked making calls to porn lines and then receiving the shock in post a month later. {Yes, postal services, like electricity used to work}

B. What is the issue/ risk /claimed scam?
Compared to normal Telkom PSTN number to numbers calls you/ “your clients” will pay between 25% to 293% more to make the same call to a premium rate/ scam phone number.
Once you or the clients realize this, fewer clients! Credibility lost!

See image matrix at end as reference for examples below.
Do your own checks using:
i. The Telkom call charge calculator here.
ii. Skype call costs for ZA.
iii. More telephony providers can be listed if needed.

On this date 2020.08.27 making the calls below on a normal business day at 14H00.
a. Say you make a call for 1 Hr between Telkom PSTN numbers;
Say Pta: 012 xxx YYYY to Dbn: 031 xxx YYYQ.
You will pay +- ZAR 27.83 per hour.

b. From Telkom PSTN phone line like 012 xxx YYYY to a “premium rate/scam number” like 010786XYZX you will pay 26.7% more @ ZAR 34.88 / hr.
Some numbers that had been ported to VOI{P providers are impossible to spot as a premium/ scam number. {Contact me for examples if you remain an unbeliever }

c. We knew for decades ringing mobile numbers are expensive at +- ZAR 78.26 / hr.
These GSM numbers are easy to spot with the eye.
Most of the time included in call packages.

Thus not an issue.

C. Why is this bugging me so much?
Like most mortal beings I buy calling packages for countries I need to do work in.
Almost all call packages, whether local in your country or bought from some international company, almost always exclude “special, premium, scam numbers”.
Naturally, one must phone companies at times having these numbers.

Even the eagle eyed amongst us can be caught out, as I had been a few times.
Phoning reputable companies, at times ones active in this very forum, cost me +- R 350 / hr.
Why in the world must I pay you {your appointed scam party} if I want to bring you business?

Perhaps we should name ISPs and Voip providers using these numbers and those selling services to bread this beast.
Will see if this is needed based on the response to this post.

D. References.
i. The Telkom call charge calculator here.
https://apps.telkom.co.za/calculator/displayCurrentTariffCalculator.htm

ii. Skype call costs for ZA.
https://secure.skype.com/en/credit/?#
1598526796604.png


iii. Calculation matrix.

1598526570116.png

iv. Others posts in past on this forum.
2006.xx.yy here.
https://mybroadband.co.za/forum/threads/premium-rate-numbers-in-south-africa.55762/

2014.04.yy here:
https://mybroadband.co.za/forum/threads/telkom-premium-numbers.613746/
 

fundutzi

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 18, 2010
Messages
316
A normal day, I must make some calls to ZA.

Oops, no current Skype call package active for ZA.
Hmm, let me use my VOIP line always active for ZA.

Wait, let me quickly check I still pay fair rates when making calls to ZA, I may be on the phone for a few hours in next week or so.
=> Note, when making VOIP calls the rule of thumb is: it does not matter if in Paris, London or Pretoria!

A reputable recommendation online suggest to use axxess.co.za/voip/calltime.
Let me do a few spot checks and ensure I still pay fair rates.

Hmm, confirmation, ZA Telephone/ VOIP is indeed a circus / racket with serious risks all over the place.
Worst, exactly as my post said a few weeks ago, beware, some VOIP providers steal your money, thus you will lose clients.
The norm is 100% as explained to SpecC. The Telkom rates is the base.
We can see most conform to Telkom rates, some providers charge more, at times significantly more. Few cases it is less.
One must take serious care. This is a legal racket.


See the long list of types of numbers axxess show prices for in ZA!
Note that some voip providers cost significant more to ring.

Below is an extract for ZA call cost.
The first part is only the VOIP call cost for ZA extracted.

Part 1 ZA VOIP extracted.
####
Line 5: SA: Altonet VOIP ZAR 0.50 ZAR 0.00
Line 9: SA: Amobia VOIP ZAR 0.38 ZAR 0.00
Line 18: SA: Bacspace - Java Sim Project - VOIP ZAR 0.48 ZAR 0.00
Line 20: SA: BCS Group VOIP ZAR 0.36 ZAR 0.00
Line 22: SA: Bitco VOIP ZAR 0.50 ZAR 0.00
Line 32: SA: BT Communications VOIP ZAR 0.42 ZAR 0.00
Line 36: SA: Business Connexion VOIP ZAR 0.42 ZAR 0.00
Line 47: SA: Comtel VOIP ZAR 0.38 ZAR 0.00
Line 50: SA: Connection-Telecom: VOIP ZAR 0.38 ZAR 0.00
Line 53: SA: Converged Telecoms VOIP ZAR 0.48 ZAR 0.00
Line 57: SA: Cybersmart VOIP ZAR 0.42 ZAR 0.00
Line 59: SA: Directel VOIP ZAR 0.38 ZAR 0.00
Line 61: SA: Du Pont Telecom VOIP ZAR 0.42 ZAR 0.00
Line 71: SA: ECN VOIP (higher rate) ZAR 0.38 ZAR 0.00
Line 72: SA: ECN VOIP (lower rate) ZAR 0.38 ZAR 0.00
Line 73: SA: Ensynch VoIP (EOH) ZAR 0.42 ZAR 0.00
Line 79: SA: Exotic Systems VOIP ZAR 0.50 ZAR 0.00
Line 82: SA: Firstrand Bank VOIP ZAR 0.29 ZAR 0.00
Line 88: SA: Frogfoot VOIP ZAR 0.38 ZAR 0.00
Line 93: SA: GoldTel VOIP ZAR 0.38 ZAR 0.00
Line 94: SA: Green Flash VOIP ZAR 0.58 ZAR 0.00
Line 113: SA: ICSA VOIP ZAR 0.72 ZAR 0.00
Line 115: SA: ICT Globe VOIP ZAR 0.42 ZAR 0.00
Line 116: SA: Ictel VOIP ZAR 0.48 ZAR 0.00
Line 129: SA: IS VOIP ZAR 0.30 ZAR 0.00
Line 135: SA: Kawuleza VoIP ZAR 0.38 ZAR 0.00
Line 158: SA: Liquid Telecom VOIP (intl originated) ZAR 3.36 ZAR 0.00
Line 160: SA: Magnolia VOIP ZAR 0.62 ZAR 0.00
Line 169: SA: MITSOL VOIP ZAR 0.38 ZAR 0.00
Line 188: SA: MTN VOIP ZAR 0.38 ZAR 0.00
Line 189: SA: MTN VOIP (intl originated) ZAR 3.36 ZAR 0.00
Line 196: SA: MWEB VOIP ZAR 0.28 ZAR 0.00
Line 203: SA: Nashua Mobile VOIP ZAR 0.38 ZAR 0.00
Line 205: SA: Neelana VOIP ZAR 0.42 ZAR 0.00
Line 206: SA: Netvoip ZAR 0.72 ZAR 0.00
Line 212: SA: Ohren VOIP ZAR 0.38 ZAR 0.00
Line 217: SA: RSA Web VOIP ZAR 0.38 ZAR 0.00
Line 218: SA: Safikatel VOIP ZAR 0.42 ZAR 0.00
Line 223: SA: Seacom VOIP ZAR 0.38 ZAR 0.00
Line 229: SA: Sky Connect VOIP ZAR 0.42 ZAR 0.00
Line 243: SA: Switch Telecom VOIP ZAR 0.50 ZAR 0.00
Line 245: SA: Talkworld Communications VOIP ZAR 0.38 ZAR 0.00
Line 249: SA: Telconet VOIP ZAR 0.80 ZAR 0.00
Line 251: SA: Tele-Junction VOIP ZAR 0.39 ZAR 0.00
Line 254: SA: Telfree VOIP ZAR 0.42 ZAR 0.00
Line 372: SA: Virtual Card Aquiring VOIP ZAR 0.30 ZAR 0.00
Line 374: SA: Virtual Office VOIP ZAR 0.40 ZAR 0.00
Line 385: SA: Vodacom VOIP ZAR 0.30 ZAR 0.00
Line 386: SA: Vodacom VOIP (intl originated) ZAR 3.36 ZAR 0.00
Line 396: SA: VOX VOIP ZAR 0.38 ZAR 0.00
Line 397: SA: VOX VOIP (intl originated) ZAR 1.79 ZAR 0.00
Line 401: SA: Wirels Connect VOIP ZAR 0.66 ZAR 0.00
Line 407: SA: Xtranet VOIP ZAR 0.38 ZAR 0.00
####

Part 2 ZA extracted.
===========================
+- 370 lines for types of calls in ZA, crazy!
I removed the long list as this forum will not allow, pls see original PDF in link from axxess here:
axxess.co.za/voip/calltime.

===========================
 

gulli

Active Member
Joined
May 31, 2007
Messages
35
Does anyone know what the official justification for this massively confusing system is? All other countries use premium rated pre-fixes like 0900 'area codes' while SA goes the worst and most confusing way. I only noticed this when I looked up South Africa on https://voip.ms/en/rates/international and noticed that calls to 272181, 271107 are listed at $2.1105 / minute vs $0.1206 per-minute charge for regular landlines.

This means that calls to Cape Town's 021-81x-xxxx and Johannesburg's 011-07x-xxxx number block and many other exceptions that are impossible to remember are 17.5 times as expensive as calls to regular 021 and 011 landline calls!
 

fundutzi

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 18, 2010
Messages
316
No idea.
Was surprised zero persons replied when I first posted this.

It seems very few know of this. Those that does know must benefit from the arrangement. It borders fraud in my view.

At least you are one of the few with unfair advantage of knowing :)
The wonders the ability to read afford us.
 
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