THE greeting congratulating you on winning a major prize worth thousands of euro is something that mobile phone users have become all too familiar with.
According to Cllr Kenneth O’Flynn Meteor customers have in the past number of weeks become “increasingly plagued by these bogus messages claiming they have won a substantial cash prize”.
The City Councillor explained that “A number of my constituents who use the Meteor phone service have in recent weeks contacted me about this problem.
“They are telling me that they have been receiving text messages claiming that they have won up to €500,000 in prizes relating to a scheme in the Netherlands.
“To receive the phoney prize all they have to do is divulge there bank details.”
Cllr O’Flynn contacted Meteor about the problem but says, “The response I got was that they were aware of such issues and the best thing to do is to delete the message straight away.”
The Fianna Fáil Councillor is unhappy with this and suggests that a lot more should be done to try and protect customers personal data.
“We are being told by the phone companies that there is very little they can do.
“The amount of money that customers spend yearly on topping up either there pay as you go or bill phone contracts is massive and they deserve to have their information looked after in return.
|I believe that phone companies like Meteor and others should be taking greater steps to protect its one million customers from being targeted like this.”
Cllr O’Flynn stressed the impact these intrusions could have, “It is very disturbing to know that someone, somewhere, has your details and is able to reach you in this way.
“It is extremely worrying for the person who uses there mobile phone to access their online banking or download items over the inherent.
“Likewise the elderly person who would not use their phone as frequently may unknowingly keep these messages stored in there inbox for a long time and there data could therefore be at further risk of being tampered with illegally.”
Cllr O’ Flynn is asking the users to report any messages they receive, “Under the Electronic Privacy regulations this is a clear breach of our Data protection laws.
“The Data Protection Commissioners office has informed me of similar cases that they have investigated regarding unsolicited messages.
“I would urge customers who are being annoyed by these scams to report this to the Data Protection Commissioner immediately and for them to give the matter serious attention.”
The north side councillor insisted that “this is just another type of fraudulent behaviour ‘Whether it is someone ringing your landline, sending messages on your mobile or calling to your door posing as someone they are not, it is all fraud and should be taken equally as serious.”