The President of UKE warns: beware of incoming calls from African numbers - UKE

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The President of UKE warns: beware of incoming calls from African numbers

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The Office of Electronic Communications receives information from the subscribers and telecommunication companies on the severity of the phenomenon of missed calls from unknown numbers or the so-called ‘dead calls’.


The method of cheating on subscribers (most frequently: subscribers of mobile phone networks) involves taking advantage of their tendency of calling back the missed calls. The so-called ‘dead phones’ are received in the evening or at night and last a very short while. The scamps count on the user of a given number to call back in the morning, covering a high fee.

The numbers which appear on the screen are most frequently from the Republic of Congo or the Ivory Coast, where the area codes (+243) and (+225) may suggest domestic calls, for example: from Warsaw (22) or Plock (24). According to the signals reaching UKE, there are also numbers which resemble Polish mobile numbers, for example: (703 XXX XXX), which use the same mechanism of cheating on subscribers.

It also happens that these calls are deliberately prolonged, e.g. a user hears the disconnection signal but if he or she does not press the red phone symbol, the call continues, and hence, the operator charges high fees.

The President of the Office of Electronic Communications emphasises and cautions: If you do not expect a call from abroad, and the number displayed on your phone is surprisingly long, or you do not associate international calling code of this number: Be careful! Call back only if it is reasonable!

Pay attention to the number which you call back. The President of the Office of Electronic Communications calls for consideration before calling or texting back. Before you do any of these, please check if the number is not a foreign number (international calls are more expensive), or whether the number is used for the provision of premium services (e.g. 708 XXX XXX). You can check the above on the  UKE website.

If such phone connection was made and its cost was included in the telephone bill, you can submit a complaint to your service provider. The procedure and conditions thereof have been set out in the Ordinance of the Ministry of Administration and Digitization on complaint about telecommunications services.

Nevertheless, one should remember that if a call to such number was made and the service provider executed it in accordance with its duty, then the provider also has the right to charge the subscriber with connection costs, on the basis of the applicable price list.

In the case of a rejection of the complaint, you can use the possibility of an amicable settlement of the dispute in mediation proceeding. Please visit the website of the Consumer Information Centre to find out the details of the mediation procedure. Please, do remember that the filing of the application for mediation does not free you from the obligation to make the payment. The disputed amount may be redeemed only by the service provider or the court of law in the civil proceeding.

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    The President of the Office of Electronic Communications (President of UKE) is the national regulatory authority for the market of telecommunications and postal services. The President of UKE is also the specialised authority in the area of equipment conformity assessment, including telecommunications terminal equipment and radio equipment.

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    Here you can find information about the most import ant international events, significant for the development of telecommunications and postal markets In Poland and for the statutory activity of the Office of Electronic Communications.
    International activity of the President of UKE consists of, inter alia, cooperation with the European Commission, other EU institutions and Regulatory Authorities of EU Member State. It includes also the cooperation within organizations of which UKE is a member, i.e. the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the Body for European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the European Committee for Postal Regulation (CERP).

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