What you can do

If you find your telephone bill is inflated, you should report it to the telephone company. The only way you can avoid paying is if evidence is found that you have fallen victim to fraudsters. Once a subscriber lodges a complaint, the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) investigates the customer’s phone line from the center until the point of entry to the apartment building in order to check for any violations. Be warned – responsibility rests with the building supervisor for any problems after the line enters the building. Next, test calls are made to the subscriber’s phone to check the billing system. At the same time, the company examines the subscriber’s itemized telephone bill (with the subscriber’s consent) to analyze the pattern of calls (dates and times, calls to mobile phones and international calls), drawing conclusions about the possibility of illegal connections or unauthorized calls within the subscriber’s home by people with access to the line (such as home help, or relatives). The subscriber is informed in writing of the result of the investigation. OTE is also operating a pilot program in systems security and risk prevention, which informs subscribers about unusually high charges on their telephone bill, mainly to 090 numbers or to countries known to be a site for sex lines. About 10,000 subscribers received such warnings in 2001.