DUBAI: A case of suspected phone hacking has left a Dubai company with more than Dh350,000 in usage charges for calls they claim they never made.
Shocked staff at the Tecom-based Sakshi Advertising & PR say telecom servicer provider du disconnected their lines after they failed to pay the two ‘outrageously inflated’ bills totalling Dh355,692.58 for February and March.
“It’s unbelievable because our monthly spend had never gone beyond Dh3,000. Not at least in the last seven years,” says Atul Dhawan, the chief executive officer of the media and advertising company that was handed a Dh207,213.85 bill in February.
The figure included a monthly recurring charge of Dh1,869 and a usage charge of Dh202,797.09 for the 31-day billing period between January 1 and 31. By next month, the total outstanding bill had shot up to Dh358,240.58 which included another Dh149,157.73 in usage charges for the window between February 1 and 29.
“That’s more than 100 times my company’s average monthly spend and more than what we would pay over a period of ten years. Either something’s gone horribly wrong with du’s billing or someone has been tampering with our lines to make calls. The itemised bills for those two months show calls were made to numbers we don’t recognise and in countries we have no business dealings with. What surprises me even more is that most of these calls were made at hours when our offices remain shut,” says Dhawan who has been running the media agency since founding it in 1996...