I have done plenty of posts regarding privacy issues related to cellular phones, and how they can be crucial if your personal information is handed over to undesired hands. Today, I am going to discuss another very sensitive issue that can add un-ending miseries to your life.
Problem is very simple, that is, if I am a postpaid customers, anyone can call my cellular company’s helpline, and can alter my billing address’ information after providing my CNIC number, home address and other basic information.
Now what will happen if my billing address is changed? Very simple, my bills will be delivered at new (and undesired) address. Hence, any one can have my call details.
In case you are getting e-statement for your postpaid bill, then scenario can get worst.
Offender can change my billing address again, after he/she has received my previous one month’s calling record. And this way, I will not even know the privacy breach that just happened.
Recently I met this person (I am not disclosing his identity on his request). He is a lawyer by profession and had a Mobilink postpaid number. His wife wanted to spy his phone activity. She achieved this by changing his billing address information to a new address where she had easy access.
She used to call several times a day to Mobilink helpline to figure out most inexperienced (innocent) CSR in the team, which she found one. After few days, she called again and asked for that particular CSR by name, on which she came online with her. Here, she asked this CSR (who was a lady too) to change the billing address of this postpaid number. She provided all information that was required. And her mission was achieved.
All of you can image about what would had happened next…
In another case reported to me was a person whose email (that was associated with Ufone postpaid number) got changed. And offender kept on receiving his bill via email for several months.
As we know that we can not hide our CNIC from our friends and family. Hence, hiding this information is not a workable idea. But what you can do is, simply register fake billing address against your postpaid account. Ask company to not to send paper bill, while subscribe for e-statements via Email.
This is defiantly, not a good idea. But anyone who would attempt to change your information will tell a bad billing address, hence there are little chances for his success.
Please make sure that you remember this fake address, otherwise ….
Note: This practice is maybe illegal – hence practicing it can cause you some issues. But as there is no other way to safeguard your privacy, few of you may find this useful.
What Cellular Companies can do for this?
Unfortunately, cellular companies do not offer any pin code verification system (like few of banks do). It would be great if cellular companies can give you a password that you will have to produce for account verification. Good way would be a pin code that customers can dial via phone for verification. Even verbal communication for PIN verification can work for this.
There is another way that companies can follow to secure your account, by tagging your number as secure… so any information regarding your number can be accessed/updated only after physical presence at service center or franchise.
Mobilink and Ufone already allow you to get your number tagged as secure. But there is an issue with this; once your outgoing is blocked due to non-payment – and when you pay back your bill to unblock your account, this tag gets inactive.
This is because, once security tag is there, there can be no special activity done for the number. While unblocking your number’s outgoing a special activity is carried away, which deactivates your tag. So it’s again not a workable idea.
Bottom Line: Get your phone tagged, and pay your bills in time so that security tag remains intact. And other way is to register fake information against your account…
DISCLAIMER: Intention of this post was to educate my reader regarding privacy issues. However some of information shared in this post can be illegal, and may lead you to charges as per regulations.
If you are a Prepaid Customer and want to get your call details, then Read this Post