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ST fights phone fraud

Telecom monopoly Slovenské telekomunikácie (ST) will tighten restrictions on using old public pay telephones to stop people using fake phone cards. As of November 1 the company will not allow phone card calls from telephone boxes to mobile phone numbers. It will also continue to restrict international calls from telephone booths, the company said.

ST spokeswoman Gabriela Nemkyová said Slovak Telecom is losing more than Sk10 million ($200,000) monthly through the use of fake telephone cards.

The ban will affect 5,000 obsolete, poorly protected phone booths that are unable to distinguish between genuine and fake phone cards. Clients will only be able to make local and long-distance calls from these booths using standard phone cards. International and mobile calls made by special Global and Echo cards will be allowed.

The fixed-line monopoly will also restrict the operation of roughly 700 combined public pay phones that allow the use of both coins and cards. International and mobile calls by card will not be allowed until the end of the year. All of the roughly 6,000 coin phone booths will operate without restriction.

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