Vanuatu telephone numbers

Vanuatu (country code 678) is a small nation in the Southwest Pacific Ocean, about four hours flight from Sydney, Australia. The main industries are tourism, beef and coconuts.
You have probably found this page as a result of a search for the country name Vanuatu or the country code 678 because you are worried about a large, unexplained charge on your telephone account.
In October 2000, we received
I would like to know if anyone knows to whom this #0678513000 belongs to and who lives there if they have teenagers to whom my boys might have called them. thankyou Lori U.S.A.
In November 2000, it was
I do not think this number is a scam, can anyone assist with what it belongs to....678-542111. Thank You Jennifer
I recently got a phone bill that had a bunch of phone calls on it to a phone number in Vanuatu. I'm very confused and I certainly don't know anyone from there. I was wondering if there was anyone here that could tell me how to find out who I'm supposed to be calling there. I don't really want to try to call the number to find out because it is so expensive. The phone number is 067851542 - Kristi
These weren't the first messages of the type: in fact Philippe sugegsted that we should introduce a FAQ which started like this...
"We don't know anything about the phone calls to (supposedly) Vanuatu that appear on some US phone bills, those numbers don't officially exist, please contact your long distance carrier and deal with them, and also make a family meeting to figure out who generated the calls."
Marke, the webmaster of Vanuatu's leading ISP suggested that all queries should be directed to Rick Hall, the Managing Director of Telecom Vanuatu Limited. It is believed that TVL leased the lines in question and has a legally binding contract which means they cannot deny service to the lines. I don't have Rick's email address.
Legitimate Vanuatu telephone numbers are in the following series: You will note that there are no numbers beginning with 5 in the series. If you are looking for a Vanuatu phone number, you can find it in the directory at or a printed copy, if you have one!
So, what are these numbers? Let Merginet explain...

Old Phone Scam Back Again - From Some Adult Sites

Last year many people's modems were - unknowingly - automatically disconnected from their local ISP and then reconnected to Russia, resulting in some major long distance phone bills. Well, the scam is back. And this time you could be calling the island of Vanuatu in the South Pacific.

An employee in the Internet Services department of a local telephone company has had several customers recently present them with these large phone bills. They called the number the call was billed to, and found that it was a modem line. During their investigation, they found that these customers had remembered downloading a special 'image viewer' program from an adult website, however none of the customers could recall exactly which adult website it was.

It appears that this 'image viewer' program that was downloaded to access 'premium content' from these adult websites is actually initiating the calls, and is probably turning off the modem speaker before dialing, so that the unsuspecting victim has no idea that the calls were being made.

So please ignore the temptation... don't download anything from these sites. You could be hit with a major phone bill.

And Wired has this story warning you to read what you click through.

I've been in comunication recently on the matter of this scam with a variety of people but I've come across one web site which offers part of the solution. An outfit called dialoff, who certainly don't deserve a link from my site, offer a variety of services which add dailers to web sites, all of which work by placing calls to Vanuatu. Their how it works page outlines it. Web searches seem to suggest that of all the companies offering sleazy services, this one is more "reliable" than many in that they do pay their members what they are owed.
Please mail me if you have received any unexpected calls to Vanuatu on your telephone account, giving as much information about them as possible and I will pass the information to the appropriate authorities.
More info or questions? Let me know!
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