2504: Your balance is too low -- message is visible to others - MAJOR PRIVACY BREACH

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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I was texting with a friend, exchanging photos and chatting, when she sent me a photo, which was immediately followed by what looked like another text from her which said "2504: Your balance is too low". I thought it was a message from Koodo directed at me, so I logged on my self-service page, checked all my balances, which were fine. This happened again when my friend sent me another pic, so I texted the message back to her to let her know what I was seeing.She did a quick check and said she was over her "package limit" but would be charged for the overage on her next bill. She'd also never seen the message... it was only visible to me, apparently.

I suggested she call Koodo support right away, ask for a supervisor, look for an explanation and give them hell for breaching her financial confidentiality like that. No one should know that her account was low by seeing Koodo's message that was directed to her. Instead of a friend, I could have been an employer, co-worker, banker, etc. etc.

Has this happened to anyone else, and how was it resolved.
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Lorraine Clarke

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Posted 4 years ago

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Daniel Kim, Mobile Master

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Never happened to me and that is super strange! Is it possible she accidentally copy and pasted/forwarded the koodo text to you?
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Lorraine Clarke

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Nope. She didn't even see the message.

She called Koodo, and they have never heard of it happening and are doing a Google search, so she was told.

They also suggested she was hacked?! Really!!
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Daniel Kim, Mobile Master

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That's a bummer. I've never heard of anything like this either. Hope your friend gets the problem fixed!
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Ahmad

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WOOAHHHHHHHHHHH WOAH WOAH. I'm going to stop you right there.

You can CLEARLY see this is from BBM. This is NOT a Koodo issue and suggest you contact BlackBerry.

Know who's what happened here but it's not Koodo's fault and Koodo in no way breached your privacy, since jeez I don't know, it's not even their app.

The fact I see it in bbm, tells me this happened out of USER ERROR either through copying and pasting something by accident, etc.
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Lorraine Clarke

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Don't know how this comment got a star. Just read my reply immediately after and you'll see that while well intentioned, was way off base for the problem.
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Lorraine Clarke

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Ahmed, We're not using BBM. If you were familiar with BB OS10 phones, you'd know Text and BBM screens look almost alike. In fact, the other person has a Galaxy phone and doesn’t even have BBM installed.

I'm using a BB Z10 so the capture came from my phone, because she wasn't seeing the messages. But I don't deal with BB directly and have no accounts with them...

And the 2504 message code is a Koodo message. I think you're off track here, but thanks.
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Jonathan I, Mobile Master

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Lorraine, Ahmad actually had a Q10 for a while. Maybe his had a different colour scheme or setup. As I recall, I believe it was update 10.2.X that added light/dark colour options in several menus and apps.

I did some poking around Google and from what I can tell, there's only a few forums around the world (but none in Canada until you just posted yours) reporting this kind of message. I've never seen it myself but it is odd that you'd be seeing something that's supposed to be directed to her. Is she also using Koodo?
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Lorraine Clarke

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Yes. We're both Koodo users... I'm on prepay in mid-month with lots of minutes and data left on my boosters, and she's on a monthly plan with unlimited text and tons of minutes and data left on her plan.

Very strange....
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Lorraine Clarke

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Still nothing back from Koodo, and after persisting that evening it hasn't happened again. Could it have been a moth fluttering somewhere?
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Lorraine Clarke

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This topic has been flagged as ANSWERED. Definitely NOT. Who did that, and how can it be unflagged?
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rikkster, Mobile Master

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No, we are not allowed to mark posts answered.
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Ivan, Mobile Master

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Yes, we are allowed to mark posts as answered. The standard practice is to not mark them as such after we answer, but rather after we see that someone else has provided an answer.
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Chris Petersens

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Oh I see.....and what's the guideline, what is considered an answer? Clearly more than someone posting something, right?
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rikkster, Mobile Master

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I was always under the impression that this responsibility was left up to the official Koodo moderators. I don't mark questions as answered, never have and never will. To this day, I still don't see a definitive answer or an official response to this question, so I'm at a loss as to how this became an answered topic.
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Chad Burr, Mobile Master

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I changed it to no status but this really looks like a glitch in the system. We actually are only permitted to update status and edit titles when the title doesn't actually describe the question (ie. "Need Help" or "billing")

We are not permitted to do anything else. Doing anything else gets us all banned from admin powers as a collective group, forever.
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barb phinney

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The same thing has happened to my friend and I, who are both prepaid and up to date with automatic top ups. The message source says it's a multimedia message from my friend who did not send it. Very upsetting. No one wants to scramble to check this stuff out.
Koodo, please look into this.
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Chris Petersens

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I think this is spam. If your balance is fine I doubt koodo would send you a message. Have you ever seen that message before when you got low on your balance?
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Jeanine Floyd

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The same things has just happened to me. Friend sent a photo and message, which I can see. Then I got the "2504: Your balance is too low" msg, apparently from the same person. Very odd.
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barb phinney

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I am on prepaid and auto top up. So is my friend.
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Yannick

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Hi there, definitely a strange one! However, it's not from Koodo's end as we don't have low balance with prepaid, as it's unlimited messaging. Also, it seems that customers in the UK are getting the same message: http://koo.do/11SsoJT. It's unlikely that both companies would use the same code and verbiage ;) Thank you!

________________________
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Lorraine Clarke

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As the originator of this thread back in June, I can also confirm that I never did get a resolution to this issue. Maybe this time round an answer can be found. Sure seems like this should be followed up by Koodo. I bet for every person posting on this issue, there are a lot who haven't.

Might try locking the proverbial barn door before the horse is stolen, for once.
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Cameron Jones

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That's too bad Lorraine, is this still happening? Is it happening with the same person or at random? I think barb's response below is right, it's a probably a software glitch and hard to detect because 'low balance' kind of messages are mostly pushed out to prepaid customers. For what it's worth, I don't think there's a privacy breach here. The message wasn't 'flipped' to you from your friend texting you, it was some other trigger in your phone, maybe your phone's settings. What kind of phone is it?
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Lorraine Clarke

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Not a glitch and not my phone. See my l-o-n-g reply below for details.
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barb phinney

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It is like it is a software issue where a glitch occurs and the siftware spits out what it feels is the most appropriate response.
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Lorraine Clarke

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Well, now that I'm not a voice in the wilderness, I picked up my 'investigation' where I left off back in June. Strangely enough, I thought of spam back then, but when I tried to access my usage history for the date it happened, I could only get a detailed listing for two days, and not for the specific date I had received the "2504" text.

BTW, I also posted that problem as a topic here (here's the link: http://gsfn.us/t/4ju2n ), and coincidentally, it too has been flagged as answered, although the one reply was not a solution. So I guess Koodo (or someone with the power) is flagging stale topics as Answered to get rid of them, maybe??

As to the problem at hand, now that I've checked all my incoming text numbers for the time/date of those texts, which had been inserted to appear as part of an ongoing conversation, I find there are two (2) different short code numbers that correspond to those dates/times (one 4-digit and one 5-digit), neither corresponding to a registered Canadian #.

It's spam, looking for someone to reply "stop" or "help", which will only serve to confirm that they've got a live number, and you'll soon be getting unsolicited or even premium texts. DO NOT REPLY to those numbers.

The following is my opinion only--------------------------------------

Personally, I wouldn't even bother reporting them to Koodo...obviously they either don't have any idea what's up, or if they do, they'd rather we didn't know.

Here's what the UK equivalent of the CCTS (Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services...Canadian) has to say. Much more informative and what would have been a good answer from Koodo: http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public/topi...

This is not an accident, a glitch in the system, or a bug. It's spam, it's phishing for leads, and it's illegal.

So perhaps we should just report any of these to our CCTS, http://www.ccts-cprst.ca/ with a copy of this discussion attached. And personally I would send a copy to Koodo and the RCMP internet fraud/phishing group as well.

Geez, I get so sick and tired of the low-life gutter crawlers who do this s**t, I'd like to see some grassroots backlash at them, for a change.

---------------------------------------------- end of personal rant

I feel better now that I know the cause and how to respond, although disappointed that it took so much digging.

Oh, and fwiw, "2504 - your balance is too low" is part of a valid error code of a UK cell company called giffgaff.com.
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Ivan, Mobile Master

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Thank you for letting us know. Unfortunately, scammers are always looking for inventive new ways to get us. Stay vigilant.
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Cameron Jones

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Wow! Great detective work!! Thanks Lorraine!
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Lorraine Clarke

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Oh, and in the course of this discussion the phones, their settings, and various 'glitches' have been put forward as potentially valid solutions. Come on, if computer hardware and software were really that unreliable these days, we'd be lucky to have electricity for 6 hours/day, let alone internet, cell phones, satellite communications, and you do use a banking machine or online banking occasionally? What if they lost your deposit and said it was a glitch?

I've been using computers since the 70s--we programmed with punch cards (on a VAX/VMS system that had its own air-conditioned room). Back then we used the word 'bug' (and for a good story, look up the source of that), but today 'glitch' is usually shorthand for 'we don't know the answer but there is one, and it hasn't happened often enough or created a problem large enough for us to find out what it is at this point.'

Human error is usually the culprit. When user error has been examined and ruled out, that leaves the service provider or some other individual/group as the cause. In this case, human-directed spam/phishing is the culprit.

Next step is for the service provider (humans) to

  • acknowledge there is a problem

  • advise their users about the problem

  • suggest interim means to protect their users while a solution is investigated

  • determine and implement the solution.



Knowledge is power. Would have been at least nice to know...

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