I Don't Recognise a Number Charged On My Bill

This article provides possible answers to unrecognised numbers showing as dialled/messaged on your phone bill or in My Account. Jump to the type of number that is showing on your bill.

What's a Local Call?

These are calls that originate from within the same; or from an adjacent standard charging zone/area. Local call access may also be designated to calls travelling to non-adjacent zones, where those zones may have a mutual local interest. Local calls are usually untimed.

A list of adjacent charging zones can be found in the Fixed Line Phone Standard Form of Agreement (SFOA)

What's a Community Call?

These are calls that would otherwise be charged at full national (STD) call rates as the standard charging zone/area in which the call originates is not next to the standard charging zone in which the call is received. 

However we (Optus) have designated that these 2 areas have a mutual community interest and therefore  we charge a reduced national (STD) call rate between the 2 zones/areas. To separate them we've named these reduced rate national (STD) calls, "community calls".

Further information about Community Calls is available in the Fixed Line Phone Standard Form of Agreement (SFOA)

Unrecognised international SMS

Were you using an iPhone/iPad at the time it was billed?

If No, see these solutions.

If Yes, read on...

In some versions of iOS when you activate (or reactivate) Apple's iMessage or FaceTime service(s), your iOS device may send a text message to an overseas number as part of the activation process. Typically the message is sent to a +44 number from Australia.

This is not an error, it's the way Apple's service communicates with their servers.

Your device can warn you at the time with an on-screen message, that reads something like, "Your carrier may charge you to activate..."

Unrecognised 13/1300 numbers

What are 13/1300 numbers?

These calls are usually to companies and services. eg. insurance, banks, government and community services, telephone or internet providers, betting and other utility companies, media outlets etc.

The 13/1300 prefix when called from your phone enables the call to travel a national or international distance for only a flagfall cost (these calls are usually un-timed).

What else could be the cause?

- Home/Office security alert and monitoring systems

Do/Did you have a alarm/security system? Many of these systems can call 'back-to-base' automatically via a 13/1300 or local call number to confirm their status or to electronically report on events, failures or to alert the company of an incident.

This can occur even if you haven't requested a monitored service as many of these systems are hard-wired into the phone line. Your phone line is how the alarm company then monitors your home.

You can contact the alarm/security service provider to confirm and ask if the call-back frequency can be changed or stopped (if monitoring is no longer required).

- Medical alert and/or 'In Home' health monitoring systems

Does anyone in your premises have a wearable medical alert or uses a hard-wired medical alert system? These systems can use local call or 13/1300 numbers to automatically report on status, events or failures.

- Pay TV (Foxtel/Austar)

Do you have Foxtel or Optus TV feat. Foxtel? Using / viewing interactive content, Foxtel Box Office, Pay-Per-View or other On-Demand services uses your phone line and 13/1300 numbers to electronically pass your requests and other interactive commands through to Foxtel.

- Calling card/International card services

13/1300 numbers are often used to access international calling card services. When you make calls using an international calling card, in most cases you're required to dial a local or 13/1300 number to access the service.

Unrecognised calls/messages to 19/1900 (information) numbers

What are 19/1900 numbers?

19/1900 numbers are commonly assigned to information, competition or voting lines in for example, reality/talent TV or radio shows and are sometimes called Premium services. Optus does not provide support for these services from most Home/Business Fixed Phone services, however you maybe able to access them via another service provider's network.

If a call is made to a 190X number, you may receive a bill from another service provider (in most cases, Telstra) for that particular call.

If Optus is your local call provider, we can restrict access to these numbers when requested by the Account Holder.

Unrecognised messages to 19 / premium numbers

For detailed information on premium messaging, take a look at this separate article for what you need to know about these charges.

Unrecognised 0019 international (Faxline) numbers

What are 0019 numbers?

'0019' is an alternative to the standard international exit code '0011'. The difference is that calls via 0019 force (or 'preselect') the call to travel via the Optus Long Distance network, regardless of who normally bills you for your phone service. 0019's primary purpose is to carry international fax/data traffic hence the name 'Faxline', however, 0019 can also be used for regular voice calls.

What could be the cause?

These calls may be manually dialled by an individual, used by a fax or data line or connected via a Dial-Up modem. If a Dial-Up modem is using a 0019 number, then your modem may have been hi-jacked. (known as 'modem jacking').

- Modem Jacking

Modem jacking is often a symptom that malicious software is on your computer. If your modem has been 'jacked', we recommend that you contact us to bar international access via the Optus Network. We also suggest that you contact your internet service provider for assistance with the removal of any malicious software from your computer.

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Unrecognised 019 local numbers

What are 019 Local calls?

019 local call numbers are commonly provided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to Dial-Up Internet users, to ensure they're not charged more than a local call when logging in to the internet, regardless of their location/distance from a local telephone exchange.

What could be the cause?

- Dial-Up Modem is (still) connected

If you're a Dial-Up Internet user and have multiple 019 local numbers billed, compare these with your login times. If you find that there is major discrepancy between the two, then your dial up modem may be timing out and automatically re-dialling so as to maintain an open internet connection or 'session'.

You can also talk to your ISP about changing your computer's settings (ie. increasing session time-out lengths etc.), so as to minimise the number of dial-up calls your modem is making.

If you're not a Dial-Up Internet user and you're being billed for these types of calls, check all of the computers at the premises. You may find that a phone line is still connected to an internal or external dial up modem.

- Medical alert and/or 'In Home' health monitoring systems

Does anyone have a wearable medical alert or uses a hard-wired medical alert system at your premises? These systems can use local call numbers to automatically report on status, events or failures.

Other unrecognised numbers

Before calling us to dispute a charge on your bill, please check the time and date of the unrecognised call / message and ask yourself or others at the premises:

  • Has anyone else had access to your premises and could have used your service (eg. family member, friend, trades-person, business associate, neighbour, etc)?
  • Do you have a 'back to base' alarm?
  • Do you have a medical alert/alarm system?
  • Did you have call forwarding or a call diversion active?
  • Do you have a fax machine, EftPOS or other pay terminal/POS connected to the phone line?
  • Is there a dial up modem (still) connected to a phone line?
  • Do you have Pay TV?
  • Do you have any other appliances connected to your phone line (eg 'Smart' appliances that could be reporting back the manufacturer, etc.)?
  • Was anyone staying or visiting you on the day(s) of the call?
  • Did anyone message/call a 19/190X number to enter a competition, vote or call an information line?
  • Has the number/call appeared on your bills before?
  • Does the time/date of the call show a consistent pattern/interval between calls?
  • Has anyone used a phone card or international calling card?