BEWARE: A reader writes about the latest Israeli SCAM!!

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vonage2.jpgI live in Israel and have a VOIP phone with an American number.? I had a problem with my internet service and called my ISP.? They told me it was a problem with the line and I had to call Bezek.? When I called Bezek they told me to do a bunch of things with my computer.? One thing I had to do was to go to Start, Network Connetions, right click on Local Area Connection, Internet protocol, and they told me to type in a new IP address.?

Afterwards, my internet was working, but my VOIP phone was not and if I plugged in the router from my VOIP phone, I had no internet service.? They told me that my router has to be reconfigured and it will cost 10 shekel a month to keep it reconfigured!? This did not make sense, since I was using it for a year without a problem.

I called my ISP and eventually the man figured out the problem:? when I changed the internet protocol, it disconnected the router!? He said he was shocked that Bezek told me to do that because it had nothing to do with fixing the line.? Apparantly, they are not happy about the number of people in Israel using VOIP phones for long distance calls, so they figured out a way to make money off of it!? They had me disconnect my router so that they can charge 10 shekel a month to “keep it reconfigured!”
I called Vonage, my VOIP provider and they helped me reconfigure my router (free of charge).

This whole ordeal took 3 HOURS of phone calls and I had to call Vonage’s American number direct from my Israeli line!
There is nothing I can do (because I’m afraid they will charge me if I complain), so I decided to at least warn people about it so that it does not happen to them!?
If you have a VOIP phone: do not change the IP address in internet protocol, even if Bezek tells you to!?