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Alberta engineers’ association apologizes after members billed thousands in phone charges

The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta apologized on Saturday after some members were billed thousands of dollars in phone charges.

Evan Loughlin, a professional software engineer, was shocked when he woke up and saw a $15,322 phone bill in his email inbox. The phone plan is for APEGA members and is operated via Rogers, he said.

More than $12,000 of that bill went toward equipment charges, with the rest going towards long-distance and roaming charges.

Evan Loughlin, a professional software engineer, was shocked when he woke up and saw a $15,322 phone bill in his email inbox. The phone plan is for APEGA members and is operated via Rogers, he said.
Evan Loughlin, a professional software engineer, was shocked when he woke up and saw a $15,322 phone bill in his email inbox. Evan Loughlin/Provided

Loughlin said he felt concerned for his data after he saw the bill.

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“I can’t say for sure (that it’s a malicious attack) … Everybody’s being charged a totally different amount,” he told Global News on Saturday.

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“APEGA sent out a wide email, and I’m sure they’re going to be managing the problem on their end. The only thing I’ve seen is an email suggesting it was a technical issue.”

Loughlin said he felt relieved when he saw a Reddit post full of people experiencing the same issue. He’s concerned that his bank didn’t detect these massive charges as fraudulent.

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“I do think it’s interesting that massive charges like this weren’t flagged. And I guess it must have something to do with the fact that it’s the merchant that is trusted,” he said.

“I think it’s probably all going to get reversed and it’s not going to be a huge issue.”

APEGA apologized to its member in an email on Saturday morning, saying it was aware of the issue and is “actively working” with Rogers to make sure any incorrect charges were reversed as soon as possible.

As of 3:45 p.m., APEGA said the majority of its members should have had their incorrect charges fixed and an accurate account statement should be available in “the next few hours.”

“Once again, we apologize for the error. Account information was not compromised at any point during this period,” the email said.

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