Virgin Mobile voicemail madness: privacy breach as customers' gain access to strangers' messages

Some Virgin Mobile customers attempting to access their voicemail are instead getting access to other customers' voicemail messages.

Michelle Starr Science editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr
2 min read
Virgin Mobile

Update 3.30 p.m. AEST: Virgin Mobile has now resolved the problem and issued the following statement: "The issue with our voicemail service experienced by some customers earlier today is now resolved. When we became aware of the issue, we deactivated our voicemail service whilst our team investigated and reactivated this when we were confident the issue was resolved. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused. Any customers still experiencing difficulties may need to turn their phone off and on again."

A privacy breach seems to be underway at Virgin Mobile. Customers attempting to access their voicemail messages are instead getting access to the voicemail messages of other people.

When dialling the 212 number used by Virgin Mobile that allows access to your own voicemail box, Virgin Mobile customers are instead reporting that they are hearing strangers' voicemail messages, getting access to their voicemail account menus, or being directed to leave messages on a stranger's voicemail.

Customers are already taking to social media to report the issue. One Facebook user, Alison, raised concerns with Virgin Mobile customer service. "This is clearly a security issue when I'm reaching other customers, I assume they're customers, voicemail inboxes."

No PINs are being requested for access to messages. CNET Australia has dialled the number from multiple Virgin Mobile accounts and been directed to a different person's account each time, roughly evenly divided between accessing other customers' accounts or being directed to leave a message for a stranger.

So far, Virgin Mobile has only responded with the following comment via email and Twitter: "We are aware of an issue impacting some voicemail accounts. We take the privacy and security of our customers very seriously and all hands are on deck to investigate and resolve the issue."

Updated 12.25 p.m. AEST: Added Virgin Mobile's statement.