Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Off topic phone scams

This information came in from the local Business Link team, but I figure that it may save someone the hassle of being scammed, if I let you know about it.

We have been advised of a telephone fraud currently in operation - this applies to home and work telephones, landlines and mobiles.

If you receive one of these 'rogue' calls you will hear a recorded message congratulating you on winning an all expenses trip to an exotic location. You will then be asked to press 9 to hear further details. If you press 9 you will be connected to a premium rate line that costs approximately £20 per minute . Even if you disconnect immediately, it will remain connected for a minimum of 5 minutes.

The final part of the call involves you being asked to key in your postcode and house number. After a further 2 minutes you will receive a message informing you that you are not one of the lucky winners. The total bill by then will be £100.

Since the calls are originating from outside the UK, BT and other telephone companies are left relatively powerless to act. The only safe solution is to hang up before the message prompts you to dial 9, even safer hang up on any unsolicited 'free offer calls'.

There is another scam operating on mobile phones as well. A missed call registers on your phone, the number is 0709 020 xxxx. If you call any number back beginning with '0709' you will be charged £50 per minute. This practice is completely legal.


The Editor

No comments: