Monday, December 06, 2004

A Telephone Scam

If you think Spam is bad... wait until you read this I have been sent by West Midlands Police Fraud Investigation Unit.

"I have been advised of a telephone fraud currently in operation (this applies
to home and/or work telephones - land lines and mobiles):

”If you do receive one of these calls, upon answering the telephone, 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 then 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, costing around £100. The final part of the call involves you being asked to key in your postcode and house number which, as you all no doubt know, has serious other consequences.

After a further 2 minutes you will receive a message informing you that you are not one of the lucky winners. The total bill will be £260. 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 press 9; even safer is to HANG UP on any unsolicited 'free offer' calls.

This appears to be a variation on a theme, warnings have been circulated
previously regarding calls made by individuals claiming to be engineers
conducting a test on the line and asking for 9,0# and text messages similar to
the routine described above. Do not dial 9 (or 9,0# or 0.9#) for anyone. BT are aware of this and have confirmed the details as being true.

There is yet another scam operating on Mobile Phones. A missed call comes up. The number is 0709 020 3840. The last four numbers may vary but certainly the first four numbers will remain the same. If you call this number back, you will be charged £50 per minute. People have complained about their phone bills, once they have realised the cost of the call but obviously too late for any action to be taken. Therefore do not call back any numbers beginning with 0709."