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Author Topic: Spam and Scam SMS  (Read 473 times)

Bowdon

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Spam and Scam SMS
« on: September 01, 2019, 02:27:41 PM »

Over the last couple of days I've had sms from ShopSafe, 81618, and FreeMsg

I'm with Three so I can't look up (unless I call them) to see if I've been charged. But looking up the ShopSafe sms which sends a pin number, some people have been charged. This seems to affect all networks. I'm not sure if its only pay as you go, or also on the monthly contract.

Apparently some networks aren't refunding the number and are instead telling people to email the scam companies!
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Ronski

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Re: Spam and Scam SMS
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2019, 06:16:40 AM »

I'm with Three so I can't look up (unless I call them) to see if I've been charged.

You must be on PAYG,  if on a contract you simply log in to your account. My daughter's are on Three PAYG and it's always annoyed me that you can't see where the monies gone unless like you say you ring up, then customer services can send a spreadsheet, so they do have records but but don't give PAYG customers access.
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kitz

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Re: Spam and Scam SMS
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2019, 09:12:34 AM »

Seems to be a bit hit and miss if Three refunds the £4.50 charge.  linky

Reading between the lines people were charged for sending the STOP message which is rather naughty.   
I guess that is the whole idea of the scam, send out a load of unsolicited messages saying if you don't want any more messages reply STOP for which you are charged £4.50

I can't comprehend how they are allowed to charge for unsolicited incoming texts if you have had no previous dealings with the company.  The networks should globally block them :/    Pro Money Holdings told the BBC it only charged people who had "pushed a key" in an online competition or in response to a phone message


It's not the first time.  The same company (Veoo) behind these texts have already been investigated by Watchdog and the PSA in 2017.  Watchdog probes £4.50 premium rate texts
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Spam and Scam SMS
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2019, 10:25:35 AM »

Iíve been whiling away the past hour, researching this one too.   Expected myself to conclude thereís more to it but, although seemingly ridiculous, I think it might be possible.  :(

If a user subscribes to premium texts it should need an auditable action on their part and imho the onus should be on the mobile operator to maintain proof that a subscription is genuine, and of course, to refund the user in case of fraud.

In my trawls, I found this article from the Consumers Association, which has also ruffled my feathers (my highlighting)

https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/im-being-charged-for-unwanted-premium-rate-text-messages
Quote
Be wary sharing your phone number

Unfortunately a lot of people subscribe to premium rate text (SMS) messages by mistake Ė for example, by failing to tick or untick a box on a website or replying to a message.

This means you should be even more careful when entering competitions or registering for a service.

Think of your phone like your credit card - if you give out your number, you could be charged.

Unless you're really confident you know how a website will use your number, donít enter it online.

Sounds like victim-blaming to me.   Yes, people should be wary of disclosing mobile phone numbers for reasons of privacy, and they have only themselves to blame for that lack of privacy.   But to suggest that loss of money from the account is also a reasonable expectation from disclosing a phone number is plain ridiculous in my eyes. :o

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Bowdon

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Re: Spam and Scam SMS
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2019, 01:52:33 PM »

It is a weird situation were a person is charged for a text message that they never asked for, and apparently the phone networks admit they can't specifically block. Some people have said selecting a premium block service that would block all premium service text messages is the answer. But then that would limit your ability to use genuine services that require a premium text message service.

I'm on PAYG so I don't get an itemised bill. I suspect I was charged some kind of fee because I usually put £30 credit on the account on so I can buy 3 months worth at £10. So when I put my £30 credit on there was a small amount already on from before. So out of that £30+ credit I bought a £10 addon, yet when I checked my credit amount it was at £16.80. So I still should have been over £20 in credit. So something as taken me below it and now I'm only going to get 2 months worth before I put more credit on.

The only thing I've done was I noticed the FreeMsg sms the first time came with a number attached. So I sent it to the spam service 7726. I don't think I was charged for that as I'd noticed the £16.80 value before that and I checked after and it remained the same. So I think the money was taken as the messages first came in.

I guess in one sense because I'm on PAYG I can controll the amount of money on there. For me I don't really use the phone much so put the least amount on to cover the cost of buying the cheapest addon. So I can just put money on the credit when I'm about to buy the addon. I imagine for a pay monthly person it would be difficult to spot, and some people might not notice money being used immediately.
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