This article outlines the more common methods of Premium Rate Scams. We have tried to elaborate the commonly used techniques used by scamsters and make people aware.
The first example of a scam is related to missed calls on your mobile phones. If you get a missed call on your phone from an unknown number that starts with 0709 prefix there may be something fishy.
The scam is simple yet effective and you can be taken for a ride. The scamsters dial in a number for a fraction of a minute in anticipation that the person will call back, and that is when the game starts. Once you call into this number which is being used for the fraud your telephone bill immediately starts ticking.
What happens is pretty simple to understand. You are dialling into a premium rate number and getting charged for a call which you never wanted to make.
There has been some kind of exaggeration on the rates though. Some people have claimed that you can be charged UKP50.00 per minute for a scam call. ICSTIS, the regulatory body of Premium Rate Number services has very clearly outlined that a premium rate number cannot be charged at more than UKP1.50 per minute.
The point to note is that even if you are not losing a huge amount, definitely you are losing some money and the fraudsters are making a windfall. The remedy is simple and you can easily save yourself from getting duped by using a little common sense. When you get a missed call from a 0709 number and you are not sure, preferably do not call back.
If you feel that the call may be from a business associate, call up but the first instance you feel that the person on the other end is trying to take you for a ride hang up immediately. These kind of scams die a quick death because the authorities take stern action or people become aware of them.
Another scam that has happened in Luton in the United Kingdom is even more shocking. A well dressed distressed lady knocks on your door and asks for help. Her story goes this way. Her car has broken down and she needs a phone to call up her husband. As a good samaritan you help her out with your phone. She makes a call but the call is definitely not to her husband but an Interactive Voice Recording system.
The lady has in fact called a prime rate number from your phone. She will make money out of a call which she is making from your phone. You will not realize that you have been duped until the time you get your bill. Here again there is some kind of exaggeration on the amount you can be billed. The rumor mills put the figure at UKP50.00 per minute but again it cannot go beyond UKP1.50 per minute.
These scams are common place in UK and you should take due care from falling into the hands of one of these fraudsters.