Mobile Phone Scams

A mobile phone.A woman talking on her mobile phone.A white computer keyboard and mouse

There are numerous mobile telephone scams which involve either telephone calls or text messages sent to mobile phones.

Previous scams have included text messages informing users that they have won a cash prize / holiday / cars etc and to claim the prize they need to text or dial a certain telephone number.

DO NOT CALL OR TEXT THIS NUMBER

The aims of these scams are to gain information about your personal account so that they can:

  • Access your “SIM” card and make telephone calls at your expense

  • Get you to call/text a premium rate number from which you will be charged a large minimum fee

  • Ask you to call a premium rate telephone number which you cannot disconnect and are subsequently charged for.

A new scam involves users receiving a telephone call from a person purporting to be a company engineer, or telling you that he/she is checking the telephone line. They will then ask you to press certain numbers or codes.

END THIS CALL IMMEDIATELY WITHOUT PRESSING ANY NUMBERS

Once you press any digits, scammers can access your 'SIM' card and make calls at your expense.

Remember, if it’s too good to be true it probably is. Nothing comes for free!


How scam artists succeed

They will:

  • Catch you unawares, contacting you, without asking them to, by phone, e-mail, post or sometimes in person
  • Sound pleasant, well spoken and kind ( on the phone or at your door ) and want you to think they're your friend
  • Have slick, professional leaflets and letters
  • Be persistent and persuasive
  • Rush you into making a decision
  • Ask you to send money before you receive their tempting offer to win.

They offer you something for nothing - such as :

  • You've won a prize in a draw or a lottery ( even though you haven't entered one )
  • An exclusive entry to a scheme that's a surefire way to make money
  • A way to earn easy money by helping them get untold millions out of their country
  • The chance to join an investment scheme that will make you huge amounts of money; and so on
  • There are hundreds of examples but we can all protect ourselves by being sceptical. Is it likely that someone you don't know, who has contacted you out of the blue will give you something for nothing.

They'll ask you to:

  • Send money up front - an administrative fee or tax, the list is endless but it’s always a ruse to get you to give them money
  • Give them your bank account details or other personal details
  • Ring a premium rate number ( all UK premium rate numbers start with 090 )
  • Buy something to get your prize.

They will lie to you and give you what seem to be good reasons why you should do what they say. They will answer all your objections.  Don't send any money or give any personal details to anyone until you've checked them out and talked to a professional or family member and friends. If they ask you to do any of these things they're trying to cover their tracks and get your money and it's likely to be a scam.

Other things to look out for :

  • They ask you to send money straight away.
  • They give you a PO Box number as their address
  • They ask you not to tell anyone about the deal.

If you come across a Scam - Stop and be sceptical, tell your friends and family.

If you have been a victim of a scam you should report it to Consumer Direct on: 08454 04 05 06; or you can contact your local Police Station.