Mobile phone fraud involves a variety of scams that either persuade you to buy phone-related products/services that turn out to be substandard or non-existent; or to make phone calls or texts to premium services by accident; or to unknowingly sign up to expensive subscription services.
There are a variety of frauds that target you on your mobile. Here are some of the most common:
Missed call scams
Your phone registers a missed call. You don’t recognise the number so you call it back. Most of the time the call will be perfectly above board, but you may be redirected to a premium rate service which can cost up to £15 per call.
Recorded message scams
The number you’re asked to call back may be a recorded message telling you that you’ve won a prize, and giving you another number to call to ‘claim’ it. But this second number may be a premium rate one. Also, your prize may be nothing more than a ring tone subscription - which can also be a fraud.
Text message scams
You’re sent a text from a number you don’t recognise, but it’ll be worded as if it’s from a friend. For instance: ‘Hi, it’s John. I’m back! When do you want to catch up?’ So you call it back, thinking you’re doing them a favour by telling them they’ve got the wrong person, only to be charged a fortune for a premium rate call. Or you may text back and end up engaging in a lengthy SMS exchange. You find out that you’ve been charged a high rate for your texts (and sometimes for your received texts as well).
Another scam is a message is received saying a payment has not been taken by eg. O2,
Vodafone, 3, Giff Gaff, EE and other providers. A link is involved with Click Here instruction. When you click on the link, you give all of your personal and banking details away. It is a very advanced scam.
Ring tone scams
These scams might attract you with an offer of a ‘free’ or low cost ring tone. By accepting the offer, you’re actually subscribing to a service that will keep sending you ring tones – and charging you a premium rate for them. There are many legitimate companies selling ring tones, but there are also fraudsters who will try to hide the true cost of taking up their offer.