9/1/2009 11:10:00 AM
PhonepayPlus warns operators over 087 scam
PhonepayPlus has issued a ‘reminder’ to mobile operators to remain vigilant over 087 numbers, after it discovered a ‘missed call’ scam.
The regulator, which introduced new rules on the clarity of 087 numbers on 1 August, said industry monitoring is needed to prevent further harm to consumers.
It said: ‘PhonepayPlus has already seen evidence of a potential missed call scam operating on 0871 number ranges. It identified the threat early and has worked with the networks involved to stamp it out before it became a problem for many more consumers.’
Over 40 people complained to PhonepayPlus about the service – which operated on 20 separate 0871 numbers. It has now been voluntarily suspended by the network pending investigation.
The numbers were used to call consumers’ mobile phones, mainly at night, registering missed calls. Complainants who returned the call were greeted with a prize draw message asking them to leave personal details.
PhonepayPlus’ director of standards and communications, Simon Bates, said: ‘In this case, we were alerted to the issue via complaints, but we would prefer operators to put safeguards in place to identify potential harm occurring on their ranges and bring this to our attention before a single consumer is affected.
‘In doing so, they will also help prevent damage to their reputation caused by association with potential scams.’
Calls to 0871 numbers typically cost 8p per minute from a BT landline, but can cost up to 35p if called from a mobile phone.