Scams: the premium rate text message

Once you include your mobile phone number on any advert, you’re leaving yourself open to abuse. If you receive a text message stating that somebody is interested in buying your car, but you have to phone them as they’re in a poor reception area, just delete the message. After all, in they’re in a poor reception area, you wouldn’t be able to get through to them, just like they can’t reach you.

The scam works because you’re being asked to phone a premium rate telephone number, usually beginning with 09 – any land line will start with 01 or 02 while a mobile will start with 07.

If you get a text message along these lines, get in touch with PhonepayPlus (previously known as the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services, or ICSTIS. This regulates the content and promotion of premium rate telephone services within the UK – and if someone isn’t playing fair, it’s up to PhonepayPlus to act.

You can phone PhonepayPlus for free on 0800 500 212 or go to the website.