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lisegirl
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Scam item on my elderly parents bill

My parents are over 80 and have been horrified to find a scam call they never made on their bill. Worse they received terrible service and hours of waiting time to find they got no help as elderly customers who aren’t great online. 
I can see that there are lots of stories like this on here. I want help as I will not let this go until my parents are refunded. They know not to make premium calls. They recall the date well and say they did not call anyone. 
I will cancel their entire multi offering package if the £69.41 plus VAT is not fully refunded and premium calls banned from their line. 
they cannot sleep til this is resolved. It’s so sad. 
its a 0904 number. What can you tech guys do please. There should be help for the elderly. 

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Ayisha_B
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Re: Scam item on my elderly parents bill

Hi @lisegirl,

 

Welcome to our Community Forums and thanks for posting. 

 

I am really sorry to hear there is a dispute over a charge on your Parents bill.

 

I have been unable to locate the account details so I will pop you a PM now so we can grab some info and take a closer look. 

 

 

Ayisha_B
Forum Team



New around here? To find out more about the Community check out our Getting Started guide


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goslow
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Re: Scam item on my elderly parents bill


@lisegirl wrote:

My parents are over 80 and have been horrified to find a scam call they never made on their bill. <snip>
its a 0904 number. What can you tech guys do please. There should be help for the elderly. 


There have been past mentions of this on the forum involving 09 numbers.

If you know the full 09 number you can check it on the PSA website and see who it belongs to

https://psauthority.org.uk/for-consumers/service-checker

it should also tell you how the service is charged for (i.e. a fixed price call or premium rate service etc.)

I have seen one past topic where VM promptly refunded.

Looking closely at the date and time of the call(s) as well as identifying where call rates have not been applied correctly can be a successful way of proving that the customer did not make the call(s). i.e. calls in the middle of the night and/or VM charges by the minute where the actual number is a fixed price or where the charging rate per minute does not match that shown on the PSA website.

Unfortunately the outcome and explanation for the charges in past topics are never explained on the public forum. I hope you are able to resolve the issue for your parents.

 

Anankha
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Re: Scam item on my elderly parents bill

Have they received any calls asking them to ‘press 1 to speak to an advisor’ possibly from a company claiming their broadband is about to be cut off/Problems with their PC etc?
If so then often pressing 1 connects the call to a premium rate number which the recipient of the call pays for.

goslow
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Re: Scam item on my elderly parents bill


@Anankha wrote:

Have they received any calls asking them to ‘press 1 to speak to an advisor’ possibly from a company claiming their broadband is about to be cut off/Problems with their PC etc?
If so then often pressing 1 connects the call to a premium rate number which the recipient of the call pays for.


I have quoted this myself in the past but, after several mentions on the forum and other online searching, I do not believe this is quite as described in reports about it.

https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Forum-Archive/call-charged-for-but-not-made/m-p/4099503/highlig...

https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Home-Phone/amazon-scam/m-p/4280938/highlight/true#M134899

https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Security-matters/Phishing-phone-call-using-Amazon-prime-renewal...

The first references to this seem to appear at the end of 2019 and coincided with a TV drama in which the main character was scammed by phone. A series of news articles at that time, and a press release from a call blocker company, referencing the TV programme, all mentioned the press 1 option generated premium rate call charges to the call recipient.

The Amazon/Press 1 scam re-appeared in the news at the beginning of 2020 but this time around the references to premium rate charges had been removed and a more general warning appeared about identity theft and bank fraud via remote computer access.

Two news articles from 2019 and 2020 highlight the differences

https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/amazon-prime-phone-scam-swindled-20671796

https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/amazon-prime-scammers-steal-more-21377546

Separate to the above is the Wangiri scam

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/problems/tackling-nuisanc...

but here the victim has to make an outbound call in response to the missed incoming call.

There have certainly been a lot of regular mentions on the forum about billing errors involving 09 and 08# numbers and other unexplained charges. I have noted 30+ examples since September last year of customers complaining about unexplained charges in general. These have invariably disappeared to private message with no clear explanation coming back to the forum as to the cause (though crossed connections or back-office billing errors seem likely possibilities).

Given the massive number of posts on the forums regarding scam calls which exist already, I think that the forum would be totally overloaded with complaints if customers were regularly being reverse-charged as well for responding to a 'Press 1' scammer call.

If anyone has links to some reliable technical references about how the 'Press 1' scam can generate call charges back to the call recipient then I'd be interested to read them for my own curiosity/education.

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Anankha
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Re: Scam item on my elderly parents bill

I can’t see how pressing 1 would initiate an outbound call either. 
The only other answer is if the op parents used 1471 to find out who’d called & then called the number. 

There’s this: https://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/17740323.press-one-phone-scam-warning/

 

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goslow
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Re: Scam item on my elderly parents bill

Yes, that article seems to be one of the earliest references to the reverse-charge claim (but it contains no details that can be easily verified). The bulk of these similar articles appear autumn/winter 2019 and those appear to all be cut-and-paste clones of each other from some generic press release. Action Fraud is regularly cited but the Action Fraud website article of the time does not mention reverse charges on the page now showing.

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/scammers-target-people-with-amazon-prime-scam

The claim has also been repeated via other sources one would hope were reliable

https://www.tradingstandards.uk/news-policy/news-room/2019/people-in-the-uk-warned-of-latest-amazon-...

but this also seems to be derived from elsewhere

All of the online news references to the reverse-charge scam make the same generic claim but none (that I have been able to find, at least) actually report on specific individual cases nor how such a scam works from a technical POV.

Later news articles (which are broadly the same as the earlier versions) drop the reverse-charge claim and describe (also seemingly cut-and-paste cloned from an Action Fraud press release) the generic refund scam via remote computer access.

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Anankha
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Re: Scam item on my elderly parents bill

Supposedly an automated message should play to warn that clicking 1 or whichever number will incur chargeback but with scammers they’re not warning people. 
Some mobile phone users have stated they’re seeing charges on their bills for overseas calls they didn’t make. 

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