Phone scam warning exposed as hoax
Urban myth number 352
An email warning people to beware of a phone scam that could cost them £20 a minute is a hoax.
The email warns people about receiving a recorded message which tells them they've won a prize, and then asks them to press '9' to hear further details.
Warns the email: "If 9 is pressed, this connects you to a premium line that bills in the region of £20 per minute. Once you dial 9 and connect, even if you disconnect immediately, the call will stay connected for a minimum of 5 minutes (£100).
"If you stay connected, after 11 minutes a recorded message asks you to key in your postcode and house number. After a further 2 minutes callers receive the following message:
"'Sorry, you are not one of the lucky winners.'
"After this the line disconnects," the email says.
Not only are phone owners tricked into running up bills of up to £260, the email adds that BT is "relatively powerless to stop the calls".
A spokesman for the UK's dominant fixed line telco said he'd received a number of calls on the subject.
"It's a hoax, technically impossible, an urban myth," he said. ®