Feeds

British Gas warns punters about rogue diallers

Let's be careful out there

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

British Gas is writing to all of its 400,000 telephone customers warning them about rogue dialler scams that hijack their computers and run up huge phone bills.

The leaflets are being sent to British Gas's home phone customers with advice on what premium rate numbers are, how to spot them on bills and how to complain to the industry watchdog, ICSTIS, if there's a problem.

Said Richard Stasyszyn from British Gas: "Most premium rate numbers are legitimate and bring customers all sorts of services and information through phones, fax, computers or interactive TV. From advice and voting lines - like for Big Brother - to competitions, horoscopes, chat lines and business information, these calls can cost anything from 10p to £1.50 per minute.

"But some companies are bringing premium rate calls into disrepute. Where customers aren't aware that by clicking on some internet links they're changing their dial-up number, they can run up huge telephone bills without realising it. Again, there are many legitimate companies which offer services in this way and recover their costs through premium rate lines, but customers need to be vigilant to avoid being faced with huge bills."

Two weeks ago, communications regulator Ofcom announced plans to crack down on premium-rate phone thieves who rip off punters by installing software on their PCs that then rack up costly phone calls. The communications regulator's decision to beef up protection for consumers follows a surge in complaints from punters who've been tricked into connecting to dodgy premium-rate services.

Announcing the consultation into the £1bn-a-year industry that will be carried out during August and September, Ofcom said it would examine options to strengthen the powers of ICSTIS - the industry-funded regulatory body for all premium rate services - as well as "any other actions necessary". ®

Related stories

Ofcom to crack down on premium rate scamsters
Swiss telco fined £50K for UK rogue dialling action
Phantom phone scam hits another village
ICSTIS in meltdown - MPs
UK premium rate phone complaints rocket
BT cuts off dialler scammers
MPs slam premium-rate 'criminal scams'

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.