Feeds

British Gas warns punters about rogue diallers

Let's be careful out there

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
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 and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.