Citizens Advice warns of 'shocking' rogue dialler scams

Fighting for consumers

The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has warned net users to be on the guard against "shocking" rogue dialler scams.

The UK's free consumer help and advice service says it's seeing an increasing number of cases where ordinary net users have been conned by such scams.

In one case a woman from the Midlands racked up a bill for £320 on top of her usual £14.99 a month after being tricked into downloading software onto her computers.

She had been closing pop-ups while accessing the web and found instead she had been connected to a premium rate number. In the end, a company in Spain was found to be behind the con.

Teresa Perchard, director of policy at CAB said: "More and more people are shopping and doing personal business on the Internet such as filing tax returns. This shocking scam will dent consumer confidence."

She advised net users to speak to their telco to block access to premium rate numbers if they want to protect themselves. Victims of the scam should speak to their telco and contact premium rate services watchdog ICSTIS, she advised.

The CAB's warning comes as ICSTIS dished out yet more fines to companies ripping off punters with dodgy premium-rate scams. In one case a US company was fined £5,000 after the watchdog received 781 complaints about its rogue dialler software.

Detroit-based Data-Line Ltd denied that its dialler software had changed the settings on computers without the knowledge or consent of net users. Rejecting Data-Line's explanation ICSTIS fined the outfit £5,000 and ordered it to refund those hit by the scam. ®

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