New regs target phone scammers

Premium rate cash 'frozen' for 30 days

New regulations are due to be introduced next month that should help protect punters from being ripped off by dodgy phone operators.

From 15 September, telcos that lease lines to premium rate services will not be able to pass on any cash to service providers for at least 30 days, improving the chances of those hit by scams to get their money back.

The new measure - which has taken nine months to be introduced - means that revenue generated by rogue operators is frozen before it gets to them giving premium rate regulator ICSTIS enough time to investigate any allegations of fraud.

"This will remove an important incentive from criminals who want to abuse the premium rate industry," said communications regulator Ofcom in a statement.

"Delaying payments to premium rate service providers will improve the prospect of customer refunds where an ICSTIS investigation concludes that a customer has been the victim of misleading or potentially fraudulent service," it added. ®

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