Feeds

Phone scams top list of UK cons

Dial our premium rate number to hear this story

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Phone scams that promise punters non existent prizes are the UK's number one con, according to a survey by consumer group Which?.

A third of adults say they've received an automated call offering them the chance to claim a cash prize or holiday, while two million grown-ups have called a premium rate phone line charged at up to £1.50 a minute to try and claim their "prize".

Said Malcolm Coles, editor of Which?: "The con artists who run these scams are experts in fooling people into parting with their money. Unfortunately, it's rare to get something for nothing - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

In a bid to try and crack down on premium rate scams new legislation has just been introduced that sees the maximum fine for offenders increased from £100,000 to £250,000.

Speaking just before Christmas the head of regulator ICSTIS, George Kidd, said: "Our current fine limit of £100,000 is no longer sufficient to deal with the worst services we see.

"A new fine limit, combined with the other proposals in the Ofcom review to strengthen consumer protection, should ensure that the relatively small number of rogues out there do not continue to damage trust and confidence in the entire premium rate industry."

Elsewhere, the Which? survey also described the internet as a "breeding ground for scams". Its survey found that one of the most common cons is the so-called "Nigerian 419" email scam which offers to pay out huge wads of cash in return for an up-front fee, absolute secrecy and a foreign bank account number.

It goes without saying that punters never receive their cash. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers
Hungry mobe'n'slab-waving Blighty swallows spectrum
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.