Welcome to the O2 Community

Has your question already been answered? See the community FAQ's

How-to Guides

Have you fallen for or been conned into a premium rate scam? What to do next

by adamtemp64 on ‎28-04-2016 19:33 - last edited on ‎20-04-2018 12:34 by Community Manager (277,262 Views)

If you get your o2 bill and it is higher than expected and on checking the bill in myo2 you find have either have a premium rate charge or a charge to mobile value on your bill, then you may have fallen for a scam on the internet or actually used one of the services.

 

O2 has provided a short video (see below) explaining about premium SMS numbers and how to avoid "bill shock":

 

O2 are not the ones that regulate this type of common issue but the regulator Phone-paid Services Authority.
In this self-help guide, I hope to point you in the correct direction to hopefully get your money back from the scammers.

 


Facebook and other social media platforms are where these scams come from and by being more vigilant on there should also help you in not getting these in future.


O2 can only apply a block on your account for outgoing premium rate services (Confirmed)

NOTE:  If you need to block unsolicited incoming calls, you can register on TPS online which should take you off the national marketing database.


To reclaim any fraudulent charges, you need to follow the clear process outlined here http://psauthority.org.uk/for-consumers/unexpected-phone-charge I will not repeat the process here as it is better explained there. It is not down to o2 to issue refunds (but you may get a goodwill gesture)


O2’s advice is also available here http://www.o2.co.uk/help/account-and-billing/extras-and-premium-rates again unclear if they will block incoming or just outgoing.


O2 charge to mobile can be blocked as per the advice here http://service.o2.co.uk/IQ/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBCGI.EXE?New,Kb=Companion,question=ref(User):str(Mobile),C...

 

I hope this guide will help others understand why, when you call/live chat with o2 sometimes you may not get the response you are expecting.


Some useful external links

 

http://psauthority.org.uk/
http://www.payforit.org

 

Some extra Info I have is the following list is the top 20 Premium rate services along with all options for contact cost etc source PSA website

 

Short code Service Company Contact Stop Option Keyword Subscription Cost
80114 Reverse charge Calls 08000MUMDAD 0800 015 1455
support@08000mumdad.co.uk
http://08000mumdad.co.uk
STOP ALL 08000MUMDAD No  £4.00 initial charge
61177 Wizzminds Weekly Competition Artiq Mobile 0800 015 5139
info.uk@wizzminds.com
http://www.wizzminds.com/uk/
STOP ALL N/A Yes £4.50 pw
66299 Mobile Download Cellfie Lalamobi support@lalamobi.com
http://lalamobi.com/uk/contacts.html
STOP ALL YAY Yes £4.50 PW
85555 Channel 5 Competitions Channel 5 0208 114 7001 STOP ALL Varied No  £2.00
83958 Capital Radio  Global Radio Services 0149 475 0500
Customerservice@winplc.com
STOP ALL Varied No £1.00
65557 Competition - xFactor, GMB, BGT ITV 0344 881 4150
itvihelp@itv.com
STOP ALL N/A No £2.00
81119 Competition - This Morning, Loose Women ITV 0344 881 4150
itvihelp@itv.com
STOP ALL N/A No £2.00
62525 Competition - xFactor, GMB, BGT ITV 0344 881 4150
itvihelp@itv.com
STOP ALL N/A No £2.00
68333 Competition - xFactor, The Voice ITV 0344 881 4150
itvihelp@itv.com
STOP ALL N/A No £2.00
68123 Competition - I'm a celebrity, Dickinsons real deal ITV 0344 881 4150
itvihelp@itv.com
STOP ALL N/A No £2.00
88323 Competition - Dickinson's Real Deal ITV 0344 881 4150
itvihelp@itv.com
STOP ALL N/A No £2.00
78555 Gaming OpenMarket / MXTelecom 0207 754 8998
cs@uk.openmarket.com
STOP ALL Varied No £1.00
80876 Service Paysera support@paysera.com STOP ALL PIP Yes Varied
60077 Prizehook S P Two 0330 134 0183 STOP ALL Varied Yes £4.00
60044 Competition SB7 Mobile 0330 134 0181
help@sb7mobile.com
STOP ALL Varied No £4.50 Per Msg
79100 Win Con Sites Storacall Technology 0333 332 1972 STOP ALL DOG, COTTAGE Yes £1.50
87066 Multiple Companies Services Tap2Bill 0333 003 0581
customer.service@tap2bill.com
STOP ALL Varied Yes £4.50 PW
60447 Discount Voucher Website Viva La Voucher 0344 745 1791
enquiries@vivalavoucher.com
http://www.vivalavoucher.com
STOP ALL N/A Yes £2.00 pw
88227 Competition Xinion 0333 202 7721
contact@customercaredepot.co.uk
STOP ALL N/A No Varied

Comments
by MI5
on ‎28-04-2016 19:52
Thanks for that Adam.
Useful info.
by Bambino
on ‎28-04-2016 21:42

Good guide, Adam. Thanks

by Curr946
on ‎28-04-2016 22:58
See if you have four lines, can you block these on all but one?
by jonsie
on ‎28-04-2016 23:06

Each line would have to be done seperately so I am sure they could.

by Cleoriff
on ‎28-04-2016 23:22

I will be interested to have clarification on this issue....

O2 can only apply a block on your account for outgoing premium rate services (Awaiting clarification)

 

by
on ‎29-04-2016 10:07

Lovely job @adamtemp64

I'll talk to the rest of the team to see if we can provide you with any other info to add and clarify.

Impressive Smiley Happy

by Anonymous
on ‎24-10-2016 09:20

I had no idea I had subscribed to this "competition". It did text me from 89365 to confirm my subscription and gave me the option to unsubscribe by texting STOP. I did this several times but each message was "Not Delivered".

I have called O2 and had a moan and they gave me incorrect contact details for these people. I cannot believe that mobile phone operators and Ofcom can't stop these guys.

Here's waht I've done:

1. Asked O2 to put a block on all third party billing/subscriptions to my number.

2. Got the right number for "SocMan" which is 01567 380029 and cancelled my subscription. Not holding my breath though.

 

by adamtemp64
‎24-10-2016 09:26 - edited ‎24-10-2016 09:37

according to phonepay plus that number is this company

89365

 

Customer care number:0203 750 9078
Customer care email:uk@bleepplay.com
Customer care website:http://www.bleepplay.com/uk.html

 

or this

89365

 

Customer care number:0203 540 5944
Customer care email:care@impulsepay.com
by Anonymous
on ‎24-10-2016 18:46

thanks for the links and info, really useful.

 

I do feel that mobile phone providers shouldn't act as billing agents for third party suppliers, without verifying with customers first.  Especially, if you can become a service user with one click on a Fb link or on an ad banner without realising.

 

I will be more astute in future and check my bills, respond STOP ALL in fresh messages to the 5 digit premium numbers.  The poor O2 customer service people received my anger and werent really responsible......

by MI5
on ‎24-10-2016 18:51
I think everyone would agree that better and stronger regulation is needed around these businesses.
by adamtemp64
‎24-10-2016 19:05 - edited ‎24-10-2016 19:07

There should be in my opinion a proper double verification process but it is all to easy for the scammers! To ignore the rules re verification just read the results of phone pay plus investigations saying they could not prove the verifications etc. Clause 2.3.3 covers consent to charge this is where the fines are levied 

 

http://www.phonepayplus.org.uk/for-business/updates Says it all

by Anonymous
on ‎09-05-2017 15:53

31 minutes on O2 'chat' where although the operator was obviously sympathetic and polite, she was unable to do anything except place a restriction on purchases on my phone account.

If they can't operate a simple customer verification by text if they are collecting for third parties why can they not allow a setting on the phone account to never make phone purchases. If you want your phone account to be rifled you should have to opt in.

by jonsie
on ‎09-05-2017 15:59

I agree, at the very least there should be an option to turn off in my O2. 

by Anonymous
on ‎07-10-2017 12:41

ALERT: .... same here.... FreeMsg: Reminder. You are subscribed to Nuyoo for £3.00 every week from ...DATE... from SB7 Mobile until you text STOP to 83463 HELP? 03300535869

 

I have no other texts from anywhere else so I have definitely NOT subscribed to this!! I repeat NOT subscribed to them... it's a business account. Someone needs to sort this out! SB7 Media and Nuyoo same company!!

 

Never signed up for this service what..Nuyoo whatever it is! They repeatedly took £2.50 per week until I noticed on my bill. O2 customer services very helpful when they understood problem. Totally fraud. I will not be giving my mobile number out again to any online service.

by jonsie
on ‎07-10-2017 15:05

Sometimes merely clicking on a link or an ad is enough to sign up for these services.

http://psauthority.org.uk/about-us/number-checker/check-a-number-results

83463

Customer care number:
0333 003 0599
Customer care email:
customer.service@tap2bill.com

by Anonymous
on ‎21-11-2017 20:40

Why can't o2 or my phone just have an option to block all premium rate calls or an option to have a confirmation (warning) that I have to OK first. Without that we are just paying scammers and often unaware. It just happened to me with two scam charges, and I only noticed on a rare occasion that I checked my bill. o2 are doing little to help here - I assume because they make money out of these calls.

 

It would also be good if o2 informed us in the 'check your bill' email what the overcharge was for for the month. Instead we have to follow the link in the email - logon - navigate around the site to find what is charged. But again I guess they just want to make money and are not interested in helping us to avoid charges.

by jonsie
on ‎21-11-2017 21:29

About right, we've said repeatedly that there should be 2 step authorisation before accepting any charge but yes, O2 make their money as do all of the other networks. 

by Anonymous
on ‎19-01-2018 10:54

At time of taking out the contract the sales advisor should declare that a BAR on premium services will be on the account unless this restriction is requested to be lifted by the contract holder.

by Anonymous
on ‎06-02-2018 16:23

Further; O2 should stop processing payments for companies that repeatedly scam customers in this way. They won't, because they like taking what I've seen reported as £1 from every £4.50 these scammers steal from your account.

by bob490
on ‎07-03-2018 21:29

Sometime in 2014 I upgraded my iPhone 4 to the then new smartphone Samsung 5.

I subsequently passed my iPhone 4 to my wife and purchased a small contract sim for her to use my old phone her number was 078855xxxx with O2.

Sometime on or about September 2016 my wife started to receive unsolicited text messages from a company called Mintedmobi with a request to text Stop to 60044 prevent further text.

My wife assures me that these texts have been sent to her phone unrequested and has no knowledge as to how this company gleaned her number.

She also refused to reply via text for fear security breach on her phone.

I have today become aware of these continued texts to her phone and have subsequently viewed my account with my service provider to find this company have been debiting our account monthly since Sept 2016 to the tune more than £300.

I am very angry and have complained strongly, I would insist that this company return the funds it has procured from our bank account underhandedly. This should not be happening.

I am sending this correspondence to both PSA  as a complaint and the email address at Mintedmobi  (SB7 mobile ltd) with a view to assessing future options open to me.

 

Not sure I have many options as I have tried the contact number for this site TNA. 

I guess the message to you guys must be " Beware.".

by MI5
on ‎07-03-2018 21:41
The message should also be to check your O2 bill and bank account on a regular basis.
by Jamandy
on ‎18-03-2018 10:56

Thanks  adamtemp64 and    for the info.

by MWH
on ‎04-05-2018 12:51
I am disgusted by O2 declaring they hold no responsibility for this. My daughter has just fallen victim to a scam where the company UNE Ltd send a pop up for a games portal called MobiPlanet with “free”marketing all over it. By closing the pop up she activated subscription to premium text service that has charged us five weeks at £4.50 which I have just discovered. O2 say it is solely the responsibility of the customer to get the refund off this company although they have supplied the network through which they are able to reach young people and scam them. Outrageous and unacceptable. They owe a better duty of care to their customers. But now from reading these messages it is clear they have a financial gain attached to this dishonest behaviour. There should be legislation which forces network services to build in protection that stops these pirates from ransacking customer accounts without proper authorisation. They have the capability of doing this as my daughter’s account was blocked from it immediately but it is clearly in their interest not to do this. Unless O2 improves its practises I would seriously consider removing my business and the government should be introducing legislation to force them to improve and protect their customers otherwise. Insidious money grabbing aimed at defenceless youngsters. They should be ashamed.
by MWH
on ‎04-05-2018 12:56
Company is called UME Ltd and pop up is for MobiPlanet. Parents be warned. This is a scam like the others described in this post. O2 should explain how throw is still allowed to happen to vulnerable people who trust them. No payment should be allowed without proper authorisation.
by Cleoriff
on ‎04-05-2018 13:26

@MWHTotally agree. We have asked for 2 step verification on these scams on numerous occasions Smiley Sad

by jonsie
on ‎04-05-2018 16:49

Absolutely everyone apart from the network operators would agree with you. If legislation was brought in for either a two-step authorisation or a premium bar automatically placed (the networks can do this and the default setting should be a bar) then these companies would go out of business and these scams would stop overnight.

by LJB1974
on ‎11-05-2018 17:44

I was billed on my monthly direct debit phone bill each week after receiving what I thought was a spam text from Thumbtiger which I ignored. I searched around online but could not find any advice which was short and coherent so I risked it and bit the bullet and rang the number shown on the text 0333....... It started with an automated system which asked if I wanted to end a subscription which I did so I followed instructions and received confirmation by text. I then stayed on the line to speak to them and asked for the refund of unauthorised monies. I was sent another text (FOC) with a case number and an email address to send copies of the part of the bill showing payments/ dates and it seems simple enough. Pending monies returned which luckily was only 5 x £4.50 as noticed on bill but if you don't check you bill this could go on and on unnoticed.

by Cleoriff
on ‎11-05-2018 19:28

Good info @LJB1974 Pleased it worked out well for you. Your advice about checking your bill is absolutely spot on Smiley Wink

by MI5
on ‎23-05-2018 20:26
Watchdog have just done a piece on this and apparently EE have made it mandatory that customers have to set up a PIN or password to accept these services from now on, so isn't this something that O2 should implement immediately too?
by pgn
‎23-05-2018 21:13 - edited ‎23-05-2018 21:14

So when my local radio station says "text us on 81771", which costs me 8.3p or thereabouts, I'd need to set a pin to send the SMS message, @MI5 (on EE, of course!) ? 

by MI5
on ‎23-05-2018 21:16
No, for continuous payment subscription services like the ones that take £3 a week for some nonsense reason in the hope the customer doesn't notice until they've been fleeced for a few hundred quid.
by Cleoriff
on ‎23-05-2018 21:28

That's a damn good idea from EE. Top customer service...

by Guru1
on ‎22-06-2018 14:28

Me, they've been beaten too!!!!  Thanks O2! Cancel agreement!! Bye! NOn correct  company.

 

 
Things you've bought
£19.50
___________
Date Bought from Cost Description
02 Jun 18
 
Inter Inventory LTD
£4.500
Games
08 Jun 18
 
Inter Inventory LTD
£4.500
Games
12 Jun 18
 
Taptronic
£3.000
Health
15 Jun 18
 
Inter Inventory LTD
£4.500
Games
19 Jun 18
 
Taptronic
£3.000
Health
by jonsie
on ‎22-06-2018 15:46
by Mike_in_Horwich
on ‎29-06-2018 15:36

I'm with o2 and my wife is with Tesco (connected to o2). My wife was scammed by jammitup at 01:50 two mornings ago. They allege she clicked on the banner screen, then on the subscription screen and hence agreed to be charged £4.50 per week until STOP was texted to 83463.

 

Many things have happened since then. Tesco have refunded the £4.50 - thank you guys. They've also placed s premium service block on her 'phone so this shouldn't happen again.

 

I've contacted the PS Authority and opened an incident with them. Tesco have confirmed there was no data activity via their network at the stated time. Sky, our broadband supplier cannot confirm such specific details at that exact time.

 

Jammitup have sent an email purporting to show screen shots of the invitation to subscribe, the subscription screen and then the confirmation screen. None show my wifes phone number and could be easily photo-shopped copies.

 

Watchdog (BBC) covered this company last year - with the PS Authority's involvement. Clearly, nothing much resulted.

 

I've requested jammitup provides proof of the transaction which they can now arugue could ONLY have been undertaekn over the internet (from my wife's 'phone) - this proof should be my I.P. Address as surely, a reputable company would capture this as proof of legitimacy.

 

I intend to push this one as far as possible. My m.p. is the route to Dennis Naughten who is the minister for Communications. It is so patently obvious that all 'phone contracts at the outset should be defaulted to BARRED PREMIUM SERVICES. The user should be informed in the welcome text message and offered the option to un-bar.

 

I like the previous calls for double agreement. My wife's contract is with Tesco (mine with o2 directly) and THEY are responsible for accessing the account and passing payment to the third-party. Why cannot her/my agreement be sought by the company we are contracted to? Does o2 and Tesco (and the others) make sufficient money from these leeching company's that it's worth antagonising their OWN customers?

 

In my enquiries in the past 48 hours several company names have appeared in the frame. They are: Abacus Synergy, Compete To Win, Tap2Bill. Even a website given to me by Abacus Synergy's customer service guy worried me:   admin@accidentsdirect.com

 

Perhaps that says it all.

 

by JohnD4610
on ‎07-07-2018 15:47

How does this fit in with the new GDPR regulations? If not the letter, at least the spirit.

O2 are basically opening our accounts to third parties without our knowledge, let alone permission.  Even if they can wriggle out of that one it means they are acquiescing to virtual "blackmail" - "we'll keep adding £3 a week to your bill until you text someone to stop...sorry it's got nothing to do with us!" 

These messages are easily identifiable. O2 allowing them to take advantage our accounts is utterly inexcusable - and I would have thought verging on the criminal.

by MI5
on ‎07-07-2018 16:00

You can ask O2 to put a block on all premium rate services if you wish.

by JohnD4610
on ‎07-07-2018 16:57

I thought I'd already done that some time ago but these FreeMsgs have started coming though again, so I will have another go blocking all Premium services. Thanks.

 

 

by JohnD4610
on ‎07-07-2018 17:40

Ok. I tried to block all premium rate services and they won't do it. I had a lengthy online chat. But they said there is no way of preventing these third party "subscriptions" appearingon my bill because I would have activated them (knowingly or unknowlingly) via a website or app on my smart phone. So I (we) have to follow the ardous process of constantly checking our bills and reclaiming the money. rage

 

 

by MI5
on ‎07-07-2018 18:08
You need to call 202.
Chat is a waste of time for this type of thing as they are just untrained puppets reading off scripts.
by Cleoriff
on ‎07-07-2018 18:48

@JohnD4610You need to ask them to put a "Bar all direct to bill debits" on your account.

https://community.o2.co.uk/t5/Pay-Monthly/Snack-Games/m-p/1112166/highlight/true#M146903

via customer services, not live chat.

by JohnD4610
on ‎07-07-2018 19:08

Thanks. I called 202 and the guy was very helpful and quick to bar just about everything I don't use!  So fingers crossed!

 

thanks for your help by the way, everyone! Cat Happy

by pgn
on ‎07-07-2018 19:15
👍
by MI5
on ‎07-07-2018 19:24
Good news mate.
by Cleoriff
on ‎07-07-2018 19:40

Good to hear @JohnD4610 thumbsup

by thirteen21
on ‎25-07-2018 11:24

@Mike_in_Horwich

 

"I've requested jammitup provides proof of the transaction which they can now arugue could ONLY have been undertaekn over the internet (from my wife's 'phone) - this proof should be my I.P. Address as surely, a reputable company would capture this as proof of legitimacy."

 

I asked the same question of MPSHelpline about proof -  and they can provide NO proof of any contact with the website on which they claim I subscribed to the Bodyin8 webpages. They suggested I check my own history to find out when I did this !!?? In their 'investigation report' they state:

 

The sign up process was robustly verified by IMI Mobile, an independent 3rd party accredited by the UK Mobile Network Operators. Payments were processed under the Payforit scheme. The Payforit scheme is operated and controlled by the UK Mobile Network Operators.

 

As part of the sign up process, the subscriber accessed the mobile website, then clicked a payment button followed by a confirmation button. Both pages included information about the cost of the product, as well as an exit button which the subscriber could have pressed to leave the site.

 

On further pressing for this information they admitted they had no record of IP, phone number, IEMI number, location, time, OS, device make linking my handset with their website - none that they were willing to share anyway and we eventually returned to the beginning with their claim that :

 

In accordance with current regulatory standards, the information supplied in your investigation report is considered sufficient proof that your handset was used to subscribe to the service and the user agreed to the charges.

 

which to me sounds a lot like they can offer no proof other than a statement that they have proof ... and that proof is .. the investigation statement itself !!!!

 

Not sure where I stand on a data protection enquiry to see what information they hold on my handset ...

 

by Mike_in_Horwich
on ‎25-07-2018 11:52

thirteen21,

 

I'm sorry to hear you're experiencing the same problems my wife suffered.

 

The PS Authority have responded to me by email to state the following:

 

 

After thoroughly examining the evidence, the Phone-paid Services Authority identified the service to be operating in breach of our Code of Practice.

 

Breaches Identified:

 

Rule 2.3.2 – Misleading

 

“PRS must not mislead or be likely to mislead in any way.”

 

Rule 2.5.6 – Inappropriate promotions

 

“…providers must ensure that their services are not promoted in an inappropriate way.”

 

Rule 2.6.1 – Complaint handling

 

“…providers must ensure that consumers of their services are able to have complaints resolved quickly, easily and fairly and that any redress is provided quickly and easily.”

 

Paragraph 3.4.14 – Number registration

 

“…providers must, within two working days of the service becoming accessible to consumers, provide to the PSA relevant details (including any relevant access or other codes) to identify services to consumers and must provide the identity of any Level 1 providers concerned with the provision of the service.”

 

Given the nature of the breaches, the Phone-paid Services Authority has taken the decision to deal with this matter using our informal procedure and allow the provider to rectify the issues raised.

 

The Phone-paid Services Authority is satisfied the provider has now rectified these issues.

 

Refund Claims

 

The provider has agreed to provide refunds to consumers who make a valid claim. Should you wish to discuss a refund you will need to contact the provider directly on the details below.

 

Provider Details:

 

Provider Name: Abacus Synergy

Email: info@jammitup.com

Telephone Number: 03300535838

 

If you have any further questions or information about your complaint, please contact our helpline on 0300 30 300 20 between 9.30am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Please ensure you have your case reference number to hand before calling.

 

I've since forwarded this email to jammitup and await a response. I'm somewhat disappointed that the PS Authority have chosen to leave the refund to the offender and make me seek such whilst also effecitively closing the case and hence not penalising the offender. Makes you question the purpose of the PS Authority.

I intend to pursue this further if my refund is not forthcomming.

 

by thirteen21
on ‎25-07-2018 12:44

Hi Mike,

 

Its so clear that it is a scam that it is frustrating because we are denied access to the information to prove it by a cleverly set up series of links.

 

Interestingly, I went to the site I had been subscribed to and was asked to log in !!!!!! How is that required if 'robust verification' is being used to subscribe me? Has anyone ever recieved any logon details via text following their subscription? Has anyone ever used the site, whether signed up legitimately or otherwise? Does it even work? As an o2 partner I a very surprised they require no information whatsoever from the company about traffic.

 

There are so many holes in this it really is clear o2 are taking the *bleep*....

by ChrisT
on ‎17-09-2018 18:35
This is pathetic. As a new joiner to O2, to be hit by a spurious additional charge, for a service I did NOT purchase is utterly crass. A bit like the patronising response from someone who apparently takes delight in talking down to plebs. This is appalling and O2 should take responsibility for urine extracted from genuine customers. Get a grip.
by ChrisT
on ‎17-09-2018 18:44
Having not used any other service (I can't as this is data only in a 4g modem, it occurs that O2 are the ones who are being scammed!! By being conned into raising charges for non-existent services. They are the ones being scammed into taking money from their customers for services not provided. In other words, O2 appear to acting as the instrument of con-artists. Therefore the O2 customer is vulnerable to O2! Really? O2? Yes. O2! Shocking.