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Mystery SMS "charges when abroad"

Quackduck
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According to my Pay Monthly bill this month I've been charged extra for 5 (so far!) SMS messages to the following number while abroad: 07860 019210 

 

I don't recognise the number, I have not sent any SMS while I've been away, and I have no record on my phone of having sent these messages.

 

A quick Google of the number suggests it's either a scam, or it's related to O2 somehow, as other O2 customers have experienced the same while abroad. I am using an eSIM for mobile data since the O2 plan was too expensive.

 

Does this ring any bells for anyone?

 

I've been trying to get hold of someone at O2 customer service for the past 24h but no luck. I'd just like to understand what I'm being charged for, or whether it's a scam. (Blocking the number won't help since my O2 bill claims I sent the messages myself.)

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pgn
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Twitter DMs to O2 are open, and, unlike Sainsbury's, is not a bot, in my experience, @MattyBur - but you do have to poke them a lot 

https://community.o2.co.uk/t5/Other-Products-and-Services/O2-Web-Top-Up-not-recognising-a-valid-O2-P...

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MattyBur
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UPDATE:  So, in total, 5 of these bogus texts were charged to my bill, totalling £2.50, which is not a lot of money but I'm annoyed by the fact that they did it.

Trying to contact O2 on Twitter went nowhere and the 'chat' with them on FM Messenger has been very frustrating and slow.

You have to wait hours, if not days between replies and it tells me it's not a bot but an actual person, which I don't believe, as the way it words things and ignores what I have said or asked is very bot-like.

I explained the charges are erroneous and that I don't know the number and have no record of any texts to that number in my phone's SMS history or anything, and it just replied, several hours later, ignoring that and telling me that since I sent texts to a number from a non-EU country, the charges are valid.  Totally ignored what I had said.

This is after endless, slow security questions and sending me codes etc.

Tried to explain again that I didn't send those texts and they don't exist in my SMS history, and even pointed them to this forum and the other page linking the number in question to a scam and the 'agent', several hours, days later, said they couldn't see these charges on my bill.

Explained AGAIN that it's in there as applying to my UPCOMING bill and and sent a screenshot of the app showing that...

 

Hours/days go by, and then the 'agent' says they'll have to wait till that bill is issued to see the charges.

New bill was issued yesterday and I sent another message about this, and agent wanted to ask me all the security questions again and send me a code and again, told me that because I had sent texts outside of my allowance for being in Egypt, the charges are valid.

Completely ignored everything I'd already explained up till then, again.

I explained it all again and it was ignored again, and the 'agent' even had the cheek to tell me that maybe 'someone in my family' borrowed my phone and sent the texts, and they are valid charges, which is ridiculous, and very insulting!

Anyway, O2 have graciously agreed to reimburse the £2.50 charged for these bogus texts, which is something, and I know it's only £2.50 so what am I getting so bothered about, but it's the principal of it that infuriates me - that O2 are charging fake text fees to customers' accounts, seemingly relying on customers not noticing, or not bothering to challenge it, as it's quite a small amount, and then if the customer does complain, hit them with a brick wall of non/bad comms and blame them for sending texts that they never did, never acknowledging anything said about it being bogus or fraudulent.

I showed the agent the link to this forum which discusses the very mobile number that I was wrongly charged texts to, and showed them the link to the lookup site that identifies that number as being involved in a scam, but that was ignored.

The only people who could benefit from that, as far as I can see, are O2 themselves, as I don't see how any 3rd party could gain monetarily from somehow faking texts to that number from my account (or even be able to do it), and it is O2 that I pay the bill to, so it does appear to be a fraud on the part of O2.

I know I shouldn't expend so much time and energy over a couple of quid, but I hate being ripped off and I hate being fobbed off by bad Customer Service too, so it really pushes my buttons!

Argh!

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Oxonian
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@MattyBur 

At least O2 have eventually agreed to re-imburse you. But it is all very strange ! 😌

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MattyBur
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Yep, and the bot-agent has now sent me a link to their 'help' section about avoiding scam texts and calls, which is infuriating as they're once again ignoring the fact that I didn't receive any scam texts or calls - what I received were charges on my bill for texts I never sent.

 

Argh. 

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Oxonian
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@MattyBur 

Not a lot one can say ! 

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Wil0901
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I have the same cases when I was in Hong Kong.  They charged me £18 as they said I sent sms to the exactly the same number of your case (07860019210). 

I spent 40 mins to finally get to talk to a human being and after another 40 mins discussion and being suspected that my friends or family used my phone to send sms to stranger or I sent without memory 🫠…., he finally helped me to log a complain with a case number. 

I also pointed out that O2 community focus mentioned a number of people with such case for the same number.

finger cross  they will pay me back the money. 

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jonsie
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Emre1453
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I am having the same problem each time I travel to UAE. Who is stealing our money? O2 ANSWER!

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Emre1453
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The number is 100% the same.

 

07860 019210

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MI5
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@Emre1453 wrote:

I am having the same problem each time I travel to UAE. Who is stealing our money? O2 ANSWER!


@Emre1453 

You'll need to ask O2 then if you want an answer from them.

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