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Mobile phone fraud

It happens when a sales representative persuades the customers to buy non-existent or substandard items. Fraud happens when one unknowingly approves of undesirable premium service and gets registered to worthless, expensive subscriptions. In other cases, the callers impersonate a charity fundraiser or one of your friends or relatives and seek help. 

There can be marketing - Pitching services with certain terms, offering free product trials, loans, low-risk investment deals, debt reduction or cheap travel packs. One should ask questions from telemarketers before contemplating purchasing or donating anything. Sometimes, you get automatic replies and bills for participating in campaigns or non-profit fellowships. 

There are many other types of such scams. 

Missed - You get a missed call that you do not recognise and redial. In such a case, you may be redirected to a premium rate of £15 per call.

Recorded message- The target gets a message that informs them "they won a prize," but as they try to respond to claim the money, their phone number is redirected to the premium rates subscriptions.

The client gets a message from someone worded as if from a friend. When they try to answer, they enter a lengthy SMS exchange with the message's sender, and the victim finds they have been charged at a higher rate for the messages. 

Some get low-cost ring tone offers, and when they accept it, you are subscribed to a service that sends multiple ring tones automatically and deducts at a premium rate. Certain authorised firms offer the tones, but bogus ones hide the true cost of their offers. 

Some sell phone insurance, and they pretend to call from the shop where you bought the phone or the mobile network. Unfortunately, the device holds a lot of information. In addition, they try to access your emails or mobile banking apps, so you should always be careful not to divulge secretive details to such representatives.

If you have been a victim - 

Call the mobile phone provider or the telecom operator if you suffer any such scam. The firms have statutory powers to stop premium rate subscriptions and fine the criminals. 

How To Protect Yourself?

  • The phone service providers have their security settings, which you can use to protect the device from unsolicited access.

  • You can set up new passwords and lock the device when not in use. Always keep your mobile with yourself, do not give it to others at shops and do not access public networks for bank transactions. You can use the user guide to make changes in the basic settings to remove harmful intrusions.

  • If the phone is stolen, inform the provider to block the ID and deactivate the number and the device. Change all the passwords you saved on your device.

  • Do not install apps from unknown sources on your smartphone.

  • If you visit a website and the URL appears suspicious, close it down immediately.

  • Do not respond to unknown numbers, and if you sell the device, delete all the files and clear the content. You can perform a factory reset for mobiles to clear all the private content.

  • Always install a set-up pin on your voicemail to ensure only you can access the messages. Further, you can call the voicemail on your device and then follow the guidelines to set it up.

  • Modern tablets and mobiles have a remote lock system that one can use to track a stolen phone. Multiple apps offer such features, or you can check the manufacturer's website to download them.

  • Always be careful when you upgrade the system.

Date Published: Sep 14, 2023

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Cybercrimes can be of two types. First, it can be cyber dependent, where the fraudsters use online devices to convince the victim to accept their offers.

Advance fee fraud

If you are trying to get a loan for a house or a car, they ask to meet the provider to get the financing arrangement and pay the finder's fee in advance.

Corporate fraud

Corporate frauds can be complicated, committed either by the firm or an individual. Nevertheless, it mostly involves cheating where the employee or the firm.

Individual fraud

There are many types of individual frauds related to advance fees, investments, insurance brokers, bogus tradespeople, Ponzi schemes, pension liberation.

Online fraud

Hence the number of cases of online fraud is increasing each year, and most such cases include – account takeover, direct frauds, or scams related domain names.

Identity fraud and identity theft

The criminal uses the stolen identity of another person living or deceased to conduct unlawful activities like obtaining goods or services in another's name.

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