Regulator Knocks Gumtree Tricksters Off Their Perch

This week brought fantastic news for victims of telephone fraud as regulator PhonepayPlus confronted phone offender RS Premium, frequently reported on tellows.co.uk, with a hefty fine and a ban on operating premium rate numbers.
By: Tellows UG
 
Dec. 3, 2013 - PRLog -- The scam, a relatively unoriginal 'premium-rate-hold' manoeuvre, targeted househunters and jobseekers; indeed, the vulnerability of the victims was part of the reason that PhonepayPlus came down so hard upon the perpetrators. Adverts and emails containing details of non-existent vacancies or properties lured eager and unsuspecting individuals into calling 070 numbers back and waiting patiently on premium-rate hold whilst their phone bills rocketed into hyperspace.

It's hard to track down exactly which calls are part of a certain scam as so many different numbers are used by the 'artists' to carry out their schemes and help them blend into a haze of anonymity. However, plenty of tellows users are reporting remarkably similar-sounding scams, all with scores of 7 or above.

For example, 'Amy Pearce' has been tirelessly sending emails offering jobs at the fictitious 'SB Millers' and asking victims to call back on an 070 number. User GiGi reports:

"I got an email from this person, recruiting me for her company. I called them against my better judgement and was kept waiting on the phone for at least 7 minutes. If nothing else, that's simply rude and I also realized that I had to pay for every minute...In the end they didn't have any jobs to offer. I examined the email more closely and discovered that it didn't look really professional at all."

070 numbers have been in question for a long while, as their closeness in appearance to mobile numbers renders them prime fraud-fodder and they unfortunately seem to proliferate on Gumtree.

Unfortunately, Gumtree does seem to attract the occasional scammer amongst the bona fide individuals and organisations that advertise there. Users are encouraged to be hesitant about calling 070 numbers and reminded to try not to give personal details away until a reasonable level of trust has been established. The website itself offers some solid advice about how users can protect themselves against potential fraudsters.

RS Premium were charged GBP120,000 for their misconduct and it seems that Ofcom may be reevaluating their decision re: 070 numbers, another much-needed step in assuring consumers that the fight against telephone torment continues.

Regulators are getting tougher and the laws on coldcalling and number misuse are changing, but in the meantime, you are still at risk. Search unknown numbers on tellows.co.uk to find out what other users' experiences have been and always be telephone-tactical.

Further information:

http://blog.tellows.co.uk

About Tellows:

The Tellows anti-spam website is available in over 40 countries in their respective languages, providing a platform upon which users worldwide can share information about fraudulent phone activity, cons and coldcalling. Within this huge online 'database', users can rate and enter comments on numbers. Find us at www.tellows.co.uk and help to protect other users from phone scamming.

Commercial registry: Magistrates' Court Leipzig HRB 26291

Managing director: Stefan Rick.

Contact:

Tellows UG

Christian Anton

Eschenring 6

04282 Bennewitz

Tel: +49 – 1578 – 4918966

Fax: +49-355-28925-887006

E-mail: presse@tellows.de

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Tags:PhonepayPlus, Gumtree, 070, Regulator, Tellows
Industry:Telecom
Location:London, Greater - England
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