Archive for November 23rd, 2006

Tele-spammers get slightly smarter

On the whole, I don’t get a large amount of telephone-spam – people cold calling trying to sell me things – apart from some persistent company trying to get me to buy a new kitchen.

But I got a call recently that went through to my voice mail with the following message “This is James from your collection service, please called 0871 2089407”, the caller-display was 0871 2409000.

For anyone not familiar with UK area codes, anything beginning with 08 is a non-geographic number, not currently classified as a premium-rate number. As such the regulations appear to be somewhat lax.

Calls to 0871 numbers are, however, charged at approx. 10 pence a minute. I have no doubt that calling this number would entail a long wait going through some automated switchboard, turning a tidy sum to the crooks who run this scam.

I’m not the only person to get calls like this, so I bet someone’s making a lot of money off this.

Ofcom (the UK telephone regulator) appears to be in the process of reclassifying 0871 numbers as premium-rate (see FAQ 10), so hopefully the happy muppets behind this scam will be out of business soon, but in my experience they’ll be off onto something else soon enough to fleece money from people.


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November 23rd, 2006


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