Wednesday 15 September 2010 8.46am
Although this is apparently not a new scam, I hadn't heard of it until this morning on the radio. Just in case this applies to anyone else out there I thought I would hilight it.
You are approached in the street by a distressed individual who tells you there's been some kind of family emergency. (A relative taken seriously ill, gone in to premature labour, or whatever.) They ask if they can use your mobile phone to make a very brief call to another relative. Most good natured people, caught on the hop like that, would be pleased to help. The person then dials a number on your phone and has a brief, very believable, but imaginary conversation. They then hand you back your phone and thank you profusely. The reason they're so grateful is that when you receive your next bill you find that the call cost you £250! That money has gone straight in to that person's coffers because, apparently, anyone can set up an 0900, or whatever, number, and nominate the call charge. When you hand over your phone they dial that number and, job done. In case of a genuine emergency, if you are approached in such a manner and want to help, always insist that you dial the number. If it looks dodgy, walk away.