MSE News: Bogus mobile top-ups could spell greater fraud danger

Former_MSE_Andrea Posts: 9,614 Forumite
Combo Breaker First Post I've helped Parliament Rampant Recycler
edited 30 June 2009 at 1:01PM in Budgeting & bank accounts
Post written Tuesday 30 June 2009

What's it about?

Large numbers of MoneySavers have reported spotting erroneous amounts taken from their credit cards or bank accounts by mobile phone companies for top-ups on phones they haven't made and in some cases for phones they don't even own.

We've spoken to the press offices of o2 and Orange, the operators most people have reported as having taken amounts from their accounts. Both have given us statements.

The o2 and Orange press offices have given us the following statements:


We take fraud prevention and security very seriously as an organisation and adhere to all the security measures and authentication measures operated by the banks. O2 only accepts payment where the security information and user’s name and address have been verified.

Anyone who thinks they have been wrongly charged by O2 for pay and go top up should contact O2. Our Fraud department will take steps to help them identify the possible reasons for the top up and, if it proves to be fraudulent, they will ensure that the fraudulent handset cannot be used. We would also advise them to contact their bank if they have not already done so.


If a customer believes that unauthorised payments have been made from their bank account to Orange, we recommend that they should notify both Orange and their card issuer immediately. This will help us to investigate each case straight away, and where necessary to prevent any potential fraudulent activity.

Orange takes a proactive approach to fraud prevention and has a dedicated fraud department responsible for ensuring that the business, our customers and the public are protected from fraudulent activity on the Orange network. Orange has a number of controls in place for card payments (including Verified by Visa, MasterCard Secure code, CSC/AVS validation and Chip and Pin) and continues to work with the banking industry and card schemes in order to maximise security and validation on card transactions.

I've found one of these, what do I do?

1. Contact your credit card provider or bank straight away

Often these are "tests" by criminals checking to see if the card is live. If they find it is it could be a pre-cursor to much larger sums being taken so if you spot one contact your company/bank immediately and let them know it's not a top-up you've made.

2. Call the mobile operators

Call the relevant mobile operator and ask to speak to its fraud department.

o2: 08705 678 678

Orange: 07973 100 150

Many thanks to sazziecee for originally spotting this offer. This post has been inserted into the top of the original thread to provide a researched and detailed explanation.

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  • Hello

    Just got my bank statement and apparently on 13/8 I spent £30 on an O2 phone top up, only thing is, I don't have an O2 phone or even any other sort of prepay phone so I can't work out what is going on. I am on 3, with a contract.

    I am going to phone my bank soon but just wondered if this definitely is a top-up I have been billed for, so I don't look stupid if it's for something else.

    Card Purchase -£30.00 £401.03 O2(UK)LTD PREPAY REF 2xx 710962xx08 BCC

    Any help appreciated, especially if anyone actually does do O2 top ups.

  • Thomsk
    Thomsk Posts: 27 Forumite
    I had exactly the same thing on my credit card back in June. £30, with the description O2(UK)Ltd Prepay Slough. I reported it to the bank's fraud department and they credited my account. Had to change the card number, understandably. Maybe it's a common thing - small enough that a lot of people wouldn't notice it, but do call your bank and report it.

  • thanks am on phone to barclays as I type, I have been put on hold.......
  • sillyvixen
    sillyvixen Posts: 3,614 Forumite
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    i had this on my credit card a few months ago with vodaphone top ups. the credit card company phoned me about 6 transactions that had gone through in an hour.

    they refunded the money to the account and stopped the card. i had to claim for a further 5 transactions that were pending at the the time the card being cancelled. took a bit of times to get the forms etc but it all worked out in the end.
    Dogs return to eat their vomit, just as fools repeat their foolishness. There is no more hope for a fool than for someone who says, "i am really clever!"
  • Am off the phone now, they are sending me some forms so they can investigate it on my behalf, and are also sending me a new card out.

    Off out tonight for a family meal so gonna have to go to town to get cash out over the counter which is a pain, but at least I don't have any more cheeky beggars topping up their mobile using MY money.

    Anyone have any idea how it happens? My card never leaves my bag and I only use it at supermarkets and to pay online bills for catalogues etc. Although I have used it at petrol station "pay at pumps"

    grrrr some people! am just glad I am having a "tight" month and so checked every transaction this month
  • They could well have got it from the machines at the pumps, or even skimmed your card at a cash machine. Petrol pump card machines seem to be cited as a source for fraud so be careful.

    02 Slough is a common one, as is 3-Maidenhead - both places in Berkshire. Coincidence?
  • HamiltonL wrote: »
    They could well have got it from the machines at the pumps, or even skimmed your card at a cash machine. Petrol pump card machines seem to be cited as a source for fraud so be careful.

    02 Slough is a common one, as is 3-Maidenhead - both places in Berkshire. Coincidence?

    Is that where their top ups departments are based? (4 ways to top up?: voucher from paypoint, cash points, online, phone)

    Maybe not so much a coincidence as it is a close proximity for similar projects in the same industry, like silicon valley for computer stuff.
  • Hello all. Just to record I have also been scammed by this 02(UK)LTD PREPAY scam on my credit card this month. The transaction, made in the UK ( the £30 mobile phone top up ) occured while I was in France so it alerted my attention immediately I scanned my statement. How they got my details is difficult to say but I have stopped the card and a replacement is on its way.
  • I have just found 2 on my statement within 2 days of each other but these were to orange then a number - Dont have orange and phoned my bank as I had heard about the O2 ones from this site and a friend who had experienced the same thing. So watch out for the orange one - £30 each transaction.
  • HamiltonL wrote: »
    02 Slough is a common one, as is 3-Maidenhead - both places in Berkshire. Coincidence?

    Sadly, yes. O2 is based in Slough. No idea about Three.
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