Lotto By Text. Scam!

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I received a "Random" text on Friday saying, text now for your 5 free Lottery lines for tonight's Euromillions, 5 free lines On Saturdays Lottery and 5 free Lines on Wednesdays lottery.

I instantly checked out their site cos the web address was on the text message. I thought, seems ok so I texted it and was giving a few text messages with my 5 free lines.

It also states that, after your first free week, you will be billed at £4.50 a week. So I thought, ok fair enough and I will unsubscribe later tonight. But at 8pm, £4.50 came off my balance! Only 3 hours after I signed up to the service.

I went back online and in the small print it said "We will bill your first £4.50 with in 24 hours of you signing up, this will pay for your first week after your free week"

To make matters worse, I got 4 numbers on 1 line last night. I checked my account and guess what, it says zero balance!

I have emailed them twice. Once on Friday regarding their "payment" and this morning about why I never got paid for 4 numbers. I have called their phone number as well but it just seems to be a stupid answer service which only gives a couple options to press while your on the phone

Has anybody else been scammed by these guys? I just hope that they wont continue to take further payments from me. Cos, it wouldn't be the first time where you cancel a service and they continue to take payments.

http://www.lottobytext.co.uk/
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Comments

  • smiler651
    smiler651 Posts: 18 Forumite
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    If it was me, I would report my debit/credit card stolen and get a replacement. Thats the best way to stop any recurring payments.

    You can also tell the bank that you do not authorise any recurring payments to this company, but sometimes you may have to push the matter with them.
  • smiler651
    smiler651 Posts: 18 Forumite
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    I was having a look at the company's website. It is registered to a BCM box number. These BCM addresses are an immediate giveaway, as they are used by firms and organisations that don't particularly want to be traced.

    Apparently they make you part of a 'syndicate' by giving you a 48th of a share of five lottery tickets. So in effect you're paying for less than a tenth of a lottery ticket for £1.50.

    It may be a good idea to contact your mobile provider to block them from your phone, in case they take any more money off.
  • ariba10
    ariba10 Posts: 5,432 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
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    No one ever comes looking for you (Or knocking at your door) to give you anything.

    All they want is your money.
    I used to be indecisive but now I am not sure.
  • I_luv_cats
    I_luv_cats Posts: 14,441 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
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    Some online competitions i.e. a tv mag say they are checking your answer and whilst doing so they give you a page of marketing.

    If you are not careful (by ticking not interested / no thanks / deleting your mobile number/email etc.) you can end up with spam marketing emails / texts etc.

    They really pish you off as some competitions privacy options are
    opt in or opt out!!!!
  • SnowTiger
    SnowTiger Posts: 4,461 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic First Post
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    smiler651 wrote: »
    If it was me, I would report my debit/credit card stolen and get a replacement. Thats the best way to stop any recurring payments.

    No it's not. These forums are littered with examples which prove that does work. The old card number and new one will be linked to the same account.

    Anyway, how will lying to a credit/debit card provider prevent reverse charge SMS payments being applied to the OP's mobile phone account???
  • gnus
    gnus Posts: 73 Forumite
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    I_luv_cats wrote: »
    If you are not careful (by ticking not interested / no thanks / deleting your mobile number/email etc.) you can end up with spam marketing emails / texts etc.

    Even if you do tick the correct box, these preferences are sometimes ignored by the company. There is no financial penalty involved to them as its seen as such a petty breach of DPA that the ICO doesn't really care.
    BEWARE OF AUTO-RENEWAL
  • Shah79
    Shah79 Posts: 97 Forumite
    edited 30 July 2012 at 11:25AM
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    gnus wrote: »
    Even if you do tick the correct box, these preferences are sometimes ignored by the company. There is no financial penalty involved to them as its seen as such a petty breach of DPA that the ICO doesn't really care.

    Not sure you are 100% correct - Did a quick google search -These guys have been in the market since 2006 - LottoByText is regulated by PhonePayPlus - see http://www.phonepayplus.org.uk/Number-Checker/Check-a-Number-Results.aspx?ncn=87770

    From my little knowledge they have to go through stringent approval process to get the Premium rate service approved - If you really want to stop the service I would suggest that you text STOPALL to 87770 - This should unsubscribe you from both subscription service and marketing related messages and this message is free to send.

    I did do my research before using LottoByText - won a a few times - nothing amazing just yet but I do have crap luck in winning the big £100M jackpot - not to mention winning odds are low anyway! Cheaper for me than buying direct from the National lottery though + I did get more lines for the little money I paid (£1.50 - 5 lines!)...

    Hope this helps - let me know how you get on! and fingers crossed for me please in tomorrow £119m EuroMillions jackpot! I can do with a million or two right now! :beer:

    smiler651 wrote: »
    I was having a look at the company's website. It is registered to a BCM box number. These BCM addresses are an immediate giveaway, as they are used by firms and organisations that don't particularly want to be traced.

    Apparently they make you part of a 'syndicate' by giving you a 48th of a share of five lottery tickets. So in effect you're paying for less than a tenth of a lottery ticket for £1.50.

    LottoByText clearly states on their website https://www.lottobytext.co.uk that it is a syndicated lottery service - I suppose the idea of a lottery syndicate is that you spread the cost of buying the tickets so you can get more lines for less (in the mean time increasing your chances of winning coz you have more lines?) and the downside of course is if you do win you will have to share the winnings - NOTHING IS FREE IN LIFE - You might want to play with the National Lottery direct and pay £5-£10 for 5 Lotto/Euro lines instead of £1.50 for 5 lines - You can't get something for nothing!

    p/s You can find their office address on PhonePayPlus site too. :)
    'Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.'

    :A

    Shah
  • Shah79
    Shah79 Posts: 97 Forumite
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    SnowTiger wrote: »
    No it's not. These forums are littered with examples which prove that does work. The old card number and new one will be linked to the same account.

    Anyway, how will lying to a credit/debit card provider prevent reverse charge SMS payments being applied to the OP's mobile phone account???

    Well said!!!!! :j haha
    'Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.'

    :A

    Shah
  • wantmemoney
    wantmemoney Posts: 836 Forumite
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    Shah79 wrote:
    LottoByText - Value for money

    p/s You can find their office address on PhonePayPlus site too
    http://www.phonepayplus.org.uk/Number-Checker/Check-a-Number-Results.aspx?ncn=85200

    Check a Number - Result
    PhonepayPlus has the following information about shortcode number :
    85200

    Marketing Craze Ltd
    232-242 Vauxhall Bridge Road
    London
    SW1V 1AU
    If you want to log a complaint to PhonepayPlus online please click here. Alternatively, you can call our helpline on 0800 500 212 (Mon-Fri, 0900-1700).
    http://www.phonepayplus-services.org.uk/output/search-adjudications.aspx

    18 December 2008
    Information provider Marketing Craze Limited
    Service provider Wireless Information Network Ltd

    Cost 85200 - £4.50 per week

    THIS CASE WAS BROUGHT AGAINST THE INFORMATION PROVIDER
    UNDER PARAGRAPH 8.7 OF THE CODE

    BACKGROUND

    The PhonepayPlus Executive (“the Executive”) received 142 consumer complaints in respect of a lottery subscription service, called ‘LottobyText’. This was an SMS text alert service which provided subscribers with updates in respect of each of the tri-weekly national lottery draws (Saturday/Wednesday Lotto and Friday Euromillions). The service was promoted via direct text marketing, print advertising, search engines and pay-per-click campaigns. As part of the service’s promotion, consumers were encouraged to try out the service by participating in a ‘free’ trial offer

    Some complainants reported to have received unsolicited chargeable SMS messages in respect of the service. Other complainants reported that they were unaware of the subscription element of the service. PhonepayPlus also received complaints in respect of the ‘STOP’ command failing to function.

    SANCTIONS

    · A formal reprimand.
    · A £25,000 fine.
    so five years and thousands of complaints later this scam is still operating
    http://whocallsme.com/Phone-Number.aspx/85200

    Isabelle replies to jack leeder
    9 Jul 2012
    Thank you very much they owe my husband over £150 he just thought it was annoying texts until we got vodafone bill Arghhh they said send STOP yo 85200 did this.....and did what you did customer service and could not speak to anyone, so thanks for that number, I shall phone them thanks to you great Isabelle x

    claire gaudion
    17 Jul 2012
    I would like the texts from this number to stop as they aren costing me £4 per text.
    Call Type: SMS
    LottoByText - Value for money
    these people should not be trusted to operate a 'lottery'(if that is indeed what it is)
  • gnus
    gnus Posts: 73 Forumite
    Options
    so five years and thousands of complaints later this scam is still operating

    Its still operating because people are willing to sign up to schemes they know nothing without realising what they are signing up for.

    A bit of common sense would go a long way sometimes.
    BEWARE OF AUTO-RENEWAL
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