New rant about third-party charges

edited 8 August 2014 at 2:11PM in Mobiles
2 replies 6.3K views
billynibblesbillynibbles Forumite
4 Posts
edited 8 August 2014 at 2:11PM in Mobiles
Last Sunday, I was up to my gussets in cycle repairs at a charity event when I felt my mobile phone buzz to confirm a text had been received. It had been on stand-by with a screen lock on so you can imagine I was somewhat dismayed to receive :-

" FreeMsg: you’ve paid £5.00 for 1 entry from CoMob (visited at 1.51 pm) HELP? 02035405938, [EMAIL=""][email protected][/EMAIL]. View again at (url blocked by forum rules)

Curious, to say the least, I rang the so-called help-desk number only to be asked to leave my number and a message. This could have been my first mistake (or second if you include getting up that day!) as two minutes later I got a second identical message.

Smelling a rat, I immediately rang my carrier Three, who confirmed that these charges had been added to my account through a 'payment platform' called Payforit, the charges having been raised by ImpulsePay on behalf of the culprit. Not knowing what else to do, as there was little chance of getting to the bottom of it before other charges arrived, Three arranged for an instant number change for me, since as it was explained to me, such third-party charges rely solely on knowing a number to charge. So immediate problem over - just friends to tell my new number to and only the £10 to worry about.

I later communicated with Three again who set up my new number as being unable to accept third party charging. The lady did suggest adding a spend cap limited to my current allowances, but this would limit my ability to make calls to and from 0800 and from abroad. They then set up a conference call having managed to get the offending help desk on line, but between their insistence that the charges must have been OK'd by me, and me asking them how a phone on standby with a screen-lock in my pocket can enter two competitions in 5 minutes to win things I don't want, we got nowhere. Still at least it only a tenner could have been worse.

Needless to say, with a 3rd party block on, I won't be whipping out my phone to make a contactless payment any day soon! It also means I won't be able to send charity appeals money via text but I can get round that.

My advice would be: If you receive anything 'iffy' like this, a) don't follow it up - you've just proved you exist and b) get your network to block 3rd party charges until you realise that you really have to have them.

Oh yes, and have all your 'tech' swept for viruses!


  • grumblergrumbler Forumite
    56.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite a phone on standby with a screen-lock in my pocket can enter two competitions in 5 minutes to win things I don't want,
    A smartphone and some rogue app?
    We are born naked, wet and hungry...Then things get worse. :(

    .withdrawal, NOT withdrawel ..bear with me, NOT bare with me
    .definitely, NOT definately ......separate, NOT seperate
    should have, NOT should of
    .....guaranteed, NOT guarenteed
  • grumbler wrote: »
    A smartphone and some rogue app?

    Well that occurred to me too, especially as I'd been reading up about FakeID and what it could imply, but according to the Bluebox Security Scanner app I'm not infected with it or any iify apps. I never get .apk files from anywhere but Google Shop and have the facility to do so switched off. Could the recent hacking of the e-bay customer database be connected I wonder? They might have gotten their hands on a nice juicy list of phone numbers.

    I wish I'd kept the messages and incoming text number so I could have complained to PhonePayPlus the governing body that covers premium charging so they could have opened a case but I thought it safer to delete them after seeing what replying did.
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