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  • FIRST POST
    • Dave_too
    • By Dave_too 2nd Jan 19, 12:17 PM
    • 11Posts
    • 3Thanks
    Dave_too
    tip-deck mobile text scam
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 19, 12:17 PM
    tip-deck mobile text scam 2nd Jan 19 at 12:17 PM
    Here are the details of a mobile phone text-message scam I've just been hit by.

    They took money from me yesterday.
    It's only £9, but it's the brass-necked theft that really gets me going!

    It started with a text yesterday, on my private mobile number.
    The message text was:

    "To access your latest TipDeck alerts, visit our site at <removed for forurm post> tip-deck <email address>"


    Funny that, I have never heard of TipDeck and definitely never subscribed to such a service.

    I've heard of premium rate scams, so I googled it and found their website. There was a support number.

    I had to find it myself, because the SMS text message had
    - no details of any fees,
    - no details of how to remove yourself from the service, and
    - doesn't explain they are taking your money without you knowing.
    - There were no earlier text messages either. This was the first message


    I phoned their "support" line (found it on their web page web) and was told the following:
    - they had taken £9 from my phone account without my knowledge
    - the support line was also a premium rate line
    - no they did not know how much it costs. To clarify, their actual words were "I don't know" when I asked how much this "support" call to unsubscribe from something I never subscribed to, would cost.
    - The call-centre person said I would be unsubscribed if I gave them my number
    - Tip-deck has no management or in fact no person at all to speak to, they could only un-subscribe me
    - they could not issue a refund
    - they could not tell me when or where they claimed to have subscribed me
    - when I asked questions, they started reading from a script very loudly "This is the subscription department and we can only unsubscribe, we don't do anything else" before putting the phone down quickly, when I asked to speak to someone else.

    This was very obviously an attempt to hide away and avoid answering any questions.
    - when I phoned again I gave my number to unsubscribe, but was quickly cut off after that, as soon as I asked for details of the scam company.

    I emailed their amusingly-titled "support" address with the following:

    1. You have been charging me for a service I have never heard of, and never subscribed to.
    2. This is obviously a scam and I will be taking it up with the relevant authorities.
    3. In the meantime, you will pay me back the unauthorised charges you have taken from my account without my permission.
    4. My details are below. Feel free to phone me and email me if you have any queries.

    Am now waiting to see if they will return the money they took without permission.
Page 1
    • Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • By Blackbeard of Perranporth 2nd Jan 19, 12:28 PM
    • 5,919 Posts
    • 34,426 Thanks
    Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • #2
    • 2nd Jan 19, 12:28 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Jan 19, 12:28 PM
    Here are the details of a mobile phone text-message scam I've just been hit by.

    They took money from me yesterday.
    It's only £9, but it's the brass-necked theft that really gets me going!

    It started with a text yesterday, on my private mobile number.
    The message text was:

    "To access your latest TipDeck alerts, visit our site at <removed for forurm post> tip-deck <email address>"


    Funny that, I have never heard of TipDeck and definitely never subscribed to such a service.

    I've heard of premium rate scams, so I googled it and found their website. There was a support number.

    I had to find it myself, because the SMS text message had
    - no details of any fees,
    - no details of how to remove yourself from the service, and
    - doesn't explain they are taking your money without you knowing.
    - There were no earlier text messages either. This was the first message


    I phoned their "support" line (found it on their web page web) and was told the following:
    - they had taken £9 from my phone account without my knowledge
    - the support line was also a premium rate line
    - no they did not know how much it costs. To clarify, their actual words were "I don't know" when I asked how much this "support" call to unsubscribe from something I never subscribed to, would cost.
    - The call-centre person said I would be unsubscribed if I gave them my number
    - Tip-deck has no management or in fact no person at all to speak to, they could only un-subscribe me
    - they could not issue a refund
    - they could not tell me when or where they claimed to have subscribed me
    - when I asked questions, they started reading from a script very loudly "This is the subscription department and we can only unsubscribe, we don't do anything else" before putting the phone down quickly, when I asked to speak to someone else.

    This was very obviously an attempt to hide away and avoid answering any questions.
    - when I phoned again I gave my number to unsubscribe, but was quickly cut off after that, as soon as I asked for details of the scam company.

    I emailed their amusingly-titled "support" address with the following:

    1. You have been charging me for a service I have never heard of, and never subscribed to.
    2. This is obviously a scam and I will be taking it up with the relevant authorities.
    3. In the meantime, you will pay me back the unauthorised charges you have taken from my account without my permission.
    4. My details are below. Feel free to phone me and email me if you have any queries.

    Am now waiting to see if they will return the money they took without permission.
    Originally posted by Dave_too
    Customer Support 0203 514 6266

    This is a text subscription service to stop future texts send STOP to 64648

    They should have sent you a confirmation text to start the service, if you did not receive this or you responded, then you should contact your phone provider.
    Cardiac Arrest - Electrical - Patient unconscious! Heart Attack - Plumbing - Patient conscious!
    Defibrillators Cannot Cure a Heart Attack!
    • Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • By Blackbeard of Perranporth 2nd Jan 19, 12:31 PM
    • 5,919 Posts
    • 34,426 Thanks
    Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • #3
    • 2nd Jan 19, 12:31 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Jan 19, 12:31 PM
    Further, they have a cancellation policy in the first thirty days and do not charge you in this period. Their first text was free, and contained details on how to cancel the service.
    Cardiac Arrest - Electrical - Patient unconscious! Heart Attack - Plumbing - Patient conscious!
    Defibrillators Cannot Cure a Heart Attack!
    • Dave_too
    • By Dave_too 2nd Jan 19, 12:54 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Dave_too
    • #4
    • 2nd Jan 19, 12:54 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Jan 19, 12:54 PM
    They may have a 30 day cancellation period, but they didn't tell me that.

    They may *claim* to send you a free text first with details on how to cancel the service, but I never received one.

    Even if they had sent one, why would I reply to some random scammer sending me a text saying I must pay them money, for something I've never heard of?

    I've never heard of them and never signed up to anything. The first I heard of it was receiving a text message. The text message did not mention texting STOP, did not include a phone number, and most of all didn't even tell me they were taking money off me.

    I found the customer support number on their website, because the text message did have their website URL.

    When I phoned that number, the only thing you can do there, is unsubscribe. You can't refuse to pay, ask for a refund, ask when or where they got my details from, can't speak to anyone else, if you ask for anything other than unsubscribe, they just put the phone down on you. But they did unsubscribe me.

    I am super-cautious and don't click on links in emails or dodgy sites.

    As someone whose work revolves around IT security I am very aware of the risks and never even look at pop-ups or freebies or tempting offers.

    Somehow these people got my mobile number, took £9 from it. It's not much I know, but super-annoying that they can just help themselves to my money. I can't let them get away with that.

    I repeat:

    * no prior texts were sent, only one
    * no information was given on how to stop
    * no phone number in the text
    * I was not even told in the text that they were actually charging money
    * I did not sign up for these jokers, I've never even heard of them
    * only when I phoned them I discovered they have taken £9 from my mobile credit, no prior warning.
    • Dave_too
    • By Dave_too 2nd Jan 19, 12:56 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Dave_too
    • #5
    • 2nd Jan 19, 12:56 PM
    thanks
    • #5
    • 2nd Jan 19, 12:56 PM
    BTW thank you for responding and for the helpful info, this was appreciated,:-)
    • Dave_too
    • By Dave_too 2nd Jan 19, 1:28 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Dave_too
    • #6
    • 2nd Jan 19, 1:28 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Jan 19, 1:28 PM
    If you have time on your hands and want a laugh, try phoning their "support" number. It rings for five minutes then cuts out. All the time saying "All our operators are busy at the moment".

    Digging deeper
    The recorded call and the unsubscribe line both have Irish accents. Sounds like an Irish call centre.
    The URL tip-deck <dot com > was registered on 2017-08-22 with GoDaddy.
    Their privacy policy page lists their postal address in Cyprus : Μikinon, 15, 4002, Limassol, Cyprus
    On Google maps this does not appear to be business premises.
    The Full name of legal entity is : Goldeness Ltd

    For some reason the owner is a little shy: "Name or title of Data Protection Officer: [Insert name here]"

    Looking on the opencorporates website, the company is called "GOLDENESS HOLDINGS LTD" and was incorporated on 9 May 2018 (8 months ago) as a Limited Company in the jurisdiction of Cyprus.

    The director and secretary are named as the same person, ("ΓΕΩΡΓΙΟΣ ΚΩΝΣΤΑΝΤΙΝΙΔΗΣ") which in english is GEORGIOS KONSTANTINIDIS. The opencorporates site also shows he has a bunch of other companies.
    • Dave_too
    • By Dave_too 2nd Jan 19, 1:59 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Dave_too
    • #7
    • 2nd Jan 19, 1:59 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Jan 19, 1:59 PM
    Amazingly I have an email reply from their support:

    =========== START OF REPLY =======================
    Support Tip Deck
    13:41 (7 minutes ago)
    to me

    Hi .......,

    Thank you for your email.

    It is likely you arrived on our service after completing an on-line questionnaire survey or prize draw, or did you recently use an on-line comparison site?

    We don’t have access to your exact opt-in information here.

    We are happy to offer you a refund of £9.00 However, we require your full name and address before we can release the refund cheque to you.

    In the meantime, I have ensured your subscription is terminated and you will not be charged any further.

    Kind Regards,

    Rosa

    Customer Support

    Telephone: 0203 514 6266

    =========== END OF REPLY =======================

    Summary:
    * No apology,
    * No explanation of how they signed me up to take my money.
    * They want to post me a cheque! The fees on international cheque clearance (they are based in Cypress) are extremely high.

    ===== START ANSWER EMAIL ====
    Dear tip-deck support,
    Posting a cheque is not acceptable. The clearance fees on international cheques are very high.
    I will also have to waste even more time getting the cheque to a bank.

    You already have my mobile phone number which you took the money from without permission.
    Please return the money to my mobile account. You can do this through GiffGaff, even through the GiffGaff website. You do not need my address for this. You already have my name.
    yours
    ....
    ===== END ANSWER EMAIL ====
    • MothballsWallet
    • By MothballsWallet 2nd Jan 19, 2:30 PM
    • 13,238 Posts
    • 18,313 Thanks
    MothballsWallet
    • #8
    • 2nd Jan 19, 2:30 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Jan 19, 2:30 PM
    OP, you may have shot yourself in the foot with your reply email.
    Always ask yourself one question: What would Gibbs do?
    I live in the UK City of Culture 2021
    I had to put mothballs in my wallet - the moths had learned the PINs to my cards...
    • PDC
    • By PDC 2nd Jan 19, 2:57 PM
    • 752 Posts
    • 522 Thanks
    PDC
    • #9
    • 2nd Jan 19, 2:57 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Jan 19, 2:57 PM
    Sounds near identical to these SecretSalesCodes/Comp House stories from a while ago https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-40496744 & https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/6035689/help-im-paying-4-50-a-month-to-a-premium-rate-text-service-and-i-dont-know-how-to-stop-it/
    • Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • By Blackbeard of Perranporth 2nd Jan 19, 3:54 PM
    • 5,919 Posts
    • 34,426 Thanks
    Blackbeard of Perranporth
    Whenever that goggle sesrch thing pings up you are the luckiest 2,000,000th visitor don’t click!

    Stick to the Duck

    www.duckduckgo.com
    Cardiac Arrest - Electrical - Patient unconscious! Heart Attack - Plumbing - Patient conscious!
    Defibrillators Cannot Cure a Heart Attack!
    • Dave_too
    • By Dave_too 2nd Jan 19, 4:17 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Dave_too
    I'm always scrupulously sure to never click on any pop-ups, special deals, I even avoid those clickbait articles at the bottom of some pages, like "doctors don't want you to know this amazing trick", or "housewife in <your suburb here> earns £3000 a day with this fantastic scheme!!!"

    IT security is my job - which is why I know for certain I have not clicked on anything remotely resembling a subscription service.

    Much less on something that promises to charge me £4.50 a text for some kind of motivational message!
    What I really don't understand, is how these people can operate.
    It's very clear what they are doing, yet they are allowed to continue, day in and day out. And it's not rocket science to block them. Why doesn't the provider block them?

    i'm supporting the petition for the change that would see users approving any subscription service. That is a concrete move to fix it.
    Although I love GiffGaff, I till feel this is something that could be improved.
    • Dave_too
    • By Dave_too 2nd Jan 19, 4:18 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Dave_too
    They have now contacted me and offered to refund by bank transfer, great.
    Let's hope it happens. I've given them my account number for the transfer, not what I would like to do, if they refund what they took I will post here to say they have.
    • matmidgley
    • By matmidgley 3rd Jan 19, 8:25 AM
    • 130 Posts
    • 47 Thanks
    matmidgley
    I had a payforit scam few years back, all they need is your phone number and they can charge you.
    When complaining to my provider (three) they put me on a 3 way call with the scam company.
    Apparently I had ticked a box and answered a question of "how many legs does a spider have?"
    The company was foreign and when I tried to argue they did the finger in ears neh neh sounds before hanging up...
    completely made up but no way to prove it, Three told me it happens all the time and would not refund.
    was only £4.50 but looking online some people had been stung for much more.
    I have blocked all premium texts calls ever since.
    • Dave_too
    • By Dave_too 3rd Jan 19, 12:31 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Dave_too
    Thanks Matt, Can you tell me how you blocked all premium text calls? I'd like to do that too.
    • boothby55
    • By boothby55 12th Jan 19, 11:44 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    boothby55
    me too
    I tried my mobile provider who were no real help so I have posted the details on the PSA website
    I also found this a website for tipdeck which I don't recognise

    They have taken £8.50 from me for 2 texts. I will post here if anything transpires
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 12th Jan 19, 3:57 PM
    • 13,907 Posts
    • 11,985 Thanks
    zagfles
    Thanks Matt, Can you tell me how you blocked all premium text calls? I'd like to do that too.
    Originally posted by Dave_too
    Ask your network to block them. We've done this with all our phones (Vodafone), although it was a struggle, the first line CS denied it's possible several times, but I knew it was, and everntually got it done via their online forum. I think it blocks outgoing premium rate too so you might not be able to vote on TV shows etc but do you really want to?
    • alumende27
    • By alumende27 13th Jan 19, 11:37 AM
    • 357 Posts
    • 340 Thanks
    alumende27
    I'm always scrupulously sure to never click on any pop-ups, special deals, I even avoid those clickbait articles at the bottom of some pages, like "doctors don't want you to know this amazing trick", or "housewife in <your suburb here> earns £3000 a day with this fantastic scheme!!!"

    IT security is my job.
    Originally posted by Dave_too
    If thatís the case Iím surprised you donít block pop-ups and have a suitable ad filter to block those clickbait articles.
    • Dave_too
    • By Dave_too 16th Jan 19, 5:39 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Dave_too
    If thatís the case Iím surprised you donít block pop-ups
    This comment is not helpful.

    I can see from your stats that you have thousands of posts and presumably help people here, but when I'm telling you how I have been ripped off by a bunch of scammers, you telling me you are surprised at my lack of precautions does not help.

    I never see pop-ups because yes, I have blocked pop-ups, which is why I don't click on them.

    My point is that I do... not...click on any of the many rubbish click-bait links you can find on the internet.
    Never subscribed to gambling, adult services, or anything at all remotely like that. Nevertheless these crooks claim I signed up for their "service". They could not tell me when or where or how I "signed up".

    They don't have logs on their servers apparently. They just magically gather subscribers through some process they are unaware of. As if.

    Which makes me think even more that they illegally harvested my mobile number from somewhere so they could sign me up to their scheme.
    i think it works by them not taking much money (only £9) so most people just write if off and block them.
    • Dave_too
    • By Dave_too 16th Jan 19, 5:40 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Dave_too
    Ask your network to block them. We've done this with all our phones (Vodafone), although it was a struggle, the first line CS denied it's possible several times, but I knew it was, and everntually got it done via their online forum. I think it blocks outgoing premium rate too so you might not be able to vote on TV shows etc but do you really want to?
    Good idea. This is GiffGaff. I will do that.
    in the meantime two more people have added to my original thread, both of them never signed up to these people, have never heard of them, yet had money taken from their phone balance.
    • Dave_too
    • By Dave_too 16th Jan 19, 5:44 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Dave_too
    FINALLY I actually received a refund from them. Much to my amazement.
    They said to allow two weeks for a bank transfer, you know the kind of transfer that takes minutes and shows up the next day or right away.

    But they did refund it. Eventually. To sum up:
    1. They took £4.50 from my mobile phone credit
    2. They took another £4.50 from my mobile phone credit
    3. When I tracked them down (difficult, but details are in this thread) they agreed to refund it. They could not tell me how I was subscribed. Literally they said they had no information. They did say "maybe it was from an online survey or a game?", but could not tell me which survey or which game, or when, also had no answer to me not playing online games and not doing surveys.
    4. About two weeks later, they actually did refund it by bank transfer into my bank account.
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