There are many telephone scams around these days all of them trying to separate you from your money in one way or another.
Here are tips to avoid them:
- Check the prefix of any number you are asked to call
- Don't dial a premium rate number unless you are absolutely sure how much you will be charged and you are willing to pay for it
- Don't return calls to unknown numbers - they'll ring again if it's really important
- Never send money up front for administration costs
- Never give out personal details to unsolicited callers
- Read the small print carefully before agreeing to a contract
- If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is
Someone calls your mobile but hangs up after one ring. If you are curious enough to know who it was, you'll ring them back and get charged a premium rate to listen to a recorded message.
You receive a 'we called but you were out' delivery card asking you to call a number to rearrange delivery of a parcel. If you make the call you'll be charged at a premium rate to listen to a recorded message.
You receive a call informing you that you've won a substantial prize in a national lottery. But before you can claim the money, you must send money to pay for administration fees and taxes. The prize, of course, does not exist.
You've won a prize
You receive a letter, text or telephone message telling you that you have won a major prize such as a car, holiday or cash. You are told to urgently ring a premium rate number to find out what you have won. Usually there isn't really a prize, or it turns out to be a book of discount vouchers with very stringent restrictions and often you'll have to spend more money to use the prize (eg pay for flights).
A caller tells you he works for your phone company and needs your help testing your telephone line. In order to do this you'll need to dial a certain set of numbers. The numbers are, of course, premium rate.