Home > Telephone & Mail Scams > Mobile Phone Scams: More Common Than PC Scams

Mobile Phone Scams: More Common Than PC Scams

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 4 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Mobile Phone Scams Phone Users Fraud

Most reasonably technology-savvy consumers are well aware of the latest online scams and wouldn’t dream of clicking on a link in an email or being taken in by phishing scam sites on the internet.

However, it might come as a surprise to learn that scams perpetrated by mobile phone are now just as pervasive as the typical email scam, and conmen are finding new ways of getting their hands on people’s hard-earned cash.

The Latest Mobile Phone Scam Research

It’s been revealed that mobile phone related scams are costing consumers a staggering five times more than scams that target PCs and laptops. Mobile phone security company AdaptiveMobile researched into the issue and found out that that most people are well aware of what to look out for when faced with spam emails, and that less than one in a million people are taken in by this type of scam.

At the same time, it was discovered that many as one in 100 people who receive a scam message by text will fall for it, and the main reason they give for their lapses in common sense were that they simply were not aware of the dangers of scam text messages.

Simeon Coney, Vice-President of Business Development at AdaptiveMobile, said that he believed the problem stemmed from the fact that mobile phones are very personal and that users tended to trust the communications they received via a mobile phone much more than they would an anonymous spam email. He added that although mobile phone operators are doing their best to combat criminal activities at ‘a network level’ it was up to mobile phone customers to also play their part and keep themselves safe in an increasingly mobile world.

What Are The Scams?

Some of the most popular mobile phone scams include trying to get phone users to connect to an website, or sending text messages asking people to call a premium rate number because they’ve won a prize. The popularity of smart phones makes this type of scam easier to set up and conservative estimates suggest that fraudsters could be making up to £7 million for just three days' work scamming mobile phone users.Three hi-tech fraudsters behind a hi-tech phone scam which cost O2 more than £2 million have recently been sentenced to five years in jail.

Three men were behind a complex fraud which scammed mobile phone users. They set up a company called Pixonyx Ltd, which provided phone lines for costly international phone calls, then managed to steal unsuspecting phone users’ identities and credit card details, which enabled them to create hundreds of new mobile phone contracts with O2.

They were sent phones and sim cards for the fake mobile contracts, and used them to dial the expensive premium rate lines they’d set up using Pixonyx, making calls to countries such as Latvia, Zimbabwe and Cuba. O2 was forced to make payments to Pixonyx for the calls. When profits dipped, they made even more money from selling on hundreds of the handsets they’d fraudulently obtained.

In nine months, O2 estimates it lost £2.17 million through the scam, making the fraudsters around £410,000 from payments for the calls and £100,000 from handset sales alone.

The three men were trapped by City of London police after they traced the calls. They were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud O2 and each given five years in jail.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • silvi
    Re: Safe Travel Gigolos
    Girls, never, never pay anything for a men...., it is the otherway around, they should be paying for everything, or, at least, sharing all…
    7 December 2019
  • Bandason
    Re: Vishing Scam
    I have been receiving emails saying I have sumsung galaxy s10 at one of the depots to say thank you for reaching a certain amount of parcels I…
    21 November 2019
  • Sensei
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Had a call from 01571981092 supposedly from sky. The man on the other end obviously of another country informed me that my broadband was running low.…
    14 November 2019
  • Jane
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Just had third phone call from 01604899316. Telling me I was due a refund of £205. I have never had sky. They gave a name and address of the previous…
    11 November 2019
  • Fred_UK
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    We have just had the same thing happen. On speaking with the bank, they have stated that the scammer could set up Direct Debits and maybe standing…
    30 October 2019
  • JohnG
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Had a call from 01582544397 saying it was Sky TV and that our current box was to be upgraded free of charge and when I said I didn't want to our…
    19 October 2019
  • Mickyladd
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    I received a text msg stating that I had a refund of £1.12 and to click on the link provided which would take me to the sky team to confirm my bank…
    12 September 2019
  • Bally
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Just had a phone call from sky saying our 1 year anniversary with them was approaching, had a lovely gentlemen speak to me telling me all the things I…
    28 August 2019
  • Ickle
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Just had a call from a person called Jane with an Indian accent that my sky cover was due to run out, and that there is 3 packages with a some of money…
    28 August 2019
  • Malice
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Just had some one telling me that my Sky contact was ending and she can help me set a new one up. Told her that I didn't know what she was talking about…
    26 August 2019