Premium-rate Nos Scam
Due to the scandal over TV phone-ins, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell feels obliged to make threatening noises at TV companies. What she ignores is that the sole purpose of premium-rate telephone numbers is to rip off the punters. TV phone-ins are the least of the problem. What about all those leaflets that claim you may have won a new car? Just phone this number to find out what you've won. In microscopic print at the bottom, you're warned that calls cost £1.50 a minute and it will take at least 6 minutes to process your call! And what did you win? A plastic carrot worth 20p! It is a disgrace that such scams are legal, but it gets worse than this. Criminal gangs lurking in cyberspace are ready to insert software into your PC that will divert it from your ISP's telephone number to a premium-rate number. If your PC is unprotected, the first you know of this invasion is a massive telephone bill. I know two victims of this crime. Tessa, if you have a scrap of honesty, you will outlaw premium-rate numbers.