Citizen’s Advice Scams Awareness month commences
15 July 2015, Cătălina Ciontu, Senior Communications Executive
The vast majority of premium rate services are good businesses that serve consumers well, many of them offering innovative services that consumers enjoy.
PhonepayPlus has a variety of different ways to help consumers make informed choices about the services they are paying for and what to be aware of when interacting with premium rate services.
The first week of July saw the launch of Citizens Advice’s Scams Awareness Month. The month is about creating a self-supporting network of confident, alert consumers. This year’s campaign theme is “Don’t be rushed, Don’t be hushed” and sees Citizens Advice and local and national organisations undertaking consumer awareness activities up and down the country.
Further information and resources about the month and its themes can be found here and by following Citizens Advice on Twitter.
During the month we will be signposting you to advice and information about premium rate services and our work in protecting consumers and supporting innovation and growth in the industry.
Know your numbers
Numbers starting 09, 0870, 0871, 0872, 0873 and 118 are premium rate services and may cost more to call. Texting SMS shortcodes - numbers five or six digits long usually beginning with 5, 6, 7 or 8 may cost more too.
For more information on premium rate numbers and their costs please check our guide to Premium rate numbers.
Our newly launched website provides updated and new pages on subjects, including what premium rate services are, FAQs, how PhonepayPlus can help, and a solutions centre.
What can you do?
If you find unwanted or unknown charges for a premium rate service, first contact the company that runs the service. If you have contacted the company and they do not resolve a complaint, PhonepayPlus is here to help.
If you are unsure of a number, our free Number Checker provides you with any information PhonepayPlus has about the company running the service. Your phone provider can also tell you who the name of the company that has charged you.
Our free helpline is available on 0300 30 300 20 (open 9.30am - 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays) or you can make a complaint through our online complaint form.
Here is our advice on using smartphones safely.
- Treat your phone and phone number like you would your bank cards - use a PIN, swipe pattern or password to access the home screen. If you give out your number, you can be charged.
- Don’t override your smartphone’s security settings – doing so may compromise the security of your device and leave it vulnerable to malicious software.
- Back up and secure your data – many smartphones come with software to back up your data to a personal computer creating a copy of information such as contacts, photos and other data.
- Install apps from trusted sources only – apps are the easiest way for someone to hack your phone. Avoid apps from unauthorised sources and instead download from official stores.
- Clear your phone before you dispense with it – if you donate, resell or recycle your smartphone, remember to erase any data on it first. Remove and erase any media cards and perform a full or ‘factory’ reset.