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Paying for digital goods and services via your phone bill

05 July 2016, David Owen, Senior Communications Executive
Paying for digital goods and services via your phone bill

July is Citizens Advice’s Scams Awareness Month. The month’s activities are designed to inform you about a variety of consumer issues and to empower you to make informed decisions when purchasing goods and services.

Although, the vast majority of premium rate services are good businesses that serve consumers well, we receive a number contacts from people who do not realise they can pay for digital goods, content and services through their phone bill.


Today’s phones can do much more than make calls and send texts

          Did you know? You can pay for digital goods and service from app stores, and websites via your phone bill through operator billing (also referred to as, charge-to-mobile or direct-to-bill), Payforit and premium SMS messages.

We want to help you make informed choices about the services you are paying for through your phone. Here are 6 things to remember:

1.    Think of your phone as being like a bank card; if you give out your phone number, it can be used to make a charge to your phone bill.

2.    Remember to read the small print before entering a competition or responding to a promotion as you may be subscribing to a chargeable service.

3.    Watch what you click on – know what you are agreeing to before you click on an online promotion.

4.    Be informed when entering your number online. Make sure you know how your number will be used as you may be consenting to being charged through your phone bill or pre-pay account.

5.    Don’t ignore your phone bill or phone credit – check the charges you see on your phone bill. If you see anything unexpected, check it with your network operator.

6.    Watch our new video explaining six of the most popular types of premium rate services and how they can be charged to your phone bill.

If you are unsure of a number, our free Number Checker provides you with any information PhonepayPlus has about the company running the service.

You can also check out our video on what to do if you spot an unexpected charge on your phone bill.

Further information about Scams Awareness Month is available on Citizens Advice and by following #scamaware on Twitter.

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