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Battle-Bunny
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 1 of 10

can scam callers put charges on my bill?

Back in December 2003, in this article:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/12/08/dial_9_scam_snares_wilts/
a "spokesman for BT" was quoted as saying: "The technology doesn't exist on a BT line to make a reverse charge call by pressing a single button." That was 13 years ago, so does the technology to do this exist now?

The reason I'm asking is that I've been pestered for weeks now by a company using the number 08443-373970, saying that through a "government scheme" I'm entitled to a free energy assessment for a new boiler, currently 4-5 calls a day Mon-Fri (ie. at least 20 a week). It then says "dial 2 to make an appointment or 9 to stop receiving these calls". I don't want to dial 2 as I don't want to make an appointment, and I'm dubious about dialling 9 in case it puts some charge on my bill.

So my two questions are:
* Might it be possible for dialling 9 and then hanging up the call lead to a charge being put on my telephone bill?
* Is it possible to be charged for time on a call even after hanging up? (eg. if a recorded message is playing and the other end is keeping the connection open).

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Distinguished Sage
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Message 2 of 10

Re: can scam callers put charges on my bill?

That facility does not exist. The only chargeable call would be for ringback when a number you called was engaged.

 

Bear in mind that pressing 9 would simply confirm that there was a real person on the end of the line, and not an answering machine, so it may make matters worse.

 

I would simply either ingnore the call, or pick up the phone, then put it down again without speaking. If its an automated call system, then it may think there is nobody on your number.

 

You could buy a call blocking phone, which would not allow that number through.

 

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Distinguished Sage
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Message 3 of 10

Re: can scam callers put charges on my bill?


@Battle-Bunny wrote:

Back in December 2003, in this article:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/12/08/dial_9_scam_snares_wilts/
a "spokesman for BT" was quoted as saying: "The technology doesn't exist on a BT line to make a reverse charge call by pressing a single button." That was 13 years ago, so does the technology to do this exist now?

The reason I'm asking is that I've been pestered for weeks now by a company using the number 08443-373970, saying that through a "government scheme" I'm entitled to a free energy assessment for a new boiler, currently 4-5 calls a day Mon-Fri (ie. at least 20 a week). It then says "dial 2 to make an appointment or 9 to stop receiving these calls". I don't want to dial 2 as I don't want to make an appointment, and I'm dubious about dialling 9 in case it puts some charge on my bill.

So my two questions are:
* Might it be possible for dialling 9 and then hanging up the call lead to a charge being put on my telephone bill?
* Is it possible to be charged for time on a call even after hanging up? (eg. if a recorded message is playing and the other end is keeping the connection open).


Why answer it all when you recognise the number as a scam?

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g7mzh-2
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Message 4 of 10

Re: can scam callers put charges on my bill?

There is a service from someone called "0800 Reverse" which provides an automated transfer-charge call; the recipient is played a recording and then has to dial 9 to accept the call. However, it does identify itself and give the charges before you have to do anything, and you can simply hang up.So the technology does now exist.

 

The calls the OP is getting is not one of these. These calls are simply from a telephone spam/scam company and it doesn't matter what number you press, they will still call again but it won't cost you anything (unless you call them on 0844- which is premium rate). You can try pressing 9, but I would guess that will simply confirm the number is active and that you answer it.

 

The best thing to do is complain to the Imformation Commissioner's Office (https://ico.org.uk/concerns/marketing/); if you have BT's "Choose to Refuse" service you can block the number.

 

rgds

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Battle-Bunny
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Message 5 of 10

Re: can scam callers put charges on my bill?

I'd already written to the ICO about them. I tried the '9' option but, predictably, they ignored it and continue to call me.

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Distinguished Sage
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Message 6 of 10

Re: can scam callers put charges on my bill?


@Battle-Bunny wrote:

 I tried the '9' option but, predictably, they ignored it and continue to call me.


That's WHY they keep calling you. Why on earth even answer it.

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Havnalaff
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Message 7 of 10

Re: can scam callers put charges on my bill?

@Battle-Bunny, get an answerphone, and only pick up/reply to callers you trust and know. That's what we did, and the scammers have stopped bothering us in the main. Just a suggestion!

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Message 8 of 10

Re: can scam callers put charges on my bill?


@Havnalaff wrote:

@Battle-Bunny, get an answerphone, and only pick up/reply to callers you trust and know. That's what we did, and the scammers have stopped bothering us in the main. Just a suggestion!


Agreed,

Keep a handset (and base) next to your favourite "perch" at home.

You learn over time which calls to ignore, as they never leave a message, but keep calling back until they eventully lose interest.

There's one caller at large who changes his/her number at random, leaving a possibility of up 999 numbers. This would fill your blocked list over time.

However, there are blocking devices which will block a string beginning with up to 6 numbers.

 

Useful for 0844 callers, who are in abundance at the moment.

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Battle-Bunny
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Message 9 of 10

Re: can scam callers put charges on my bill?

Yes, I did all that ages ago, and in general it's worked out fine. I'm mentioning this particular caller as they're an exception, in that they've been calling several times a day in recent weeks, and as 99% of them had been ignored I was wondering at their persistence. I normally ignore all callers whose number starts '08', but I eventually picked it up out of curiosity. The '9' option might actually work, as although they called again that day, they haven't called since. I wanted to check before using it, as I had some vague recollection of people being tricked into running up large phone charges by unscrupulous callers.

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Distinguished Expert
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Message 10 of 10

Re: can scam callers put charges on my bill?


@Battle-Bunny wrote:

Yes, I did all that ages ago, and in general it's worked out fine. I'm mentioning this particular caller as they're an exception, in that they've been calling several times a day in recent weeks, and as 99% of them had been ignored I was wondering at their persistence. I normally ignore all callers whose number starts '08', but I eventually picked it up out of curiosity. The '9' option might actually work, as although they called again that day, they haven't called since. I wanted to check before using it, as I had some vague recollection of people being tricked into running up large phone charges by unscrupulous callers.


Must admit that there's been no nuisance calls here today, either.

If you go to the Ofcom website, they lead to an ICO page which lists troublesome callers under scrutiny. You can also report these numbers to them.

It also helps to check on various websites which have a so called reverse directory, e.g., something such as "who called me" of which there are several sites. 

You enter the nuisance number and you will see reports.

 

These callers can't charge you, unless you call them back.

e.g. 0844 numbers incur an extra cost.

Separate subject:- It's mobile texts which are a big problem. Some applications contain fake adverts and text messages, which when opened, involve a premium charge.

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