Reassurance over outdated email scam

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PEOPLE are being reassured about an email scam that is still doing the rounds, despite the service being shut down in 2005.

PhonepayPlus, the UK premium rate telephone services regulator, is aware that a chain email about an alleged postal scam is being circulated on the internet. The email refers to the Royal Mail, Trading Standards and ICSTIS (PhonepayPlus’ former name).

PhonepayPlus appreciates that recipients of the email may want to find out more information about the alleged scam, but would like to reassure consumers that the email is outdated and no longer poses a threat.

The chain email refers to a service operating on the premium rate number 0906-661-1911.

This service was actually shut down by PhonepayPlus (then called ICSTIS) in December 2005. At that time, PhonepayPlus fined the Belize-based company behind the service £10,000.

PhonepayPlus can confirm that the service is no longer running and has not been running since December 2005, so you do not need to contact PhonepayPlus, or the Royal Mail, about this service as it was stopped almost six years ago.

PhonepayPlus’ Chief Executive, Paul Whiteing, said: “We shut this particular service down in 2005, but this chain email has been widely forwarded every year since then – even though the number no longer works and there is no cause for concern.

“We want to reassure consumers that they have no need to worry about this particular scam. However, if you do receive a delivery card through your letterbox which you do not believe is genuine and which asks you to dial a premium rate number (these numbers usually begin with 09), you can contact us on 0800 500 212 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) for further guidance.”

PhonepayPlus advises that, if you receive a copy of the email warning you about the alleged scam, you do not send it on to others, but forward this information instead.

Please visit PhonepayPlus’ FAQs for useful information about how to recognise premium rate services and understand what they cost, and some simple tips to help you use services with confidence.