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Learn about Fraud on Internet II: SMS Premium

05 July 2012

Have you heard of fraud on SMS Premium services? We will explain what it consists of.

Internet criminals try to deceive users in diverse ways in order to obtain some kind of benefit. Fraud through SMS Premium services is one of the strategies used to get money in a relatively easy and simple way.

What does fraud in SMS Premium services consist of?

Using social engineering techniques, criminals obtain mobile telephone numbers to subscribe them to SMS Premium services. To trick us, they use:

  • Applications: Find out who is blocking you on their list of contacts; discover your intelligence level, etc.
  • E-mails that assume the identity of some kind of service with attractive messages: A friend has sent you a secret message.
  • Access to links in areas that download fraudulent files.
  • Fraudulent applications that are installed on mobile devices without duly informing the user.
  • Advertising, polytones, promises of gifts, prizes or draws, etc.

The scam can be extremely costly as the user will be charged an amount that will be reflected in the monthly telephone bill for each SMS that is received on the mobile phone.

Recommendations to avoid it

Some months ago, the Government warned of the increase in this kind of Internet fraud and provided some recommendations to bear in mind:

  • To subscribe, it is (always) necessary to introduce your mobile telephone number.
  • Once the previous step has been completed, you will receive a code on your mobile phone that must be introduced on the same page. If you are going to do so, read the subscription terms and conditions carefully.
  • If you are unsure about the service, contact customer service.
  • Having subscribed, if you find that the messages received are not of interest to you, cancel the subscription by sending a message with the word «BAJA» (UNSUBSCRIBE) to the number from which the messages are being sent.

To avoid falling into these traps, it is essential to surf the web responsibly, paying attention to the contents and messages that are displayed on the web pages and of course, do not believe everything they say.

See more information on the OSI website. (in Spanish)