Neighbourhood Watch – Weekly Fraud update from West Mercia Police – Economic Crime Unit – 14/06/2022

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Mobile phone fraud involves a variety of scams that either persuade you to buy phone-related products/services that turn out to be substandard or non-existent; or to make phone calls or texts to premium services by accident; or to unknowingly sign up to expensive subscription services.

There are a variety of frauds that target you on your mobile. Here are some of the most common:

Missed call scams 

    Your phone registers a missed call. You don’t recognise the number so you call it back. Most of the time the call will be perfectly above board, but you may be redirected to a premium rate service which can cost up to £15 per call.

Recorded message scams

The number you’re asked to call back may be a recorded message telling you that you’ve won a prize, and giving you another number to call to ‘claim’ it. But this second number may be a premium rate one and the “prize”” is worthless

Text message scams

You’re sent a text from a number you don’t recognise, but it’ll be worded as if it’s from a friend. You call it back but this is a premium rate call at high call charges

Ring tone scams

These scams might attract you with an offer of a ‘free’ or low cost ring tone. By accepting the offer, you’re actually subscribing to a service that will keep sending you ring tones – and charging you a premium rate for them.

Phone insurance scams

If you’ve bought a new mobile phone, a fraudster may call you to sell you phone insurance, making out that they are calling from the shop where you bought it from, or from your mobile phone network. At best, you end up with poor quality phone insurance or, at worst, none at all.

Personal Information and your mobile phone

Mobiles phones and smart devices like iPads are now capable of holding a lot of your personal information such as access to your emails and mobile banking apps, it’s more important than ever to know how to keep data on your mobile phone or device secure.

What should you do if you’ve been a victim of mobile phone fraud?

  • Tell your mobile phone provider.
  • Inform PhonepayPlus (, which regulates premium numbers and has statutory powers to stop mobile phone frauds and fine the offenders.
  • If you text the word STOP to the subscription number, the sender is legally obliged to stop sending text messages immediately. If they don’t, contact PhonepayPlus (, which investigates complaints about phone-paid services.


 Take Five To Stop Fraud 

  • Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
  • Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Protect: If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at or by calling 0300 123 2040.

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