Why you should always be wary of texts from numbers starting with 19
More and more Aussies are being scammed by text messages, particularly premium service texts, according to finder.com.au.
Mobile premium service texts usually come from numbers that start with 19. They can be about anything from news to horoscopes, ringtones, adult services, competitions and games.
Although some people may have signed up to these services, many people receive these unsolicited messages, and can be charged by scammers for just receiving the text.
Alex Kidman, Tech Expert at finder.com.au, says scammers are smart and if their tactics work, they keep using them.
“We may occasionally receive a nonsensical text that we read and then casually delete. What some people might not realise, is that a $4 or $6 charge appears on their bill later that month just for receiving it if it’s from a premium service you’ve unwittingly signed up for.”
He added: “If you receive a text from a service you don’t recognise or don’t remember signing up to, chances are it’s a scam. Call your telco and ask for the number to be blocked. In fact you can get all premium service numbers blocked.”
The ACCC ScamWatch data shows mobile premium service scams are on the rise, with Aussies already cheated out of $44,179 in 2018 alone.
Since 2015, mobile premium service scams have robbed Aussies of $153,197.
“Don’t be fooled by messages offering gift vouchers from well-known brands or competitions with great prizes. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is,” said Kidman.
“Always check your bill. If it’s higher than usual and not related to excess data charges or overseas calls, look out for premium service charges.”
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