Disreputable 118 directories businesses have been buying up out of use phone numbers – they chose ones that are very similar to popular numbers e.g. one digit wrong from Marks and Spencer or numbers from well-known companies that have gone out of business e.g. Toys R Us.
Why do they buy these numbers?
So they can put what is essentially an advert for themselves but cunningly made to look as if it is instructions from the out of business company.
e.g. you call a number you think is valid but get a recorded message telling you the number is no longer valid and you should call 118 ……. You call them and you will be talking to a directory service which then charges you for calling and asking for the right number and likely charges you for every minute you talk on that new number.
This can catch people out and they can end up with hefty bills that are unexpected. In some cases more than £50.
Power Tel that run the 118 023 service has been fined £200,000 by the Phone Paid Services Authority for this scam.
Do you have an opinion on this matter? Please comment in the box below.