The following chain letter has been distributed widely. The situation
described in the chain letter is not true: A £20.00 per minute premium
rate telephone tariff does not exist. According to ICSTIS (The Independent
Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information
Services), not one person who claims it has actually happened to them has been able
to produce a telephone bill that supports their story.
The text of the chain letter reads as follows:
We have received the following information from our security
advisors on a telephone scam current operating in the UK
Note it is as likely to targeted to work, home or mobile phones
The scenario is:-
Your phone rings and you receive a recorded message;
"Congratulations. We are calling to advise you that you
have won an all expenses paid trip to <an exotic destination>.
Please press 9 now to hear further details."
If you press 9, you'll be connected to a premium line that bills
in the region of £20 per minute.
If you press 9 and connect, even if you disconnect immediately,
the other end will stay connected for a minimum of 5 minutes
- at a cost to you of £100 - the message lasts for 11 minutes.
The final part of the call asks you to key in your postcode and
house number (which has other serious considerations) and then,
after a wait of a further two minutes, responds with the message;
"Sorry, you are not one of the lucky winners." and disconnects,
adding a further £260 to your bill! Unfortunately the calls are
originating from outside the U.K. and as such BT and other providers
are relatively powerless to act. The only safe solution is to hang up
before the message prompts you to press 9
Sophos recommends that users simply delete the email, and do not forward it