The following chain letter has been distributed in the United Kingdom. The
situation described is fictional and is not occurring because premium rate
phone numbers are not allowed to charge such a high amount by Oftel.
The text of the chain letter reads as follows:
Please read the following regarding a new scam being perpetrated. Please
advise friends, family and colleagues.
Below are details of a scam currently going the rounds. The police have
requested that as many people are alerted as possible. Unfortunately it is a
genuine scam. The reason this is working so well is it plays on your good
Picture the scene:-
You are sitting at home and there is a knock at the door. On answering it you
are confronted by a respectable looking woman in a suit, who is slightly
distressed. She explains that her car has broken down further down the road and
she needs to contact her husband to come to her aid.
Is it at all possible to use your phone to call him?
You allow her to use the phone, but being the suspicious type you stand with
her as she makes the call. She dials the number, and asks to be put through to
Mr Smith / Brown/Stevens (Whatever). She holds the line for about thirty
seconds. She continues, "In that case can you ask him to leave the meeting for
a minute I need to speak to him quite urgently."
She apologises again and explains they are getting him out of a
A couple of minutes goes by and she starts to speak to her husband. She
explains the situation to him, tells him what has happened to the car, is
annoyed because she now can't get to her meeting, and asks what she should do
now. She listens for a few seconds and then says, "Well as soon as the meeting
finishes can you come to Cardiff Road/Leicester Road/Surrey Street (Whatever),
where the car has broken down.
Another few seconds go by, "OK, I'll see you in about twenty minutes then." She
puts the phone down, and thanks you ever so much for your kind assistance, even
offering you a pound for your trouble, but of course you decline,it's no
trouble. She leaves and everything is fine.
Or is it? The day or week before knocking on your door she set up her own
premium rate line with a telephone company at the cost of about £150, and she
has dictated that calls to that number should be charged at £50 per minute. She
has dialled that number.
The conversation she has had with her "husband" is entirely fictitious,there is
a pre-recorded voice message on the other end to give you the impression she is
talking to someone. She has been on the phone for about five minutes, that call
just cost you £250, the majority of which goes into her pocket, and the first
you know about it is when you get your bill a month later.
To rub a bit of salt into the wound, she hasn't even committed a criminal
offence. You've given her permission to use your phone.
5 occasions in Luton where this has been reported in the last couple of
Would anyone reading this please pass it on to friends and colleagues etc.,
otherwise it could cost someone a lot of money.