Never call unknown international numbers

13/11/2008

In the past few months, many consumers have received calls from scam numbers from abroad. Their phones ring only once or twice and many consumers have become curious and called back. The call tariff is often very high and the consumer will receive a hefty bill.

The Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS), the Swedish Consumer Agency and the Swedish Consumer Bureau for Telecom and Internet (KTIB) now wish to warn the general public.

Increasing numbers of consumers are turning to our organisations since they have experienced this problem. It mainly affects mobile subscribers, who receive a call from an international or a satellite number. However, the connection is broken as soon as their phones have rung once or twice, before they have time to answer.

Many of them then become curious about the missed call and call the number.
The charge per minute for calling these numbers can be very high. We now wish to warn all telephony consumers from calling unknown international numbers in order to avoid high call charges.

Normally, you must pay for calls made using your telephone subscription. 

”We want to draw special attention to this problem. The best advice we can give to consumers is to not return calls to unknown international numbers,” says Mattias Grafström, Managing Director of the Swedish Consumer Bureau for Telecom and Internet.

An international number can usually be recognised by it either starting with a plus sign or the digits 00 on your display or caller ID device. However, numbers called via satellite telephony may also be displayed without a plus sign or the digits 00 being visible. A satellite call may for example start with only the numbers 88.

Since the numbers that are used are not Swedish and do not belong to Swedish operators, there is no simple way to stop these calls from being made.

Please contact your operator to find out about potential ways to block calls from abroad.

Fake prize from scam competition

Sometimes subscribers are called by someone who announces that they have won some type of prize and that they need to claim the prize by pressing a button. Here also, consumers are advised to ignore the instructions and just hang up.

For more information, please contact

Swedish Consumer Bureau for Telecom and Internet
Mattias Grafström, tel. 070-713 48 50
Andreas Evestedt, tel. 070-713 48 59
www.ktib.se

PTS
Olof Bjurö, head of Consumer Issues, tel. 0708-11 40 05
www.pts.se

Swedish Consumer Agency
Ola Svensson, tel. 054-19 40 75
www.konsumentverket.se