Mobile fraud

Updated: 7/29/2015

One of the most common mobile phone scams involves sending text messages to your phone asking you to enter a competition or play a game.

These scams operate on a similar basis to the ringtone and SMS scams. You may receive a text saying you have won a cash prize, holiday or an iPhone. You are asked to reply to the number to claim the prize even though you have not entered a competition. 

Advice from ECC Sweden

  • Do not reply to text messages with offers of free ring tones, screensavers or games, unless you are sure that they are free of charge.
  • If you order a ringtone or a background image to your mobile phone, make sure you know what the terms of agreement are. Often, an order binds you to a subscription.
  • Do not click on a link on the Internet, sent to you via SMS from an unknown sender.
  • Always read the small print before accepting a subscription. Find out what the total cost is for the subscription.
  • Never give out your personal information such as address and mobile phone number on social websites, for example Facebook.
  • If you receive a fake invoice, write ”not ordered” on the invoice and return in to the trader.
  • If you have been exposed to a SMS fraud, send STOP to the sender, and if they continue contacting you, report the company to “Etiska rådet för betalteletjänster” (Swedish) via the link on the right side of this page.

Prize offer scams

These scams are basically the same as ringtone and SMS scams. The fraudsters send you a message saying you have won money, a trip or an iPhone. You are instructed to call a certain phone number to obtain your prize, even if you have not participated in a lottery.

Most often there are no prizes and all replies to these numbers are charged at the premium rate. These scams also use e-mail and website pop-ups to hook their victims.

Advice from ECC Sweden

  • Do not reply to text messages or e-mails that instruct you to call a certain phone number to obtain your prize, if you have not participated in a lottery.
  • Ignore pop up-windows on websites with messages saying you have won a prize, and where you are asked to pay a shipping cost by credit card or by usage of your bank account details. To obtain this information is what the fraudsters want.
  • Always be sceptical – if an offer seems too good to be true, it usually is.