Back in April, a missed call scam caused hundreds of Vodafone users to receive missed calls from 0843 and 0845 numbers and then get billed up to £300 even if they did not return such calls. As per reports, some crooks hired 0845 and 0843 numbers, set high fees on incoming calls and then hacked phones of unsuspecting users to automatically call back such premium numbers. The crooks then got their share of the billed amount from the network operators.
Although none of the Vodafone customers were out-of-pocket as a result of the scam, and the scam affected consumers from other networks as well, but as we all know instances like these leave a bad taste...
Vodafone has now strongly responded by launching a new barring technology which will be able to block off spam calls, solicitation calls and bogus ones by the hundreds of thousands to give its customers peace of mind and respite from unending unsolicited phone calls.
Say goodbye to nuisance calls with a text
“Fraudulent calls are a scourge on society, inflicting great anxiety for victims. The protection of our customers is paramount and we have been investing heavily in our network and technology to help stamp out this practice. We will continue to evolve the technology as well as work with industry bodies and the regulator to ensure we keep one step ahead of criminals,” said Mark Hughes, Head of Corporate Security for Vodafone UK.
Vodafone has thoroughly tested the barring technology and as per the company, the new tech blocked off as many as 425,000 nuisance and spam calls in a single day. The network also observed that once spammers realized that they could not get through to Vodafone numbers, they simply stopped trying. The number of attempted spam calls went down to under 1,000 within a week.
While the company states that you may still receive some nuisance calls, the frequency of the same will be much much lower than their existing levels. While this is great news for Vodafone subscribers, those using SIMs from other networks may not have reason to worry. Back in May, Ofcom launched a new number to help phone users add their numbers to UK's official ‘do not call’ database.
Texting 'TPS' and your e-mail address to 85095 will add your number to UK's official ‘do not call’ database, but will not save you from spam texts. The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) mandates that it is illegal to call a number which is registered in its 'do not call' database, but if you register your number by sending a text today, unsolicited calls will not disappear instantly but their frequency will diminish gradually and will stop completely after a month or so.
Vodafone users scammed out of £300 via missed calls from 0845 numbers
You can also register your number for free with the Telephone Preference Service by calling 0345 070 0707. All unsolicited calls will completely stop within 28 days but if violations occur, you can lodge a complain with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and Ofcom. To make a complaint, you will need to have information about such calls like the date and time of such calls, name of the firm calling you and the numbers you were called from.
If you want to get rid of unsolicited and spam texts as well, you can forward such texts to 7726 for free and will get a confirmation in return. Back in 2004, UK's major networks (EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three) teamed up with industry body GSM Association and the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to offer the option to forward unrequested SMS messages to the 7726 number.