TRADING STANDARDS

25/02/2013: 070 Telephone Number Warning

Consumers are warned about phoning numbers beginning 070 after a complaint received by Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service.
Phone numbers starting 070 can easily be mistaken for mobile phone numbers, which also start 07. However, in reality phone numbers that start 070 are charged at a premium rate.
One Warwickshire job seeker reported receiving an unexpected email inviting him to a job interview following his ‘application’. The individual who received the email had sent out many job applications so phoned the number back but was transferred to an answering machine that kept him on hold. The number he phoned was a 070 premium rate number. The consumer now believes that he was tricked in to phoning the number so that number provider could generate profits.
070 numbers are sometimes called virtual or ‘follow me’ numbers set up to divert calls from one number to another so that the person being called can keep their own number private, and remain contactable wherever they go.
The complaints about the 070 premium rate numbers relate largely to consumers receiving missed calls to both landlines and mobiles from 070 prefixed numbers. These calls are terminated after one ring which prompts the consumers to call back the premium rate 070 number, believing it to be a genuine missed call.

Other inducements to phone the number back include work opportunities and advertisements.

Calls to 070 numbers may cost up to 50p per minute from a BT landline and more from a mobile. The price will not necessarily be explained during the call itself.

If consumers believe they have been misled or tricked in to phoning an 070 number so that the provider of the 070 number service can generate money, they can report the number to the premium rate line watchdog PhonepayPlus on 0800 500 212.

The 070 number complained about by the consumer in this case has been reported to PhonepayPlus.

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