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Phone scam alert involving Italian numbers


Fraud Help Desk advisers have received a  growing number of reports involving telephone calls from Italy. You’re advised to be on your guard when you see a number starting with +39, the Italian country code, on your mobile phone display.

Should you receive a short or missed call from Italy, don’t return it! The chances are that you’ve been targeted by phone scammers trying to encourage you to return the call and run up high charges. If you do call back, you’ll hear a taped message that sounds like the telephone is ringing, but all the time you’re connected to an expensive premium number.

Dutch telecoms watchdog OPTA has issued a warning, but adds that it can’t do anything against these phone scams, because they involve international numbers.

Cases have been reported, which do not involve missed calls, but an Italian female offering free products from an Italian company. The woman promises to call again to ask whether you like those products. One of the reporters has meanwhile received a spate of phone calls from Italy, from different numbers. Every time he picks up the phone, there’s no answer.

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