Mobile phone users are being warned over a text message scam that could end up costing them hundreds of pounds.
A message saying "hi sexy" is reported to be luring unsuspecting victims into signing up for a premium rate reverse charging service.
Simply replying to the message registers the user to the service. Once signed up, the user is then bombarded with sexually explicit texts for which they have to pay.
According to the Edinburgh Evening News each message received costs the user £1.50. Some have ended up paying over £40 before managing to stop the flood.
The paper reported that thousands of the messages have been sent out to mobile users.
Industry watchdog the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS) is aware of the problem and is currently investigating the scam.
The con relies on social engineering much like some varieties of computer virus in that it only works if the user replies. But once registered to this service it is difficult to get removed, especially as no information is offered by the scammers.
Such services often have legitimate uses, such as the delivery of football scores or lottery numbers. ICSTIS is currently looking at a more appropriate code of practice for premium rate and reverse charge services.
Users caught out by this scam or similar can contact ICSTIS free on 0800 500 212.
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