I’m receiving unexpected ‘Payforit’ charges – what should I do?

Step 1 – STOP further payforit charges from the same source.

example of the text we want to stop

If you are receiving text messages like those above, you need to stop them to avoid further charges.  Don’t ignore them. Don’t waste time at this stage arguing with your network. Your network will almost certainly tell you to go and negotiate with the third party company who have taken your money. They won’t take responsibility and are unlikely to help you. You need to take action to prevent further unauthorised charges to your account. The best way to do this is by phoning the number given in the received text. If you phone, you can ask for a full refund of the charges at the same time. Tell them you never knowingly subscribed to their service and that you require a full refund.

If you phone, record the conversation so that there can be no subsequent dispute about what was said.

If you prefer, or if you are within a ‘free trial’ period, you can send a STOP  text to the shortcode given in the text. In the example above it is necessary to text STOP or STOP ALL to 83463 to prevent further charges to your account. ‘STOP ALL’  should stop all services on the given shortcode. This can be useful if you have, or think you might have, been signed up to more than one service. There are two problems with stopping the charges by sending a STOP text:

1.  The text is chargeable (usually only 10p)

2. The companies sometimes take your sending of a STOP text as an indication that you accept the charges already made. This makes getting a refund more difficult.

You need to be sure to send the STOP message to the shortcode number in the subscription text. This text should be charged at your standard network rate. You should receive a confirmation text to confirm that you have been unsubscribed. Keep these texts until the whole matter is satisfactorily resolved.

Sending a STOP text and getting confirmation

Ask for confirmation of anything agreed in writing to avoid subsequent disputes. If they refuse to do this, send them an email outlining what you believe was agreed and asking them to contact you if anything in that email is disputed. Obtain delivery and read receipts for emails and retain these until the matter is resolved.

Basically, these companies are operating fraudulently and you should not trust anything they say. Judge them by their deeds and not by their words!

The charge receipt comes from Payforit and looks like this:

It is no use replying to this message, or indeed sending any message to Payforit.

Sometimes, all that is received is the Payforit receipt. In this case you need to identify the five digit number which is originating the charges.

If the Payforit receipt text is received without the accompanying sign up texts, you won’t know who to contact to stop the fraudulent subscription. In this case you have a deduction, but you don’t know what it is for. What to do if you can’t identify the originator of the charges

Try to approach the process in an organised and businesslike manner. Record calls and keep texts. Ask for written confirmation of anything agreed verbally. Most people get a full refund, but you do need to follow the process. You can rant all you like at your network, but the system makes it difficult for them to stop the charges. I agree that they could and should do much more, but if you delay in taking action yourself you will weaken your legal position.

If you’re not clear what Payforit is, look here.

Stopped the texts? Time for Step 2 – try to get a refund.

 

42 Replies to “I’m receiving unexpected ‘Payforit’ charges – what should I do?”

  1. I am a 79 year old lady and have experienced Premium SMS fraud from Remote Gamed Ltd. and would be interested to know if anyone else has faced a similar issue?

    They took nearly £45 from my bank account without consent which is a lot for a lady in my situation. I haven’t as yet received a refund and all requests have been ignored.

    It seems they have found away to steal money from peoples banks via their phone bills.

    There is some good news though, from investigation the owners of this company Remote Games Ltd, Robert James Morley, Carl Barker, Gary Cooper and Colin Mc Caffery are going to soon face criminal charges, a huge fine and potential jail sentences for their actions.

    1. Hi Margaret
      Sorry for the delay in replying. My wife was scammed by Remote Games, so I am particularly interested in any information you have concerning them. Have you made a complaint to the Phone-paid Services Agency?
      Remote Games did eventually refund my wife, but it took about 6 weeks.
      Let me know if I can help in any way – I promise not to take so long getting back to you next time!

      Paul

  2. I have been charged £18 for a scam from this number. Sent the STOP message to which they confirmed my subscription will be cancelled after 24 hrs. O2 also said that they have blocked 3rd party charges to my account, which I thought might be more difficult to achieve after reading up on the subject. I will test this tomorrow using the bus information service.

    Company details:

    Tap2Bill Limited
    5 St. John’s Lane
    Farringdon
    London
    EC1M 4BH
    United Kingdom

    Lasevia Investments Limited
    Service name: Classic Movies
    Keyword: PFI Service
    Service Type: Entertainment – non-adult
    Service started on: 13 March 2018
    Service ended on: Active

    Do you advise to also ring them to ensure everything is cancelled?

    1. If you haven’t already you should phone them to get your £18 refunded and confirm that your subscription is cancelled. Record the call. Also make sure that you report the scam to Phone-paid Services Authority. Lasevia have been reported several times in the past couple of days for these scams, so you are not alone. I’d be interested to know if you are able to confirm that O2 are able to block third party charges. Let me know how it goes.
      Paul

      1. Thanks Paul. That’s all done. Not holding my breath for the refund though. O2’s claim that they barred 3rd party charges seems to be non-sense……the bus information service you provided on another page gives me a response , and I was charged twice – 10p and 83p.

        1. Thanks for reporting back Jonathan. Let me know if/when you get a refund. Hopefully the regulator will look in Lasevia ltd as you are not the only person reporting a problem and they claim to be using two step authorisation.
          I had an exchange with O2 on Twitter last week at which they assured me that they could and would block third-party charges on request.
          It would appear that this is not the case.

          1. Just tried the bus information service again, and i still got a response. I will check my bill tomorrow to see if I have been charged.

          2. So I contacted o2 again today who first said that the third party bar is in place and was initiated on the 10th April. So I asked why I had been charged again by the bus information service. After them trying to fob me off I actually got them to say that even though the block is in place, its actually useless and I’ll still be charged if I get scammed again. How ridiculous!!!

          3. Yes, it would seem that O2’s ‘charge to bill’ bar is ineffective against at least one method of third party charging. To be fair to them, the bus information service is not a ‘Payforit’ service, but does involve you being charged to receive a text. To confirm that Payforit is blocked (or not) you could try making a small donation to one of the charities which accept this method of payment.
            So we now know that Three and O2 are unable to offer protection against third party charges. What about EE and Vodafone? Anyone?

  3. Can someone help me please.
    I received a text last week along the lines of thanking me for signing up to pay for it. No idea what that is. It just popped up whilst I was browsing internet. I stupidly ignored the text an deleted it as thought it was a scam an didn’t take much notice. Until today when I received a message from Giffgaff saying I had auto topped up and a message from pay for it thanking me. I have NEVER signed up to any sites or subscriptions so how do I stop them stealing my money an report it?
    Help please.

    1. Hi Debbie

      The first step is to identify what company is charging you. As well as the payforit receipt, you should have received at least on other text with information on how to contact this company. It will have come from a five digit number. If you can’t find this text, check that you are not blocking any texts.

      If, after following this advice you are unable to identify the source of the charges, take a look at https://payforitsucks.co.uk/cant-identify-originator-charges/.

      If you can find a phone number for the company, it’s best to phone them to complain, cancel the subscription and demand a refund. If possible, record this call and ask for a text or email confirmation of what has been agreed.

      This should be done as a matter of urgency, to prevent further charges being applied to your account.

      You should then complain to the Phone-paid Services Authority, the process for doing this is described on this website.

      If there are other issues not covered on the website, let me know and I will advise. Please let me know how you get on.

      Paul

    1. What was the number you sent to, and what was the name of the service you were subscribed to? Is there a phone number you could ring?
      If you re still having a problem, give me this information and I can advise further.
      Hope you manage to get it sorted out, and don’t forget to put in a complaint to PSA.

  4. I’ve just been told I’ve been signed up to some books service I didn’t request by Lasevia. When I try sending STOP to the number given (83463) it doesn’t send. All the advice on-line suggests you should phone the number provided (0330 053 8808) to cancel too. I did this, but it just seemed to be a loop with the same menu, and I was concerned it was another scam charging a premium rate, so I hung up.

    1. Hi Jennifer

      Lasevia ltd have been appearing in quite a few reports recently. They use shortcode 83463 which is also used by a number of other scam services. Sending STOP ALL to 83463 should work and will be charged as a standard shortcode text message, 10p on most networks. If you are on PAYG, and have no credit, this might be why the text didn’t work. Or you may have blocked premium rate texts.
      Calls to the 03 number will be included in any calls package you have and aren’t premium rate, so don’t worry about that. It’s a good idea to record any phone call, if only to be able to prove the difficulty you had! Often these phone lines are unmanned at the weekend, but there is usually an automated option to unsubscribe. If you cannot get a result on the number you have been given, you could also try calling Tap2Bill who are the company with overall responsibility for this shortcode. Their number is 0333 003 0599 (again this is not a premium number but treated as a standard call).

      Hope you manage to get this sorted out, and please make a complaint to PSA about this company as I know there are a number of other similar cases.
      Let me know if you need any more help.

  5. bodyin8 charged Me – £23.00 contacted P.S.A they gave me the relevant email to complain to as I have no way signed up to this rubbish. The response obviously states all was above board as they are not likely to want to be seen a fraudulent operation (which they are!) I get the impression if I go back to the P.S.A it is a waste of time?

    1. If you did not sign up to Bodyin8 you should complain to PSA and get a case number. Although PSA do not pursue individual cases, they do use reports to build up evidence that a company is in breach of it’s Code of Conduct.
      Bodyin8 will probably issue a refund without much argument, but don’t let this deter you from complaining that they charged you without consent. Whether or not they refund you, insist on seeing proof of when and how you signed up to their ‘service’.
      It is important that you do register a complaint, to help get this company closed down as quickly as possible and fined. PSA can issue and have issued fines of £250,000 for each breach of the code.
      Complaining might not benefit you financially (if you have received a full refund), but will help protect consumers in the future. One of the reasons that these scams continue is that only about 5% of affected consumers complain.

  6. heya, ive recently found out that payforit is a reall thing and is stressing me out…..

    Anyway, i have texed ‘stop all’ to 83463 and i havent got a reply from them. Can someone help?

    1. Hi Jemma
      It’s a bit worrying that you got no reply when you texted STOP to 83463. Make sure that you keep the text you sent and that you record any phone calls.
      If you have tried these methods and not managed to stop the subscription you should go back to your mobile network. Tell them you have done what they asked and it hasn’t worked.
      Also, make sure that you file a complaint with Phone-paid Services Authority and get a case number. Be insistent as they don’t like registering complaints. Let me know if you need any more help.
      Paul

  7. I also have just learned I have been charged £4.50 per week from a company called Lasevia for a subscription to classic movies. I’ve never heard of this service before and certainly never subscribed. I text STOP to the number shown in the text. No confirmation that I’d unsubscribed arrived so I called the phone number. It is apparently a filter service – the call handler said she was only able to collect my data and pass it on to another company. What to do now? Contact my bank? Complaints authorities? Any idea of the likelihood of a refund?

    1. Hi Louise
      Lasevia feature prominently in the current crop of ‘Payforit’ scams. They are based in Cyprus, but operate through a UK based processor called Tap2Bill. Details are here: https://payforitsucks.co.uk/scams-using-shortcode-83463/
      It would be worth giving Tap2Bill a ring to see if they can help. Insist on a refund as you didn’t agree to these charges.
      If you have been unable to confirm that your ‘subscription’ has been stopped, you should go back to your mobile network. Tell them that you have done as they asked, but it hasn’t worked. They should then help you.
      You should put in a complaint to the Phone-paid Services Agency, as described on my website. Please do this regardless of whether you get a refund. It is fundamentally wrong that these charges can be applied to consumers’ phone bills without their consent. Let me know if you need any further help or support.
      Paul

      1. John
        I am in exactly the same deadly embrace. I phoned the number and was told I would receive a call back. No point ranting as they are conditioned criminals. Contacting O2 next though from all responses here it looks like this will not be too useful. Wonder if anyone has felt the need to cancel their service with one of the providers as a last resort

        1. Hi John
          As you say, it can be very frustrating, not to say time-consuming, dealing with these scams. The scammers rely on most people giving up because it is not worth the time and effort required to pursue relatively small losses. Of course by taking small amounts from a large number of people, these scams can be very profitable!
          Cancelling your service with O2 would probably be counter-productive. O2 claim that they ‘only allow trusted partners’ to make third party charges to your account. https://www.o2.co.uk/charge-to-mobile
          None of the other mobile networks has a great record in dealing with these scams. At present they all pass the buck back to the consumer to sort it out.
          O2 claim to be able to put a ‘charge to bill’ bar on your account which they claim will stop ‘Payforit’ charges, but this has yet to be proved effective.
          If you continue to have difficulty contacting the ‘service provider’ which has charged you, the advice of PSA is that you should then go back to your network and tell them of your difficulty. Keep all messages and record all phone calls, so that there can be no subsequent dispute about what was said. If O2 fail to help you in these circumstances, I think you would have a good chance taking action against them in the small claims court. As far as I know, no case has ever got this far though, as they always settle when put under this kind of pressure.
          Do make sure you register your case with the PSA. They are pretty useless as a regulator, but can issue large fines against the worst offenders.
          Let me know how you get on.

          Paul

          1. Thanks Paul. I will call O2 and let you know how I get on. Small claims court would work I’m sure but it should not have to be like this. It’s outrageous that the phone providers allow this to happen

  8. Hi Paul
    After a couple of brusque calls with the perpetrator I seem to be unsubscribed and my money has been refunded to PayPal. The company concerned is Samardia which says I activated this which is nonsense. I will pursue with O2 next as this is outrageous. If banks are held to account for credit card payments you did not authorise then the mobile operators should also. I will let you know how I go and what response I get back from both O2 and the PSA. Do you know at all if any MP is making a stand on this?

    1. Hi John
      Congrats on getting your money back. Samardia really need to tell you EXACTLY how and when you signed up. They are supposed to be able to do this, and if they can’t you should update your case with PSA with this information. It isn’t enough for them to say you signed up – THEY HAVE TO PROVE IT.
      A recent article http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-4191988/MP-condemns-firms-charge-unwanted-phone-texts.html named John Mann MP as taking an interest in these scams.
      PSA will take a long time to respond, although they normally tell you whether they are pursuing your complaint further within a couple of weeks. If they choose not to pursue your case it is worth insisting on proof that you consented to the charge. PSA do have a complaints mechanism which might be worth invoking if you are not satisfied with their actions (or lack of them!).
      Keep me informed of your progress,

      Paul

  9. My wife was caught by this scam on her birthday.
    She received a message (she thinks it may have been through Facebook Messenger, but can’t find it) with a link to a birthday card. She opened the card, said “how lovely, but it doesn’t say who it’s from”. Soon after, a text arrived from 30090009 (she’s on giffgaff, if that’s relevant) which said “PayForIT Charge” and nothing else.
    Every seven days since she has had the same text message again, and every one is charged at £4.50 on her giffgaff account. Some birthday present!
    There was no original message giving details of the charge, unless it was hidden somewhere in the birthday card.
    The PayForIt messages don’t say who the charge is from.
    mobilepaymentsupport.com says there are no subscriptions on her number.
    So she doesn’t know who is taking the payments, only that they originated with a birthday greeting from an unknown source.
    The only options left seem to be to complain to giffgaff and see where that takes her (all the time being charged £4.50 every week) or close her giffgaff account and get a new mobile account with a completely new number (not a transfer), with all the inconvenience that involves.
    It’s easy to see in hindsight how this scam works. All the scammers need is to know your birthday (e.g. from Facebook) and send you an online card with the “signup” embedded in it. Once you open it on your phone, they’ve got you – forever, it seems. PayForIT sucks alright!

    1. Hi Mike

      You are discovering just how ludicrous this system is.You get a receipt for your payment, but you don’t know who to contact, or where the payment went. Make sure you are not blocking the receipt of premium texts.
      It might be worth sending STOP ALL to 83463 as this number seems to be associated with about 50% of the reported scams.
      Failing this I would ask a GiffGaff agent to identify where your money is going. I have found GiffGaff to be pretty hopeless at this, but escalate it to a formal complaint if necessary. The ‘Payforit’ rules EXPECT the networks to help you to identify the source of the charges if you are unable to, and GiffGaff should be taking this responsibility seriously.
      You can also ask the Phone-paid Services Authority for help in identifying the charges if you are having difficulty.
      Once you have identified the source of the charges, make sure that you make a complaint to PSA and ask for a refund of the charges already taken from the company who took your money.
      Good luck with this. Let me know if I can offer any further help, or if you encounter difficulties following this advice.
      Paul

      1. Thank you Paul. Our main problem is identifying who is taking the money. The initial message and payment receipt came to a phone which has since died and can’t be recovered as it won’t charge (broken usb socket). Later payment receipts came to the replacement phone, which doesn’t have premium texts blocked.
        In the short term we have (we think) prevented future payments being taken by reducing the account balance to less than the £4.50 being taken. (On giffgaff, premium text payments – also premium rate calls and photo messages I think – are taken from account balance, rather than monthly goodybags, which cover noemal calls, texts and data, so you can use the phone with a goodybag even with a zero payg balance). The problem is to identify the source of the scam. We will try 83463 to stop payments and contact giffgaff as you suggest. If successful,we’ll then move on to getting the money back.
        Mike

        1. Hi Mike

          What you are doing with your GiffGaff account makes absolute sense. The scammers can only take from your airtime balance and can’t touch a goodbag. Just make sure auto-topup is switched off.
          GiffGaff are REQUIRED by PSA to help you in these circumstances, so don’t take any nonsense and escalate to a formal complaint if necessary.
          If premium texts are not blocked, you should be receiving texts indicating who is charging you.
          You have identified one of the many problems with ‘Payforit’. You get a receipt saying money has been taken from your account, but this text doesn’t tell you who to contact about the charges! This information is in separate texts which sometimes seem not to arrive.
          Keep me informed of how you get on with this and come back to me if I can help further.

  10. I have just found 2 on my bill one for funny video and one for nuyoo fitness . I have been caught for about £25 which three have refunded half… I have sent the stop all and stop texts but no reply. Anyone else not had a reply but it’s stopped?. I don’t really care so much about claiming £12.50 back but just want it stopped three will not block it.

    1. Hi Darren

      As a first step I suggest that you phone Nuyoo and Remote Games Ltd (who are responsible for the funny videoa ‘service’). Make sure that you subscriptions are stopped and insist on a full refund of charges already taken. If they refuse to refund, insist on seeing their evidence that you consented to the charges.
      It is a disgrace that once one of these scams has been initiated, none of the networks is able to stop it. If I tell my bank that fraudulent charges are being made to my account, they will stop them. The same should apply to fraudulent charges to phone accounts.
      It is also a disgrace that Three are one of the few networks unable to place a bar on ‘Payforit’ transactions. Three subscribers have no choice but to remain exposed to these scams.
      Let me know if any further help or advice is needed.
      Paul

  11. Paul,

    Thanks for the tip about turning off auto top-up on giffgaff, we had forgotten that.
    Have tried STOP ALL to 83463 even though we don’t know if that’s who is taking the money; no reply yet (though not sure if replies come from there anyway).
    The next £4.50 weekly payment is “due” on Friday 11th May; it will be interesting to see what happens, now that the airtime balance is down to less than £2. Unfortunately we can’t leave it like that permanently as it prevents international use and the occasional premium call or message. The minimum top-up is £10, which of course would be enough for the scammers to take a couple more payments.
    Premium texts are set to allowed, and always have been. It looks like there has never been any message of any sort to say who is taking the money.
    Next step is to complain to giffgaff. Your links to PSA documents will be a great help with that.
    Thanks for what you are doing with this site; without it we, and a lot of other people I’m sure, would be completely in the dark about what’s happening to our mobile accounts.

    Regards,
    Mike

    1. Hi Emma. If you didn’t get a reply to the STOP text, it’s probably best to ring the Customer Service line in the texts you have received. Make sure that you are unsubscribed and insist on a full refund of any money already taken.

  12. Hi,

    I have been affected by the same scam. I rang my network (3) who were not helpful at all. The woman I called knew exactly what I was talking about which I feel shows how many of their customers have been affected by this.

    The text I received was from ‘books4you’ something I have no idea what is… I have texted STOP and STOP ALL to the 5 didgit number in the text sent but have not received any response – is this normal or will they just continue to charge me.

    I am hesitant to call as I am unsure how much the number will cost to ring.

    Thanks for any help

    1. Hi Martha

      I’m afraid Three seem to be affected by these scams more than some of the other networks. The customer services number for Lasevia’s Books4You service is given as 0330 053 8806. This is a standard rate landline number (charged the same as 01 and 02 numbers and covered by any inclusive minutes in your contract).
      Call them and ensure that the bogus subscription has been stopped. Also insist on a full refund of any money they have taken from you. Make it clear that if they don’t refund you will go to the Small Claims Court. They know they would lose and always pay out in these circumstances.

      You might also like to add to the reviews of Lasevia Ltd on Trustpilot. https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/lasevia.com

      It is a disgrace that the networks allow companies like this to take money from your phone account.

  13. Hello, I’ve been getting charged £3 from taptronic for fitguru, which has been news to me. I’ve not sent STOP message as don’t want to hamper any refunds but the helpline (0330 223 1099) doesn’t appear to be working or at least nobody talks when I’ve called it. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Rich

      The Fitguru website gives a different helpline number of 0333 212 4631. It might be worth calling this number. If the number they have given you is wrong that is useful piece of additional evidence when it comes to getting a refund. If you can’t get through on the phone, I’d record the call so that you can prove that you tried. Then send the STOP message to stop further charges. Complain to the Phone-paid Services Authority, and include in the complaint the fact that the help line was dead and that you have a phone log and recording to prove it. Let us know how you get on.

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