Step 4 – Protecting yourself from further scams
O2 now claim to be able to apply a ‘charge to bill’ bar which is effective against Payforit.
Yes, our customer service team will be happy to switch off all Charge to Mobile debits if required. Chat with us here: https://t.co/NH1CagE7R4 for help with this.
— O2 in the UK (@O2) April 10, 2018
Update 29/03/18 Three inform me that they are unable to implement a ‘charge to bill’ bar for their customers.
[1/2] Hey there! We do offer Control My Spend options, however these don't stop Payforit charges. We always recommend that customers take care on the internet as we have no control over which charges are added by 3rd…
— ThreeUKSupport (@ThreeUKSupport) March 29, 2018
There is a lot of confusion about what is possible to avoid third party charges to your ‘phone account.
Barring premium rate texts is sometimes proposed as a way of stopping these scams. It won’t work. It will prevent you sending premium rate texts, and may prevent you from seeing incoming premium rate texts. It will not stop you from being charged for incoming premium rate texts.
To stop these charges, you need a bar on third party charges to your account. At the time or writing it would appear that Vodafone,O2 and EE can put this bar on your account, while Three can’t (or won’t?). If you have discovered otherwise, please comment on this post and let us know what your network can or can’t do.
You can test whether you have a charge to account bar in place by using a bus information service as follows – it shouldn’t cost more than about 25p:
Send a text to 87287. In the body of the text just put 54321
It’ll cost your standard network text charge to send the text.
And another 12p to receive the reply.
Check your balance before you send the text
The test is, do you also get charged another 12p, and will a reply arrive.
Do let us know how you get on if you try this test. If your network has successfully applied a bar, please leave a comment so that this post can be updated.