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Mobiplanet SMS scam (57976)

  • 16-06-2019 10:23am
    #1
    Posts: 0


    I recently received this:

    'Free Msg: To subscribe to MobiPlanet for UNLIMITED ACCESS for 7.50 EUR/week (3x2.50 EUR) and confirm you are over 18 yrs, reply APP to to this message!'

    First, where is this company getting my private number from? Second, is the company running this 57996 number the same Red27 Mobile company which runs the 57997 number scam? I reported the latter to Comreg, and it, Red27, said they'd remove my number from their database. Have they now set up a new company to continue this? I'm going to try the Data Protection Commissioner this time, as I really object to my private number being in the hands of these companies (or in the hands of anybody I don't give it to).

    How is the licensing of these "services" to operate in this state even justified?


«13456

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,519 ✭✭✭✭dudara


    First thing I would do is submit a Subject Access Request under the GDPR to the company asking them to share where they got your number and asking them to provide evidence that you gave them permission to contact you. It’s free and it’s your right to do so under the GDPR.

    They must respond to the SAR within 1 month https://www.dataprotection.ie/en/individuals/know-your-rights/how-long-will-it-take , or advise you if it will take longer.

    Depending on the response you receive, you can then officially complain to the DPC. They have lots of info on their website.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    STB. wrote: »

    Very interesting facility there. Thanks. However, my above text was from Mobiplanet, whereas your link is to Mobizone. Is there evidence they are the same company? i.e. Does only one company own that shortcode 57976 that both Mobiplanet and Mobizone are on?

    Mobiplanet [web: http://umelimited.com]

    Mobizone [web:www.red27mobile.com]


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,380 ✭✭✭STB.


    Very interesting facility there. Thanks. However, my above text was from Mobiplanet, whereas your link is to Mobizone. Is there evidence they are the same company? i.e. Does only one company own that shortcode 57976 that both Mobiplanet and Mobizone are on?

    Mobiplanet [web: http://umelimited.com]

    Mobizone [web:www.red27mobile.com]


    These text services are provided by Universal Mobile Enterprises


    Mobiplanet

    https://servicechecker.comreg.ie/PR6538/MOBIPLANET


    Past history of this shortcode >



    https://www.boards.ie/ttfthread/2057671152/1


  • Registered Users Posts: 858 ✭✭✭goldenhoarde


    I recently received this:

    'Free Msg: To subscribe to MobiPlanet for UNLIMITED ACCESS for 7.50 EUR/week (3x2.50 EUR) and confirm you are over 18 yrs, reply APP to to this message!'

    First, where is this company getting my private number from? Second, is the company running this 57996 number the same Red27 Mobile company which runs the 57997 number scam? I reported the latter to Comreg, and it, Red27, said they'd remove my number from their database. Have they now set up a new company to continue this? I'm going to try the Data Protection Commissioner this time, as I really object to my private number being in the hands of these companies (or in the hands of anybody I don't give it to).

    How is the licensing of these "services" to operate in this state even justified?


    Irish numbers are all 08X xxxXxxx (7 Digits) so they just send to all unsolicited but very few complain and lots sign up


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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Interestingly, I've been reliably informed that whatever way these numbers are permitted to operate in this state, the key company above is called TxtNation Ltd. Apparently, it rents out phone numbers including the above numbers (57996, 57997), to different firms which then offer quizzes, competitions etc. Here, here and here are other Boards' posts on this company's "services".


  • Registered Users Posts: 12 navowner1


    I too have received the scam texts from vfit.guru / 57976 which I did not sign up to.


    I have emailed them asking the following, and will be following up with comreg once I receive a reply;


    ==


    Please also reply with answers to the below:

    1 how did you obtain my number on to your service?

    2 how were the payments authorised?

    3 can I have proof of the authorisation?

    4 can you locate any interaction or usage between this number and your service?

    ==

    Further information is available here for those interested;

    https://servicechecker.comreg.ie/PR7145/YOUR_FIT_GURU

    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/05642278

    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/05642278/officers

    They seem to be making a tidy sum off these blackhat tactics (£12.5m turnover in 2017).


  • Registered Users Posts: 12 navowner1


    As an update I received a refund from "SB7 Mobile Ltd" (https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/06117314/filing-history), but they have yet to reply proving that I signed up to their service. Txtnation in an email to me claimed that "The reason that you have been billed is that you have clicked to enter a subscription service is to have 28 days access to a fitness and lifestyle portal that is completely accessible from your handset.The subscription service was also verified via a text message sent directly to your handset, to which you replied to confirm and activate the service."

    I clicked no such thing and replied to no texts from them, so I have opened a complaint with Comreg who are now saying that it's the Data Protection Commission's job - so we'll see what happens.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,625 ✭✭✭corks finest


    dudara wrote: »
    First thing I would do is submit a Subject Access Request under the GDPR to the company asking them to share where they got your number and asking them to provide evidence that you gave them permission to contact you. It’s free and it’s your right to do so under the GDPR.

    They must respond to the SAR within 1 month https://www.dataprotection.ie/en/individuals/know-your-rights/how-long-will-it-take , or advise you if it will take longer.

    Depending on the response you receive, you can then officially complain to the DPC. They have lots of info on their website.
    Great advice


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,304 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko


    navowner1 wrote: »
    As an update I received a refund from "SB7 Mobile Ltd" (https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/06117314/filing-history), but they have yet to reply proving that I signed up to their service. Txtnation in an email to me claimed that "The reason that you have been billed is that you have clicked to enter a subscription service is to have 28 days access to a fitness and lifestyle portal that is completely accessible from your handset.The subscription service was also verified via a text message sent directly to your handset, to which you replied to confirm and activate the service."

    I clicked no such thing and replied to no texts from them, so I have opened a complaint with Comreg who are now saying that it's the Data Protection Commission's job - so we'll see what happens.


    Can you confirm what email address you used to contact them please?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 416 ✭✭Rips


    This happened to me today, Three advised I text STOP to the number.


    Did you supply your details to get a refund? I have a proxy email I can use but I am very unhappy about actually interacting with any unsolicited text. There is just no way I clicked any link or gave my phonenumber to any shoddy company. I won't even give Three my details.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,380 ✭✭✭STB.


    Comreg need to step in here at this stage. The number of complaints about these is very high. A quick google of each mobile phone company's forum shows as much.

    All premium-rate service providers must adhere to the provisions within a Comreg code of practice for provision of premium-rate services. This code of practice is not worth the paper its written on. Clearly Unsolicited text scam companies are abusing poor regulation. Big fines needed.

    Simply having a complaint procedure where you have to contact the company after they have taken the money is the loophole. Many don't, and many dont know how to get their money back or do not puruse it. This is how they are making money.

    Both Comreg and the mobile phone companies are enabling this to happen.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,523 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    The operators pay Comreg for their licence. This creates a conflict of interest situation in my eyes


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,380 ✭✭✭STB.


    L1011 wrote: »
    The operators pay Comreg for their licence. This creates a conflict of interest situation in my eyes


    Same problem in the UK L1101 with the PSA.

    The loophole protection is the complaints mechanism in that they must reverse charge for those that complaint, but that it is not good enough. Unsolicited and unauthorised transactions is where the real issue that needs to be tackled lie. Its whackamole otherwise.

    Its not accidental incidents, its a business plan for many. The whole unsolicited method that surrounds premium rate operators needs a fresh rethink.



    Its also being facilitated by the mobile phone companies. All of this should be blocked by default in SIMS.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,815 ✭✭✭Ten Pin


    Interesting thread here...
    https://www.boards.ie/ttfthread/2056017680/2

    Requirement to send STOP is so ridiculous, it's probably costing more to send that text and it may actually encourage them to keep sending them, it's not like they've been following the rules up until then.

    Here's a post from 2012 which gives an idea of what the companies were at...
    https://m.boards.ie/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=77747609&postcount=66

    A simple opt out on the ISP web portal is all that they need to implement and Comreg need to step up and protect consumers properly. I thought that GDPR would have put a stop to these scams but they seem to have just eased off initially but have now ramped up again once the dust settled without any proper enforcement.

    This is from 2015, assuming it's still active, billing agreement between Three and Zamano...
    Zamano, the Dublin-listed mobile services company, has agreed a deal with Three to allow the company’s technology be used as a conduit by e-commerce providers to bill Three’s customers directly via their mobile phone bill.

    Zamano told the stock exchange it has gained approval from Three to become an “approved direct carrier billing partner”. It already has a similar agreement with Vodafone, and Zamano said it is seeking to be connected to the 18 per cent of the market that subscribes to Meteor.

    “Zamano is in the process of developing the required platform infrastructure to allow merchants to sell goods directly by processing payments via direct carrier billing to Vodafone Ireland and Three customers,” the company said.

    Ross Conlon, Zamano’s chief executive, said gaining direct connections to mobile operator’s billing systems billing systems is “a key objective” for the group.

    Is there any evidence to show they are actually selling any "goods" (oh the irony of that word) at all?

    https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/zamano-signs-deal-with-three-mobile-to-become-billing-partner-1.2179940


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,304 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko


    Ten Pin wrote: »
    Interesting thread here...
    https://www.boards.ie/ttfthread/2056017680/2

    Requirement to send STOP is so ridiculous, it's probably costing more to send that text and it may actually encourage them to keep sending them, it's not like they've been following the rules up until then.

    Here's a post from 2012 which gives an idea of what the companies were at...
    https://m.boards.ie/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=77747609&postcount=66

    A simple opt out on the ISP web portal is all that they need to implement and Comreg need to step up and protect consumers properly.

    It should be 'opt-in' - something along the lines of 'if you are crazy enough to pay large amounts of money for stuff that is generally available for free elsewhere' then opt-in.

    Is there any actual value proposition with these services, beyond scamming a never ending supply of people for a few weeks or months until they notice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,380 ✭✭✭STB.


    navowner1 wrote: »
    I clicked no such thing and replied to no texts from them, so I have opened a complaint with Comreg who are now saying that it's the Data Protection Commission's job - so we'll see what happens.


    Dont let this go. Comregs job responsibilities include a consumer care function on behalf of all consumers of electronic communications and services. More importantly, it has an enforcement function.

    You are being fobbed off. Here is the Section of Comreg that seem to deal with it.

    "The Premium Rate Service (PRS) Section is responsible for carrying out investigations relating to the provision, content and promotion of PRS with the objective of protecting the interests of end users of PRS. The Section also develops and implements policies for the PRS sector including a Code of Practice and a Levy, which are relevant to licensed PRS providers."


    Ask them why licensed Network Operators are allowed to enable premium rate services by default, rather than as an opt in process.

    Then ask them what investigations it has carried out of these companies that they have been receiving countless complaints about.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,576 ✭✭✭Glass fused light


    STB. wrote: »
    Comreg need to step in here at this stage. The number of complaints about these is very high. A quick google of each mobile phone company's forum shows as much.

    All premium-rate service providers must adhere to the provisions within a Comreg code of practice for provision of premium-rate services. This code of practice is not worth the paper its written on. Clearly Unsolicited text scam companies are abusing poor regulation. Big fines needed.

    Simply having a complaint procedure where you have to contact the company after they have taken the money is the loophole. Many don't, and many dont know how to get their money back or do not puruse it. This is how they are making money.

    Both Comreg and the mobile phone companies are enabling this to happen.

    I would go one step further and say that the action of getting paid falls under obtaining money by deception and anti-money laundering legislation.

    In any other instance if the user claims that they did not contract with a third party, company would not collect or pay over the disputed money. They would suggest that the user and third party come to a resolution before any money changes hands.

    The phone company as collector of the money has a obligation to not engage in illegal activites. By not verifying that their user authorises the transaction and then denying their part in the collection but gaining a fee the company is "washing the ill gotten" gains through the banking system.

    Yes it would complicate the current method of subscribing to premium rate services but it would be fairer if the phone company had to send and get independent verification before taking someone's money


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    I could be reading this incorrectly but, surprisingly, it seems that at least the main (all?) premium numbers will be banned, by virtue of thereafter being charged at landline call rates, from 1st December:

    Moneyguideireland: 1850 and 1890 Numbers to be Included in Bundles


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,304 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko


    I could be reading this incorrectly but, surprisingly, it seems that at least the main (all?) premium numbers will be banned, by virtue of thereafter being charged at landline call rates, from 1st December:

    Moneyguideireland: 1850 and 1890 Numbers to be Included in Bundles
    Does that impact text message services?


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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,523 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    That doesn't impact text or 15xx premium rate


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,380 ✭✭✭STB.


    Isn't it time that the whole area was looked at ?


    Serious lack of weighty legislation unfortunately.


    If you looked into the names of some of the operators of premium lines you might come up with names of sons of former politicians.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,304 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko


    I managed to get a full refund by submitting a formal complaint, and sending proof that the phone user was under 18 - €67.50 back into my bank account today.


  • Registered Users Posts: 590 ✭✭✭dal


    This is insane. Was in Donegal over the weekend (I'm from Belfast) I handed my phone to my 3 year-old to watch a video and within 5 seconds, the child had clicked on an ad below the youtube video and on the big button on the page below.
    Hl4TGRB.jpg

    Clicking on this button did the following:
    Immediately sent 4 messages to my mobile phone - each of these messages was charged at TEN POUND each. I looked at my mobile bill pending charges and sure enough 40 was charged.

    Note, at no point was my phone number entered, at no point was any payment information entered (obviously my 3 year old knows neither of these).

    All my 3 year old did was click on the big green button (after clicking on a massive ad immediately below the youtube video). This is insane. How on earth are they even allowed access to my phone number never mind being able to charge me 40 pounds from clicking on a link?


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    dal wrote: »
    This is insane. Was in Donegal over the weekend (I'm from Belfast) I handed my phone to my 3 year-old to watch a video and within 5 seconds, the child had clicked on an ad below the youtube video and on the big button on the page below.

    Clicking on this button did the following:
    Immediately sent 4 messages to my mobile phone - each of these messages was charged at TEN POUND each. I looked at my mobile bill pending charges and sure enough 40 was charged.

    Note, at no point was my phone number entered, at no point was any payment information entered (obviously my 3 year old knows neither of these).

    All my 3 year old did was click on the big green button (after clicking on a massive ad immediately below the youtube video). This is insane. How on earth are they even allowed access to my phone number never mind being able to charge me 40 pounds from clicking on a link?

    And therein is an issue: if these parasite firms are going to be allowed carry on their legalised scam by the Irish state, then all default settings with our telephone provider should be set to a ban on all premium rate services. Currently, the default until you request to change, having presumably given them one successful scam, is set to accept these scame premium lines companies. Just who in Dáil Éireann or in the relevant Oireachtas committees can justify this being legal?

    To take another tack, anytime I sign up for a contract - Energia, ESB Networks, Virgin, etc - I have a 14-day cooling off period under Irish law. Does some such right not exist in the above case?

    Again, the justification for such "services" is never addressed by legislators. They serve no purpose other than to scam people with the approval of our state.

    PS: What are the chances that the people behind the above ModoMobi scam are some of the same people involved in a slew of other similar scams? I'd say highly, highly, highly likely!


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,523 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Comreg get paid fees by PRS operators. They are not impartial here, and as long as operators refund people who complain they will just ignore it.

    Look how long its taken them to move on the 1850/1890/0818 and seperate but connected 076 charging issues - saynoto1890 is going for over 12 years!


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,304 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko


    To take another tack, anytime I sign up for a contract - Energia, ESB Networks, Virgin, etc - I have a 14-day cooling off period under Irish law. Does some such right not exist in the above case?
    That's a great point about the cooling off period. Though for me, I didn't spot the charges until some months later.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,220 ✭✭✭nc6000


    It's ridiculous how the mobile operators and Comreg allow this. I regularly check my daughter's balance to make sure she had a valid offer and lots of data and credit left etc. I couldn't figure out where her credit was going to as her offer should have included calls & texts. Anyway, after another top-up and about €10 of credit vanishing within a few hours I decided to look into it and discovered that she was being charged for receiving texts and this is where her credit was going to.

    Whatever about being charged for sending messages to enter competitions but to be charged €2.50 for receiving messages without actually doing anything on the phone is crazy. I've received somewhat of a refund from the operator but I'm getting back to them as it wasn't for the full amount.

    I wonder how many people have been caught out by this or left in situations where they couldn't make calls or contact people because their credit had vanished.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,815 ✭✭✭Ten Pin


    This article from 2012 shows a lack of proper consumer protection by Comreg, whether that's because they don't have the legislation required to do so or lack the necessary diligence and motivation isn't clear...
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2090062/Mobile-phone-rip-offs-10-000-consumers-wrongly-signed-costly-subscription-services.html

    Comreg could just ban reverse charge SMS and problem solved but for some unknown reason they haven't done so.
    ComReg also sought responses on the prohibition of 'Mobile Terminated' billing, also known as reverse billed SMS.

    This is where the consumer is billed for receiving a text rather sending one.

    Unsurprisingly, companies offering subscription services objected to the requirement.

    Modeva, which refused to comment to IMoS, made a submission to ComReg stating that the simple double opt-in 'will devastate Modeva and the industry' and said 'no change is needed' in relation to reverse billing. ComReg will make a decision in the 'coming weeks.'

    There's something bizarre about a licensing system that seems to allow digital pick pocketing (allegedly).


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,917 ✭✭✭Grab All Association


    Dal claims he was brought to this by YouTube. There’s another avenue. And was this during a children’s programme/content on YouTube if you can remember? Whilst there’s no specific laws covering children’s content on YouTube and adverts, it’s pretty shocking to include these adverts if it was. I’ve also noticed that the majority of people it’s happening to uses an android phone


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