Sexy texts ran up phone bills

Seven people were charged in Athens yesterday in connection with a scam involving flirty text messages promising dates with available men or women sent to mobile phone users, who were charged more than a euro if they responded. Police arrested five women and two men between the ages of 19 and 30, who allegedly made a lot of money out of the scam. Officers said further investigation was needed to determine exactly how much cash the suspects netted. One more man is being sought in connection with the scheme. The messages were actually being sent from a server in a three-story building in the center of Athens, which housed the suspects’ operation, officers said. The gang got hold of thousands of mobile phone numbers and sent suggestive messages to users. Anyone replying to the texts was unknowingly charged 1 euro plus VAT for each response to the four-digit number from which the message was sent. Officers confiscated 27 computers and 7,500 euros in cash from the premises.