Mobile users fooled by scam

Consumer protection groups are warning of an Internet scam involving advertisement banners that offer readers the opportunity to take IQ tests or trace their friends’ location by submitting their cell-phone numbers online but then bombard them with text messages that cost up to 2 euros each to read. The Greek Quality of Life Consumer Union (EKPOIZO) said it has received several complaints from cell-phone owners besieged with text messages costing between 42 cents and 2 euros each. In all cases, consumers had keyed in their cell-phone numbers after clicking on the banner. Only a close reading of the advertisement’s fine print reveals the cost of the text messages to come. Consumers who called the contact numbers cited on the banner got an answering machine. EKPOIZO has called on the General Secretariat for Consumer Protection to take legal action against the firms uploading the banners and has called on cell-phone users to avoid reading messages sent from a 5-digit number begining with 54.