NEWS

Crackdown on cellphone scam

Police yesterday heralded a crackdown on companies believed to have swindled hundreds of millions of euros from mobile phone owners by sending them text messages which cost 2 euros each to open. Electronic crime squad officers said at least eight companies have come under the microscope. The companies are alleged to have sent text messages to random cellphone numbers. «The victims would receive SMS messages without having consented or having been informed about these services,» a police spokesman said. Some of the victims had clicked on online banners advertised on the Internet – uploaded by the same firms – which invite readers to send text messages to 5-digit numbers «to find out how long you are going to live» or «to find out where your wife is right now.» Police uncovered a similar scam last October where online banners lured readers to submit their cell phone numbers in order to take IQ tests or trace their friends.