Confidence tricksters are using telephone lines to fool computer dealers into paying expensive rates to quote for supplying kit.
Under the latest scam, a company phones dealers and asks for a quote to be sent by fax. The dealer faxes the quote to a permanently engaged number and has to pay BT premium rates for the privilege.
Ken Moorhouse, proprietor of Moorhouse Software Services, said he paid around u25 trying to fax a company called R&D Enterprises for just a few minutes, on a number with an 0897 code. 'I assumed it was a mobile fax number,' he said.
'I am not sure how much they make each time it happens but if you don't watch the machine it could try faxing the number indefinitely.'
Nigerian conmen had contacted Moorhouse in the past with scams reported in PC Dealer during 1994. Moorhouse reported his R&D experience to the independent committee for the supervision of telephone information services (ICTIS), the regulatory body for premium rate telephone services, which is investigating the scam. 'I hope other dealers do not get caught out by this,' he said.
ICTIS' can be contacted on 0800 500212. Readers will be pleased to know that is a free phone number.
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