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News : Travel Firms Hit by 070 Call Centre Scam
July 18, 2014 -- Travel firms have been warned to not call back any clients on premium line 070 numbers after a number of firms were targeted by fraudsters.
Travel industry anti-fraud group PROFiT has highlighted the scam in its latest alert. It is believed around six firms have reported falling victim to the scam.
The perpetrators call their victims on mobile phones pretending to be interested in a holiday, often a complex group booking, and ask to be called back on the 070 number.
These telephone numbers appear to be normal, says PROFiT, but can cost up to 65p per minute from BT lines.
PROFiT chairman Barry Gooch said: "The calls tend to be people asking for a package holiday or a group booking worth around £1,500 to £2,000.
"They are plausible enough to get the call centre staff to call them back. The best advice is to refuse to call anyone back on an 070 number."
The fraudsters try to keep the travel firm employee on the line for as long as possible to rack up the cost of the call.
The fraud was highlighted on the Facebook page Travel Gossip by Vicky Douslazis, whose profile does not say who she works for but says she is based in Athens.
She said her office has received two calls from clients who asked them to call them back and then either kept them on hold or go over details again and again.
Ofcom states the following about 070 telephone numbers:
"These are different from mobile numbers and calls to them are more expensive. They can be used as a "follow me" service where calls are diverted from another number. Small businesses and sole traders use them to make it easy to manage calls.
"Personal numbers are also sold on a one-off basis, for example when someone is buying or selling a used car and doesn’t want to advertise their private mobile or fixed line number on a website or magazine.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, July 21, 2014