Sex, lies and phone bills

OECD Observer

Imaginative fraudsters have been quick to use the web to turn a dishonest penny. In one case investigated by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), consumers were duped into making costly international telephone calls in a bid to ward off bills for goods they had not actually ordered. The scammers sent thousands of consumers an e-mail message thanking them for their order for goods priced at between $250 and $899 dollars, and informing them that their credit cards would be billed accordingly. The recipients were further perplexed when they found that the return address on the e-mail did not work. So they rushed to telephone the customer complaint number given in the e-mail.

But the calls went through to a number in Dominica, West Indies, and connected up to an adult entertainment audiotext service. The consumers later received bills for costly calls to Dominica. The owner of the phone number would simply recoup part of the call charge. The FTC acted on consumers’ complaints to block money for the calls being sent to Dominica, but was unable to identify immediately those responsible.

©OECD Observer March 2001 

Economic data

GDP growth: -9.8% Q2/Q1 2020 2020
Consumer price inflation: 1.3% Sep 2020 annual
Trade (G20): -17.7% exp, -16.7% imp, Q2/Q1 2020
Unemployment: 7.3% Sep 2020
Last update: 10 Nov 2020

OECD Observer Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Digital Editions

Don't miss

Most Popular Articles

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2020