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OFT uses scam txt to bait potential victims

The Office of Fair Trade is firing on all cylinders to warn people of scams that affect millions (opens in new tab) of UK citizens every year at a cost of about £3.5 billion.

The OFT has been using the radio and other traditional media to propagate their "think and think again" motto and is now turning to text to raise awareness.

Text messages were sent on the 15th of February saying "Urgent! U may have won £1k cash with '2 Good 2 B True' " with a text following up later, explaining the dangers of scam and explaining a brand new service, phonepayplus, which aims at regulating premium services purchased by phone (think ringtones, songs or dating services).

According to the Register (opens in new tab), 18-24 year olds were targeted by the scheme after research showed that 6 percent of scam victims are either aged between 15 and 24.

"Our job is to crack down on scams and other misbehaviour when it occurs so that everyone can use phone-paid services with confidence," says Trays O'Reilly, director of standards and communications at PhonepayPlus.

25,000 young (opens in new tab) people have chosen to receive the marketing text message from the OFT.

One has to wonder though where the original database was sourced.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.