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Beware of this phone scam, it can cost you dearly …

A new phone scam supposedly from Orange is trying to keep you on the phone as long as possible to extract money from you, without you even realizing it.

L’UFC-What to choose alerts us to a new rather elaborate phone scam that is currently on the rise. If you are being warned, it is because this scam is based on a vicious technique that can be very difficult to detect.

To fully understand how it works, theUFC-What to Choose tells us the story of Gisèle, an 88-year-old Norman who was had on March 25th. That day, she receives a call from a person posing as an Orange employee, informing her that the operator needs to perform checks on her line. She therefore asks him to call her back. TheUFC-What to Choose explains that, if Gisèle was not wary, it is because the call really seemed to come from Orange. Not only did the person on the line know the terms of their phone subscriptions inside out and didn’t have any specific accent, the request seemed quite legitimate.

“After 40 minutes of waiting, she ended up hanging up, but the person called her back and asked her to stay on the line.” relates his daughter to theUFC-What to Choose. There, Gisèle begins to wonder, but is explained to her that this call is indeed free. “She even scared him by telling him that if she did not do so, they would cut off her phone and television” specifies Gisèle’s daughter.

€ 355 off-package

After several calls made over three days, Gisèle finally discovers the pot aux roses on her telephone bill: € 355 extra for premium rate calls made in Africa. You will understand: the person on the phone was absolutely not an employee of Orange. The aim of the scam was therefore to push the victim to call back a surcharged number as long as possible. To top it off, no recourse is possible withOrange.

How to recognize this scam?

These types of calls are said to proliferate now, mainly from Lesotho, Liberia and Burandi. Their number has even tripled since the start of the health crisis, according to Orange. So how do you spot the scam if it happens to you? First of all, theUFC-What to Choose finds that the calling number usually starts with 00, but it can vary, which is not a reliable indicator. We advise you instead to rely on the testimony below to make your arrangements if the same pattern emerges during a phone call.

As a general rule, always be on your guard when you do not recognize the incoming number. If you are invited to call back a number, do not do so, since it could very well be a premium rate number. Also, avoid redialing missed unknown numbers. Finally, if the request seems really legitimate, go instead through the customer service number of the operator or the company that contacted you. Note that you can also contact your operator to block all premium rate calls, which may well save you future inconvenience.

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