These scams might attract you with an offer for a ‘free’ or low cost ring tone. What you may not realise is that by accepting the offer, you are actually subscribing to a service that will keep sending you ring tones—and charging you a premium rate for them. There are many legitimate companies selling ring tones, but there are also scammers who will try to hide the true cost of taking up the offer.
The scammers don’t tell you that your request for the first ring tone is actually a subscription to an expensive service. A scammer will also make it difficult for you to stop the service. You actually have to ‘opt out’ of the service to stop the ring tones and high charges. Some people have been charged over $100 for what they thought was one ring tone.
If you think the ring tone sounds like a good deal, make sure you know who is making the offer and what the conditions of the offer are. Call your phone company first to check out if the sender is for real. You should also make sure that the ring tone will work on your phone.
Don’t reply to these text messages—even if you only want to ask a question or turn down the offer. If you reply, you could then receive many more similar messages, or even be signed up to the ring tone service automatically.
If you have already been signed up and are receiving unwanted ring tones, reply with the word ‘Stop’. If you are still receiving ring tones, you should report it to your phone company.
If you want a fancy ring tone, find a reputable supplier and make sure you know the cost (upfront and in the future).
Your telephone company may also be able to put a bar on premium rate services to and from your phone (190 phone numbers and 19 SMS and MMS numbers).
If you have been charged money for a ring tone that you did not agree to, you should report it to your phone company and also report the scam through SCAMwatch. We also want to hear about any ring tone offers that you think may be a scam. Spread the word to your friends and family to protect them against these types of scams.