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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 February 2006, 14:29 GMT
UK in hi-tech fraud firing line
Man at computer
The internet is driving scams
Britons are increasingly being targeted by internet and telephone scams, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has said.

Fraudsters are making greater use of low-cost mass-marketing techniques such as sending spam emails and bogus text messages, the OFT added.

Consumers are estimated to lose about 1bn a year by falling victim to such high-tech scams.

In total nearly six out 10 people have been targeted by such scams recently, an OFT survey suggested.

The results of the OFT survey coincides with the watchdog's scam awareness month.

You should be very wary of replying to internet, magazine and newspaper advertisements without checking exactly who you are dealing with
Susan Monks, Citizens Advice

Phoney psychics

Meanwhile, Citizens Advice has renewed its warnings over a host of phoney psychic scams.

Phoney psychics operate the scam by placing advertisements in newspapers, magazines and the internet and offer to send astrology readings for a fee.

In some instances they try to scare consumers, sending out aggressive letters, suggesting that the recipient will experience some misfortune if they do not respond and send cash.

"You should be very wary of replying to internet, magazine and newspaper advertisements without checking exactly who you are dealing with, what you are buying, how much it costs and what rights you have if something goes wrong," said Susan Marks, spokeswoman for Citizens Advice.

Have you been affected by issues covered in this story? Send us your comments and experiences using the form below.


One of my friends was targeted by an internet dialler and they got a bill of about 200. What the dialler did was that it disconnected you from the net and quickly dialled a premium dial 090 number and this all happened in a couple of seconds so you never got any sort of suspicion that you are serving net through a premium dial number.
Saiyed Asif, St Albans, UK

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