What is this scam about? Has a stranger asked to use your phone?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 14, 2015 10:15 PM GMT
    In another thread MMTM wrote:

    "Such an odd trend lately that I see happening is that people who look decently dressed and have it together yet point blank ask me if they can make a call using my mobile phone. I never lend my Samsung Galaxy smartphone to some perfect stranger who might attempt to steal it or accidentally damage my phone."

    I've also seen a fat man with a toddler child do this. He explains that his phone battery has died and he needs to call his wife.

    Seems reasonable and he's fat and with a small child----so he's not going to run.

    BUT you will get quite a charge on your next phone statement if you do loan him your phone.

    How does this work? Anyone know?
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    Aug 14, 2015 10:25 PM GMT
    I've seen this in Atlanta a few times recently. And it's always a reasonably dressed person or someone who looks unlikely to run.

    Apparently there are numbers they can dial to incur a huge charge for the phone owner.
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    Aug 14, 2015 10:30 PM GMT
    ^^ What numbers are you referring to? The only ones I can think of is if the person dials an international phone number and the cell owner doesn't have an international plan.
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    Aug 14, 2015 10:33 PM GMT
    ^^Yes, I think that's it...but I don't know.
    Thus my question to RJ's savviest.
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    Aug 14, 2015 10:41 PM GMT
    FitnessWorker saidI've seen this in Atlanta a few times recently. And it's always a reasonably dressed person or someone who looks unlikely to run.

    Apparently there are numbers they can dial to incur a huge charge for the phone owner.


    But whats the point? Do they get anything from doing that?
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    Aug 14, 2015 11:48 PM GMT
    I borrow phones to text Will Grant...he's blocked me.
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    Aug 15, 2015 1:33 AM GMT
    I haven't heard of this scam, but I also don't lend my phone to anyone I don't know. Then again, I also don't give money to beggars at intersections.
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    Aug 15, 2015 7:29 AM GMT
    It could be legit for legit reasons. But it could also be for criminal reasons. Criminals could use your phone as a signal to another person, like for a drug drop off.

    Or it could be that they're just collecting phone numbers. And maybe sell to telemarketers. Or some other phone based scam.

    Whatever the case, I never let strangers use my phone. I just tell them I'm expecting a call from someone.
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    Aug 15, 2015 1:15 PM GMT
    David666k said
    FitnessWorker saidI've seen this in Atlanta a few times recently. And it's always a reasonably dressed person or someone who looks unlikely to run.

    Apparently there are numbers they can dial to incur a huge charge for the phone owner.


    But whats the point? Do they get anything from doing that?


    It sounds like a variation of this scam, but without the scammer having to deal with the inconvenience and additional risk of actually stealing your phone (plus, he doesn't have to worry about your phone being locked either):

    The £3.5bn mobile phone theft racket: Beware crooks who run up vast bills calling premium rate lines on your stolen mobile - leaving YOU counting the cost

    Within a few minutes of taking the phone, the criminals call one of these premium lines, which are controlled by middlemen. Every minute the line is connected, both take a cut from the charges they run up.

    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-2839935/The-3-5bn-mobile-phone-theft-racket-Beware-crooks-run-vast-bills-calling-premium-rate-lines-stolen-mobile-leaving-counting-cost.html
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Aug 15, 2015 7:04 PM GMT
    Only once have I lent someone my cell phone. I was riding my bicycle near a freeway. A woman slowly stopped her car, got out, and climbed the wall. I asked her whether she needed to make a phone call since it was obvious that her car had failed her. She borrowed my phone and offered to pay me for the call but I refused and told her that I was glad to help.

    Surely there are situations where a person in distress needs to make a phone call and it is reasonable to help.
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    Aug 16, 2015 2:10 AM GMT
    Having heard where a lot of guys use their phones, the bacterial danger is to the person borrowing the phone.
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    Aug 17, 2015 12:52 AM GMT
    Easy fix: if it's an emergency, make the call yourself. Ask for the number. Why give your phone to a stranger?
  • FRE0

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    Aug 17, 2015 2:30 AM GMT
    mickeytopogigio saidEasy fix: if it's an emergency, make the call yourself. Ask for the number. Why give your phone to a stranger?


    Wonderful idea. Surely it would always work. All I have to do is learn Spanish so if a stranger in distress needs to call someone who speaks only Spanish I will be able to converse with him.
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    Aug 17, 2015 2:56 AM GMT
    FRE0 said
    mickeytopogigio saidEasy fix: if it's an emergency, make the call yourself. Ask for the number. Why give your phone to a stranger?


    Wonderful idea. Surely it would always work. All I have to do is learn Spanish so if a stranger in distress needs to call someone who speaks only Spanish I will be able to converse with him.


    This is Texas. Everyone speaks Spanish. And my phone has that Google thing. Also 311 is bi-lingual here.
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    Aug 17, 2015 4:07 AM GMT
    FRE0 said
    mickeytopogigio saidEasy fix: if it's an emergency, make the call yourself. Ask for the number. Why give your phone to a stranger?


    Wonderful idea. Surely it would always work. All I have to do is learn Spanish so if a stranger in distress needs to call someone who speaks only Spanish I will be able to converse with him.

    Pretty much all modern smartphones have a speakerphone function. Just dial the number for the person, and put it in speakerphone mode and hold the phone while they converse. Easy.
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    Aug 19, 2015 1:46 AM GMT
    Ex_Mil8 said
    David666k said
    FitnessWorker saidI've seen this in Atlanta a few times recently. And it's always a reasonably dressed person or someone who looks unlikely to run.

    Apparently there are numbers they can dial to incur a huge charge for the phone owner.


    But whats the point? Do they get anything from doing that?


    It sounds like a variation of this scam, but without the scammer having to deal with the inconvenience and additional risk of actually stealing your phone (plus, he doesn't have to worry about your phone being locked either):

    The £3.5bn mobile phone theft racket: Beware crooks who run up vast bills calling premium rate lines on your stolen mobile - leaving YOU counting the cost

    Within a few minutes of taking the phone, the criminals call one of these premium lines, which are controlled by middlemen. Every minute the line is connected, both take a cut from the charges they run up.

    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-2839935/The-3-5bn-mobile-phone-theft-racket-Beware-crooks-run-vast-bills-calling-premium-rate-lines-stolen-mobile-leaving-counting-cost.html



    Thanks, Ex Mil8!
    YES, this is it from what I've found elsewhere too.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 19, 2015 4:48 AM GMT
    I don't lend out my phone anymore. Last time I did that the chicks male friend kept calling me at two in the morning saying she owed him money and that since I was her man he was going to sue me.