0890 Telephone scam

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frank_penny
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0890 Telephone scam

Post by frank_penny » Fri 24 Mar 2017 16:43

A friend, aging and sufering from memory problems, has just been charged €1500 (yes, One thousand five hundred euros) over two months by Orange for calls to an 0890 number!

She is not well, and the thieves (I could easily use stronger language) call her up incessantly and induce her to return the call, then keep her talking on their very expensive 0890 number.

Orange, who are complicit in this fraud, claim they can do nothing - in fact they take the money from our friend's account and pass it on to the fraudsters.

We need to take action against this criminal activity.

Has anyone come up against this? And, in particular, does anyone know of a Notaire who can help reclaim money from Orange taken in such a criminal way?

tia
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Post by tia » Fri 24 Mar 2017 17:09

Notaire will do nothing. You will need a decent lawyer. But as she made the call back to them I doubt very much that your friend will get anywhere as she is responsible for the calls so she will be wasting her money on a solicitor . Why does she not block the calls or just not call any number back she doesn't recognise? Orange doesn't owe anything as they did not force her to make the call. Majority of people know that a 08 number is asking for premium rates . There are also the ones that when you reply they say that you have an appointment and to ring them back, all cons.
Good luck but life is too short to fight battles that cannot be won unfortunately.
If you do find a solicitor that will take the case then I would suggest a no win no fee basis. At least then if they refuse you will kniw your chances of winning are low.

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Post by frank_penny » Fri 24 Mar 2017 17:37

tia wrote:Why does she not block the calls or just not call any number back she doesn't recognise?
Alzheimer's disease.

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Helen
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Post by Helen » Fri 24 Mar 2017 18:43

I don't know much about French consumer protection rights so sorry, can't advise on how to go about recouping the money. Hopefully others can help you out there.

But having battled unwanted, persistent calls to the home of an elderly relative with dementia in the UK, I've learned a bit about how to stop them. So I just tried to see what the options are in France for blocking such calls to try and prevent any more of these scam calls to your friend coming though in the future? Presumably someone could help put it in place?

Orange appears to have something called StopSecret which could be set up in such a way, I think, that only pre-approved callers are let through.

Also an Amazon.fr search on 'appel bloquer' offered several different models of CPR Call Blocker. These are meant to ensure that known troublemaking numbers are blocked.

I'm really sorry this has happened to your friend. Telephone scammers prey on the vulnerable - it makes me livid.

For what it's worth , here in the UK, BT has just brought out Call and Protect. I signed my elderly relative up for it on day one and am delighted to report it works; it does need me to keep an eye on it, but it's blocked about 99% of the rubbish calls that were coming in.

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Post by frank_penny » Fri 24 Mar 2017 19:01

Thanks Helen, I will look into StopSecret.

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Post by Kate » Fri 24 Mar 2017 20:58

Would Orange not accept a doctor's note to prove that this was an exceptional circumstance or am I being too simplistic? Like Helen, it makes me fume, the way these bullies me advantage of the vulnerable.

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Post by frank_penny » Fri 24 Mar 2017 22:12

We have not tried the written contact with Orange yet. I have telephoned the Orange English support service, and while they were "sympathetic" they offered no solution other than to change our friend's telephone number, and register the incoming telephone number (the one that calls to ask our friend to return the call on the premium number) on the French government site "Bloctel".

What a joke! Have a look at the http://www.bloctel.gouv.fr/ site. It allows you to list numbers that Call Centres should not call! Criminals are not noted for checking such a site before calling their prey.

I suggested to the Orange chap that Orange was part of a criminal, scamming operation - after all, it is Orange which has taken €1500 from our friend's account and passed it (minus of course the cut that Orange take) to the criminals. At this point the Orange support chap became evasive.

He did not offer any way of asking Orange to close down the criminal 0890 number, which of course they could easily do. This is why I consider Orange complicit in the crime, and would like to know if anyone else would be able to suggest a Notaire or Avocat who might want to help in stopping this appalling con.

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Abus de faiblesse

Post by Phip3 » Sat 25 Mar 2017 13:11

Hi, Last year I had the fortunate occasion to learn a bit about French consumer law . It seems to work but you need to be persistant . I've just had a look at my contract with Orange : this info is at the end and I'm sure that your friend's will be similar: SEE below *

If you haven't already done so make a note of dates/times/contents of contacts with orange on her behalf. Note and phone orange again: you probably won't get anywhere, but explain the problem again and that they need to stop the calls and make a refund; describe your friend's age and health, and mention that you think that BOTH the 09 caller AND orange are guilty of 'abus de faiblesse'/abuse of weakness. Orange had been told about the problem but continued to profit from it. SEE below **. Assuming you get nowhere write to '*1 Service National Consommateurs' letter by recommandée accusée . If no joy then the médiateur *2 *3.

Also try:DDPP (Direction de la Protection des Populations ex Répression des Fraudes) pour démarchage téléphonique et abus . For adds see : http://www.economie.gouv.fr/dgccrf/coor ... -et-DDCSPP

Does your friend have legal insurance which sometimes comes with house or other insurances. The limits tend to be limited but she could get some free advice. As has been said she needs a lawyer/avocate not a notaire. + There a place in Perpignan where some avocates give free advice : saw it on télé, they seemed to be in a café but can't remember where. I'll see if I can find out . It might come in useful one day !

Consider the local gendarmerie : They helped my very elderly neighbour who gave a cheque for 3000 euros to a cowboy builder . The cheque was cashed but they got the money back for her.

ORANGE: ARTICLE 21. RÈGLEMENT DES LITIGES
21.1 Règlement amiable Le Service Clients Orange s’engage à traiter la réclamation d’un Client dans un délai d’un (1) mois calendaire à
compter de la réception de la réclamation. Si la réponse obtenue ne le satisfait pas, le Client a la faculté de saisir le Service National Consommateurs Orange à l’adresse suivante :

*1 Service National Consommateurs, Orange Internet, 33734 Bordeaux Cedex .

Orange s’engage à traiter la réclamation d’un Client dans un délai d’un mois calendaire à compter de la réception de la réclamation. Après épuisement des recours amiables internes à Orange, le Client est en droit de saisir le médiateur de la téléphonie soit en ligne sur son site :

*2 www.mediateurtelecom.fr, soit par lettre simple à l’adresse suivante :

*3 Médiateur de la Téléphonie
BP 999 75829 Paris Cedex 17
ou le cas échéant la juridiction compétente.
Orange et le Client s’efforceront de régler à l’amiable tout
litige concernant l’interprétation ou l’exécution des présentes.

**http://droit-finances.commentcamarche.n ... definition

Sorry about the length of the reply : Short and straightforward, and French admin don't go together . Good luck.

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Post by Gus Morris » Sat 25 Mar 2017 14:17

There are phones on the market which have a feature that allows blocking of selected types of outgoing calls. For example I found this on a quick internet search. No doubt other manufacturers sell phones with similar features.

http://www.philips.co.uk/c-p/D6052B_05/cordless-phone

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Post by frank_penny » Sat 25 Mar 2017 14:52

Thanks to Phip3 for such detailed advice - I will be following it up.

And thanks also, Gus.

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Post by Phip3 » Sat 25 Mar 2017 15:26

De rien: Post the outcome even if it's after some months . It lets everyone know what works and what doesn't.

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Post by frank_penny » Tue 23 May 2017 18:11

As promised, here is the latest in the story of the despicable fraudsters who trick vulnerable people into calling premium rate telephone numbers and who are then paid by Orange, the company that collects money for the criminals.

As I said, our elderly lady friend, suffering from Alzheimer's disease, was cheated out of approximately €2000 over three or four months by people calling her and getting her to call back on a 0891 number. They then chatted for 30 minutes at a time – all at €1 per minute.

The money was taken by prélevement (direct debit) by Orange until her bank account was emptied. Orange, with all its technical resources, did nothing to raise the alarm when her normal spend of €60 per month went up so alarmingly.

We wrote to Orange, because we thought they were morally, if not legally, implicated in the scam, as it was Orange who took the money to pass on to crooks.

Our letter (sent recommandée avec accusé de reception) was completely ignored by Orange, who cut off her land line telephone and her mobile on the May 1st weekend. Our friend was completely isolated in a mountain village, alone in her house, with no way to contact anyone over the holiday weekend.

When I realised what had happened, I called the Orange English language “serviceâ€￾ - to be told that her complete isolation was nothing to do with them, and the last bill (nearly €650) had to be paid before service would be reconnected. Orange said that the mobile would be reconnected in minutes, but the land line would take 2 days.

I paid with my credit card (they said her card was refused) and I asked when she would be reconnected. Orange said when the account was paid – they said that accepting the payment from my card did not mean that it had been paid, since they had only done an internal check of the card, and promptly hung up!!!

I realised some hours later that the mobile still was not connected and called Orange again, only to be told that there was no record of my payment and I would have to go through the payment process again, which I did. I pleaded with them to expedite the reconnection of the land line – I should have saved my breath!

So much for the disgusting company Orange.


We reported the fraud to the Gendarmerie – this was done on-line, very efficient – and the dossier was sent to the St Genis gendarmerie to give us a date and time to attend and sign the complaint. A week later we got a telephone call from the gendarmerie to say that the amount involved (€2000) was not sufficient for them to become involved!

We made an appointment with an avocat in Perpignan. When we saw the avocat, he said he thought there was nothing we could do, but he would check to see if there had ever been a successful claim made against Orange for acting as the middle man in such an affair. As we left he said that if he had not contacted us within 8 days there was no point in pursuing the matter. Of course, he has not been back in touch.


So, the fraudsters have nothing to fear; Orange will carry on conniving in their activity, taking their cut, and vulnerable people are being duped and robbed without recourse.

In my opinion, unless the law is changed to make service providers responsible if their service is used to cheat people, things will not improve.

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Kate
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Post by Kate » Tue 23 May 2017 21:49

Newspapers? English and French? Make it public.

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Post by russell » Wed 24 May 2017 11:44

I'm afraid this is like locking the stable door etc., for this instance but might help others avoid it:
https://assistance.orange.fr/mobile-tab ... 16#onglet2

Russell

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Post by russell » Wed 24 May 2017 12:02

frank_penny wrote:A week later we got a telephone call from the gendarmerie to say that the amount involved (€2000) was not sufficient for them to become involved!
Perhaps you should point out to them that €2000 is just the tip of a very large iceberg. This is organised crime on a big scale. An example:
http://www.lepoint.fr/justice/escroquer ... 6_2386.php

Russell

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Post by Allan » Wed 24 May 2017 16:59

I agree, the system stinks but Orange would argue that it is the regulator job to control calls and not theirs.

They do offer a free service where certain types of outgoing call are blocked. I know it may be too late for the current problem but could protect your friend in the future.
http://boutique.orange.fr/ESHOP_mx_oran ... 1495637259

I had stop secret for a while but it was a waste of time as is bloctel

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Re posted Managed to mal-click the first time

Post by Phip3 » Sun 28 May 2017 12:50

Hello Frank,
Very sorry to hear update . Can I ask, have you written to the Médiateur ? I'm not surprised by the response from Orange . + The objective of the English speaking service seems to be to generate sales not to resolve problems . The point of writing to orange was to give you evidence to take to the Médiateur and show that you have not been able to reach a mutually agreed solution with Orange. Do not give up . French systems can be, no are, very slow but they tend to work; provided that you don't give up.

Don't forget the DDPP (Direction de la Protection des Populations ex Répression des Fraudes) pour démarchage téléphonique et abus .

66 DDPP des PYRENEES-ORIENTALES,
Immeuble Espadon Voilier
1 bd Kennedy
BP 30988
66020 PERPIGNAN CEDEX

Tél. : 04 68 66 27 00
fax : 04 68 66 27 10
mél : ddpp[@]pyrenees-orientales.gouv.fr

Du lun au jeu : 9h-12h/14h-16h30 (ven 9h-12h)
Accueil spécialisé consommateurs : lun 9h-12h/mer 14h-16h30
Accueil téléphonique du lun au ven : 8h30-12h/14h-18h (ven 17h)

Again don't give up . I had problems with an assureur who sold me insurance policies that I would have never have been able to claim on . Old story: just arrived, very basic French, agent spoke English and it took me a few years to realised that I had been 'mis-sold'. After a very long time, via the médiateur, I got 2K euros back of the 4K euros I'd paid over the years.

Good luck

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