Below is a warning from a Police Crime Prevention Officer in Lancashire Constabulary that is circulating. I imagine most people would be suspicious anyway if they were asked to start keying things into their phone, but it is nevertheless useful to receive specific warning against a known threat.
I believe the warning is genuine, but obviously cannot vouch for that or accept any responsibility. Best regards and seasonal greetings
If you receive a phone call on your mobile from any person, saying that, he or she is a company engineer, or telling you that they're checking your mobile line, and you have to press #90 or #09 or any other number. End this call immediately without pressing any numbers. There is a fraud company using a device that once you press #90 or #09 they can access your "SIM" card and make calls at your expense. Forward this message to as many colleagues, relatives and friends as you can, to stop it.
Many thanks for your time regarding this matter, take care and regards.
Phil Corris, Police Constable/Crime Prevention Officer
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OFFICIAL POLICE RESPONSE:
Firstly to put your mind at ease you're right this is a hoax, the originator of the original email (which was over 15 months ago) assured me the information was correct, so I was obliged to forward it to my contacts. But I made further enquiries with mobile phone providers they told me that electronically the process is not possible, which I also circulated at the time, so therefore as I previously mentioned it is a hoax.
Having said that, what the phone providers did say was to be aware of receiving a text on your mobile giving the impression that it has originated from your mobile phone provider asking if you want a phone upgrade, ring tone or other such service or item for sale. People then contact the number within the text message which is possibly a premium rate telephone number which could be up to a maximum of £9. A web site to check if a telephone number is a premium rate number is www.icstis.org.uk
If anyone wants to upgrade their phone they should contact their provider on a known number obtained from the monthly itemised bill, as for ring tones always read the small print. I'm sure you are aware that identity theft is the current growing crime, never divulge any personal information over the phone, email or post to anyone you are not completely certain. Never be fooled by the subtle phone call purporting to be from your credit card company asking for confirmation of your card details, say 'NO' and contact your credit card company immediately or the letter stating you have won the 'Spanish Lottery', shred and recycle it.
More information regarding identity fraud can be gleaned from the following web site - www.stopidfraud.co.uk - I hope that has answered all your queries, if you do require any further help or advice please do not hesitate to contact me.
Many thanks for your patience in this matter, I must apologise for any inconvenience this has caused I hope that clears up the situation, have a great New Year, take care and regards,
Phil Corris Police Constable/Crime Prevention Officer
End of Police update from Officer dealing with this issue.