Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nasty side of facebook applications

I saw a rather nasty application on facebook today. It looked rather innocent at first, just a harmless IQ test that someone could take and possibly compare scores with friends. However there was a tiny bit of small print which I almost missed, it read:
Subscription service 4 items/ week, €2.50 per item + €2.50 to join. 18+. SP MTL 015260014. To unsubscribe txt stop to 57151

After being asked 10 general knowledge questions, I was then asked to submit my telephone number. I guess if I had done so then they would have taken €10 from my mobile phone account each week until I noticed. I reckon I'd prefer it if they would just mug me. There is a certain integrity of purpose about mugging which these quiz masters lack.

I'm certain that the scores of my friends which were displayed were not genuine results. In particular if the quiz just asks ten general knowledge questions, how could my friends possibly end up with scores such as 132, 126, 121, 116 and 109. I've asked one of my friends whom it was claimed took the test, she assures me that she did not.

If you want to see a version of the scam,click here.

If this is not currently illegal, then the law needs to be changed. As it stands now, plenty of people will do a one off quiz online and then for the rest of their lives the cheats will steal 10 euro per week from them.

I'd strongly encourage anyone affected to lodge a complaint with the Irish Consumer Agency, start by clicking here. Note the company behind the scam is Blinck United Ltd, The Digital Hub, 4 St Catherines Lane West, Dublin 8.

I'd define a scam to be a business where a majority of the customers would not have proceeded with the transaction if all the relevant facts were made clear to them before hand. Using that definition, this is clearly a scam. However that definition can't be used in a law.

I wonder are new regulations required to stop cheats like Celldorado?

I'm really interested to know, do they confirm ownership of a mobile before the mobile account is charged? For example, if I asked local politician to help me and he did nothing, then could I go to the celldorado scam site and then sign-up for a couple dozen services under a made-up name but using the politician's mobile number? Even if the politician's mobile is paid for by the state, I'm sure he would eventually notice a mobile phone bill in the thousands of euro per month. That might just prompt them to bring in some new regulations. Needless to say, I couldn't possibly condone such a strategy.


  1. thank you for your post. I have just realized that they have taken more than 50 euro from my account. I will never again give my phone to anyone. :(

  2. I'm really interested to know, did celldorado confirm ownership of your mobile before you were billed?

    Nasty cheats like celldorado only get away with it because we let them and they really poison things for so many people. In an ideal world, it would be perfectly safe to give out your mobile phone number. But it is an attainable goal. If we take a bit of action right now we can stop celldorado. The honest majority need to stand up to the cheats and make the internet and indeed the world a nicer place to be.

  3. Is there anyway to erase it from your phone? I am shocked+distraught!

  4. According to the celldorado.com site, for Irish mobiles, you need to send a text to 57151 with the word 'STOP'.

    I wonder how much you'll be charged for sending the text?

  5. Thiefes!!! Be carefull on this site...

  6. I seldom use this phone or number, only in emergencies. Today was one of those. My daughter went into premature labour while shopping. I tok this phone with me. I received several text messages that I assumed were sent to the wrong number and I deleted them. As best I recall one of them said "Hi Piggy". I had around EURO 37 credit on the phone and checked it to make sure I had enough for all the calls I might have to make. I was shocked to find only EURO 14 left. When the next text came in I read it in full and sent the STOP text to 57151. I have NEVER subscribed to this service and I believe I have been ROBBED. I will be contacting the Communications Regulator if this is not resolved.Caller: WSBEER.SPMTL and www.celldorado.com