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Telephone rip-offs: Federal Network Agency takes action against thousands of phone numbers

According to a media report this year, the Federal Network Agency has already banned or switched off thousands of telephone numbers for rip-offs from consumers. The Düsseldorf Rheinische Post (RP) reported on Thursday, citing an internal report by the authority, which is also available to the German Press Agency.

According to this, more than 8,500 numbers were “banned from billing and collection”, and disbursement bans were imposed on around 4,000 numbers. 700 numbers were switched off. As a rule, customers would then not have to pay anything for the call, reported the newspaper. The initiator of prohibited advertising calls or improperly used calls do not receive any money.

As the newspaper reported, so far more than 35,000 complaints about SMS phishing messages have been received. Under a pretext, it asked to click an Internet link that would then lead to the download of malware. According to the report, mobile devices in all German mobile networks were affected. The authority warns not to click on such links.

Fax machines were also the target of unwanted advertising in 2021, so that the Federal Network Agency had to take stronger action than in the previous year. The authority would have received more than 14,000 complaints. The focus was on shady advertising for corona rapid tests and masks for self-protection, it says in the report of the RP. Correspondingly, the Federal Network Agency imposed “prohibition orders with coercive payments” which, according to the authorities, were effective.

According to the Federal Network Agency, the shutdown of a total of 530 numbers was ordered in 2020 due to number misuse. In addition, billing and collection bans have been issued for around 5500 phone numbers, the network agency said on request from the dpa.


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