According to a report in the Die Presse newspaper, a woman from the southern Austrian state of Burgenland was hit by a scam which ended up costing her nearly €200.
While on a chat with a Facebook friend, the woman was persuaded to give her mobile telephone number.
She subsequently received a text message, and was told by her 'friend' to respond to the message with the word “yes.”
Unfortunately, the “yes” was taken as acceptance of the right to bill the woman's mobile account with two transactions, each worth €99.99.
Her fraudster assured the woman that participation in the competition was free, and would not incur any costs, but this was of course a lie.
Upon investigation, regional police discovered that the funds were credited to an account with a U.S. bank. Investigations are continuing.
The fraud is based on the fact that premium SMS services exist, and when a fraudulent provider sets up a fake content provider, insufficient controls are in place to prevent this type of abuse.
Facebook users are advised to avoid disclosing personal information, including mobile phone numbers.