Pretty lady chatline scam baffles boys in blue

Don't let her in she's 'lightly distressed'...

Don't let her in she's 'lightly distressed'...

Police forces are in a pickle as reports continue to surface of an old urban myth involving a well-dressed woman and a premium phone line. The scam involves a "respectable looking woman in a suit who is lightly distressed" calling on the door and asking to use the phone as her car has broken down, according to an advisory note issued to local businesses by Northamptonshire Police. She then calls a £50 per minute premium rate line which her accomplices have set up,
especially for the purpose and drives off, the note says. The next thing the victim hears about it is when their next telephone bill is several hundred pounds larger than it should be. The advisory claims this scam has been reported on five occasions in the Luton area. A silicon.com reader emailed us the warning and asked us to pass it on. However, a spokeswoman for Bedfordshire police said that the scam had not been reported in the urban area, and described the email as "rubbish". "It has been going around for about six months," she said. However, a spokesman for ICSTIS, the independent regulator for premium rate phone lines, pointed out that the maximum tariff on a premium rate phone line was £1.50. He added: "It is an urban myth. If she's a smart businesswoman in a suit she ought to have a mobile phone." "But if there is any good to come out of it, it should remind people to be careful about who they allow to use their telephone."