Easycom, Tework, Allround: Phone sex scam from the Czech Republic

Reading time: 5 minutes

Time and again, consumers contact the European Consumer Centre Germany to pay for telephone sex.

In most cases, the bills and reminders come from alleged companies from the Czech Republic: e.g. Tework or Allround.

In the beginning, an amount of 90 euros is demanded, later with reminders and late payment fees of up to more than 500 euros.

People should not be intimidated and should not pay.

Telephone sex trap still going strong

Update: 17.07.2023

  • Victims are contacted by up to three different companies (telephone sex service provider, supposed debt collection agency or debt management company) and receive several reminders.
  • Consumers are deliberately put under pressure and urged to pay. Our advice: Do not pay the bill!
  • The bills can amount to more than €500.
  • The companies keep changing their SMS numbers, making it impossible to contact them.

Telephone sex scams: how can I protect myself?

The first sign of a rip-off is that you are not addressed by name, but with "Sehr geehrte(r) Telefonanschlussinhaber(in)" (Dear Telephone Connection Owner). In addition, the full sender's address is usually missing or the recipient's details are misspelled.

If you receive unjustified payment requests and reminders, you should not be intimidated and immediately object in writing.

Be careful not to give out any additional personal data (for example, if the company does not yet have your postal address, you should not give it out either).

Do not pay for services you have not used! 

If you get stuck, contact us. We will advise you free of charge.

Use our sample text as a template for your appeal email: Musterbrief-Betrug-Telefon-Hotline (14 KB).

[Only give information that the other person already knows]

 

Your name

Street & House number

Postcode / City

Deutschland

 

Company XY

Street & House number

Postcode / City

Country
 

 

Datum: ...........

 

Ihre unberechtigte Forderung – Referenz (Ihr Zeichen: / Telefonanschluss: ) [Give reference number and telephone number]

 

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

 

die Forderung gegen mich ist unbegründet.

Daher fordere ich Sie auf, die Forderungs- und Mahnschreiben sofort einzustellen und die Rechnung zu stornieren.

Die schriftliche Bestätigung der Ausbuchung teilen Sie mir bitte bis spätestens xx.xx.xxxx [enter the date by which you wish to receive confirmation] mit.

Da die Forderung unrechtmäßig ist, werden weitere Schreiben Ihres Unternehmens erfolglos bleiben.

 

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Your name

Beware of alleged reminders and invoices

The bills and reminders are often sent by post, then by SMS or WhatsApp.

The letters either discreetly refer to an "Service für Erwachsene" (adult service) or specifically talk about a "Telefonsexdienstleistung" (telephone sex service) or "Service für besondere sexuelle Ansprüche" (service for special sexual demands).

The date and time of the alleged call are also stated. However, the telephone number called is not mentioned.

Example: False reminders from a Czech company

In a letter, a consumer is asked for 140 euros. One month later, in a text message, it is suddenly 198 euros.

With phrases like „Vermeiden Sie weitere Maßnahmen“ (avoid further action), those affected are deliberately made afraid.

Calls not made do not have to be paid for

If you did not make a call, you do not have to pay.

The same applies if the number was dialled but you hung up immediately or the call went to voicemail.

If you have actually used the service, you will only have to pay the cost shown on your phone bill.

Important

In the case of financial claims, companies must always be able to prove the basis of the claim. This is not possible in the cases described.

How do the scammers get consumers' addresses and phone numbers?

Some victims have reported receiving calls asking for their address for a supposed parcel delivery.

Victims have also reported 'barring calls', where the phone rings for a short time. Out of curiosity, consumers have called back and given their details.

Others have responded to newspaper advertisements.

To protect yourself from identity theft or fraud, hang up immediately if you receive an unsolicited call.

New company names all the time

The scam is well known. The companies are often based in the Czech Republic. New company names are constantly being added.

Victims should not be surprised if the reminder suddenly comes from a different company.

You can find the names that stand out in our list:

  • Allround
  • Arvex
  • Avotex
  • Comera
  • Easycom
  • Innova Inkasso
  • Phonemax
  • Kawora
  • Madaco
  • Mediascape
  • Mexcom
  • Novacall
  • Repay
  • Revast
  • Telesmart
  • Telpay
  • Telstar
  • Tework
  • Werso

Digression: Third party block protects against subscription traps

It can happen that amounts are suddenly collected via the mobile phone bill of the mobile phone provider.

To prevent this, you can have a so-called "Drittanbietersperre" (third-party provider block) set up free of charge. This protects you from subscription traps.

Expensive subscriptions can be caused by accidentally tapping on an advertising banner or a competition.

Once the block has been set up, third-party providers can no longer automatically collect services via the mobile phone bill.

The third-party provider block can be applied for in writing, by telephone or via the customer portal of the mobile phone provider.

But be careful: The block also affects active subscriptions that are supposed to be billed via the mobile phone bill, for example music subscriptions.

These would then have to be paid by other means. Some mobile phone providers also offer a partial block that only applies to certain offers.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.