Avoiding premium sms scams


While I wait for Optus to retrieve the $5.45 waala mobivillage scammed from me, why doesn't Optus set the premium sms credit to $0 unless a customer deliberately increases it? I'm betting most customers, like me, don't know they can be scammed up to $200 on the default setting.

Re: Avoiding premium sms scams


Just checked my bill online. Noticed waala tried to hit me 4 times last Thursday, immediately after I lodged a complaint about them. Glad I set my limit to $0. If these guys aren't obviously running an illegal scam, there is something wrong with our telecommunications laws.

Re: Avoiding premium sms scams


Yes, but policians won't change them, unless you swamp them with emails. Meanwhile they are busy pandering to miners and road builders.

Re: Avoiding premium sms scams


Here's an email I sent to my local member. He assures me it was sent to someone in communications. Revise this letter as you see fit, to make it look different.




Dear (Member)


Something more you need to outlaw: Premium SMS scams.


Optus and Telstra are still passing people's mobile numbers to affiliate scammers, who then send premium SMSes, costing $9+ to the unwitting victims. Months later, after the victims wake up, they then waste the TIO and ACCC's time, trying to figure out how they've been scammed.


The victim can be browsing on a junk game site, using a mobile phone, and accidentally put their finger on an advert. This is decreed by Optus and Telstra to be a fair signup to that premium SMS service. The victim never considers the possibility that they have signed up to anything, because they are blissfully ignorant that Optus and Telstra are sending their mobile phone number to the scammer in every web request, using "HTTP header enrichment".


When you get a post paid account with Optus or Telstra, there is no warning that you even have a premium SMS facility.


(1) Contract law must be improved, so that people have a clue that they are signing up to a paid service

(2) People need some control over their account, so they enable "features" like premium SMS, not have it supplied switched on, by default.

(3) It would be great if they were forbidden to send our phone number to anybody outside core administration staff.


Unfortunately, we can never stop them abusing our personal information, because they will just redefine their company structure, to include the scammers into their umbrella, somehow.


ACCC isn't going to do anything about it, because they have no power. They have proven this, time and again.




Re: Avoiding premium sms scams


The $4 would have counted as before you set your limit to $0 (They call it a "subscription" so when you cancel (STOP) the rest of the items come "due" all at once). Good news is getting them confirms they'ev recieved your (or Optus) saying STOP. A refund for all of them should be forth coming over the next week or so and onto your next bill.


I looked into Premium SMS scams and the ACCC took the issue up in a big way about 8 years ago. Back then the scammers bilked people for $100's at a time and refused to refund money. Optus was a big player in that market (not sure today) with financial connections to almost half of all Premium SMS services. The ACCC was effective and the scam has morphed into what we have today (relatively small amounts that are refunded on request). No doubt it still brings in piles of cash as 90%+ of people either don't even notice or don't bother refuting the charges.


Unfortunately the ACCC feels it has solved the issue and doesn't appear to have any interest in trying to shutdown this varient.




Peter Gillespie

Re: MIA Sphere Live


Hi Guys,


I have also got 2 unsolicited bills from MIA Sphere Live both on the 29th of July 2017, and on the 5th of August 2017 - BOTH billed at 2:19AM and BOTH at the amount of $9.08 each.

I have neither heaed of MIA Sphere Live, nor warrented their buisness. Can you please remedy this?


Kind regards,


Re: How do I get a refund from being scammed by this Optus Gamesaine 2 and Prizesaint? What are they


Posted by  


To get your money back, you MUST lodge a online complaint form to the TIO. The TIO will force Optus to take action and have your issue resolved by a certain date(most likely 2 weeks). FYI I had lodged one last night and just got my money back today. 


All the best people ☺️


After being assured by Optus that 1. they would block the number and 2. would issue a refund. They have done neither. I have now got more of these bloody Gamesaine 2 rubbish turned up on my account Friday. It is for calling a help line number on a data only sim!!


I have lodged a TIO complaint against them just now.


This is beyond a joke.

Re: MIA Sphere Live


Hey there @Nat47, we're here to help out!

You can find our page on this HERE for a bit more info on the charges, if you can also PM me with your account number, full name and DOB we'd be happy to check it out for you. 

I’m part of the Yes Crowd team, employed by Optus to help run our online community. This guide explains how everything works on here and you should also check out our Community Guidelines.

Did we answer your question? Please mark it as a Accepted Solution and be generous with that Kudos button Smiley Happy

Re: MIA Sphere Live


I have just received a bill with these guys listed....

What is the story? I am very careful with my mobile and providing my details.  How is this legal and where did they get my details? It is for only $6 which would normally be undetected on my account but how many other people are being frauded without even knowing.


How can I prevent this and I restate.... How did they get my number?

Re: MIA Sphere Live


Hey @Harcourt, sounds like you've incurred some Premium Content charges, you can find more info on this HERE.

Happy to take a look at these charges for you a little closer, please PM me with your mobile number, full name and DOB.

We can raise a dispute with the carrier regarding the charges and set your spend level to $0 - this ensures no further charges are incurred Smiley Happy 

I’m part of the Yes Crowd team, employed by Optus to help run our online community. This guide explains how everything works on here and you should also check out our Community Guidelines.

Did we answer your question? Please mark it as a Accepted Solution and be generous with that Kudos button Smiley Happy
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