The Balearic government's consumer department has issued a warning about the companies which make use of a 906 telephone number to swindle mobile phone owners, telling them that they have won a prize in order to keep them on the phone for as long as possible. Miguel Angel Cabeza, the director general of consumer affairs, announced yesterday that not only is the matter being investigated, it will also be referred to the public prosecutor's office. The consumer office has received 20 complaints in the past few days. Mobile users find a message saying that they have won a cash prize but to claim it they must ring a number which is presented as though it were not 906, which is charged at a higher rate than normal calls. The operator then keeps the caller on line for as long as possible, without informing him/her of the cost per minute, and asking stupid questions such as “at what time of day did Pinocchio's nose grow?” The consumer office has already identified some of these companies, which are based on the Peninsula. In five cases, the calls have been about jobs or about sexual services. The consumer office has also received a complaint from an Internet user who claimed that on entering a pornographic website he was automatically connected with a 906 line without being informed. The complaints are being investigated in collaboration with the telecommunications market committee.


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