Beware helpline sites charging premium rates

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GOOGLE users are being warned to watch out for bogus websites claiming to list Government helpline numbers, which are actually premium rate.

Watchdog PhonepayPlus says websites have emerged which appear to offer information services from the government or High Street retailers. But the numbers provided can cost up to £1.53-a-minute.

Using search engine marketing, these websites can be among the first sites listed when people search for contact numbers.

PhonepayPlus issued the warning following an adjudication in which two companies, Customer Service Contact Numbers and Customer Service Numbers, were fined £50,000 each for failing to make the price of calling premium rate numbers clear.

Premium rate numbers generally begin with 09 prefix.