Scams with unsolicited apps and paid services: Wind Tre is searched


A illicit business of scams worth millions of euros, to the detriment of hundreds of users of telephone companies, who have been charged for paid services without ever having given their consent to receive them: the Prosecutor of Milan revealed this, which put eleven people under investigation.

Wind Tre’s Rho registered office has been the subject of searches and seizures by the men of the Special Unit for the protection of privacy and technological fraud of the Guardia di Finanza. The magistrates also sent a letter to the Guarantor for communications in relation to the position of Vodafone, Tim and another company.

The scam

According to what has been reconstructed from the surveys, it was enough for consumers visited a website because they found themselves automatically subscribing to a service never requested, which provided for the weekly charge to their telephone account of a sum of money to receive news, horoscopes, weather, gossip, ringtones, videos and other content still.

The technique used is defined “Zero Click”, because the fraudulent subscription was triggered automatically, without even the need to click on advertising banners or other content.

The scam, according to the prosecutor’s findings, did not stop even during the period of the health emergency. They also contributed to the illicit millionaire business activations of VAS services on mobile connections used between machines for data exchange (the “machine to machine”, or M2M), implemented as always without any consent from users.

The investigations

The hypotheses of crime on the Prosecutor’s table are computer fraud against consumers, abusive intrusion into the telematic system and attempted contractual extortion committed by three people, also with managerial roles, of Wind Tre, in competition with aggregators / technological hubs and content service providers (CSP).

Eleven people under investigation, while, according to rumors circulated in these hours, they would have been seized in advance € 12 million to a company based in Rome, Pure Bros Mobile spa: the same company would be investigated for “abusive access to the IT system”. The hypothesis would be that that sum of money derives from the services provided without authorization to customers “of the mobile operators Wind, Tim and Vodafone” at least until 30 October 2019.

Power of attorney: cybercrime “the third problem in the world”

According to Francesco Greco, procurator of the Republic of Milan, “one empowerment of digital platforms used by multiutility companies that allow these situations to proliferate. If no control is placed, an asymmetry of power is created between the huge economic and financial agglomerations and the citizens, who become the object of the worst raids “. And he stressed: “The unsuspecting consumer is exposed to fake sites, which provide fake services”

“I am convinced that the cybercrime and fraud are the real feature of modern crime: after environmental and climate disasters are the third problem in the world“Said the Prosecutor. A problem which, however, “is not perceived as such neither in general culture nor in law enforcement,” added Greco, who strongly wanted the establishment of a fourth department of the Milan investigating magistrate to deal with these crimes, entrusted to the Eugenio Fusco added.

Among the victims of the scam there was the Greek prosecutor, according to what he told in the press conference: some time ago, in fact, he realized he was paying “20 euros per two months for the purchase of games with charge to off shore companies “, Without ever having given their consent. “The only consolation,” he noted, “is that in this type of transaction to the detriment of the consumer there is a lot of democracy“, Given that” it can happen to the public prosecutor of Milan, as to the old man “.

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