There is a new tool to deactivate unsolicited paid subscriptions: just send a simple text message. Here's how it works
Premium phone subscriptions that are fraudulently activated while surfing the Internet are one of the worst nightmares for users. All it takes is a moment of inattention or a wrong click on an advertisement to find yourself with a couple of euros deducted from your SIM credit and a useless premium service activated on your smartphone. Usually these subscriptions are renewed weekly and if you don't realize you have activated them you risk paying dozens and dozens of euros.
To counter this phenomenon the AGCOM, Authority for the guarantees in communications that for some years now has launched a toll-free number (800.442299) active twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, which allows you to check the presence of active premium services on your number and in case to request the money back. Alternatively, it is possible to call the customer service of your operator and ask for the money back that has been surreptitiously charged. In addition to these two services, since January 20, 2020 another one has been added: now you can immediately cancel your subscription service with a simple SMS. The tool has been designed by AGCOM to make life more difficult for those who try to earn money by activating unsolicited premium services.
How to cancel unsolicited premium subscriptions
The new service designed by AGCOM is very simple to use. If by mistake we have activated a premium telephone service we can deactivate it by replying to the activation message with the word "CANCEL". In this way you immediately deactivate the service and receive your money back. In order to use this procedure, however, you must send the message within six hours of receiving the confirmation SMS.
Alternatively, there are other tools you can use: call the AGCOM toll-free number that allows you to deactivate VAS services (800.442299), or call your operator's customer service and ask for your money back.
To nip in the bud any attempts by fraudsters to activate subscription services, you can ask your operator to activate "SMS barring", a service designed specifically to combat this practice. Each operator has a different procedure to activate SMS barring.