Home » Value-added services scams for TIM subscribers, 320 million euros seized

Value-added services scams for TIM subscribers, 320 million euros seized

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Value-added services scams for TIM subscribers, 320 million euros seized

There is a development on the huge “value added services” scam the first traces of which date back to 2018. The first tranche of investigations involved WindTre subscribers, this second those of TIM; in the last few hours the Guardia di Finanza issued a seizure warrant for almost 322 million euros belonging to five European companies (with offices in Italy and Spain) which provided the so-called “VAS” (from the English Value-Added Service) – those delicious services that send ringtones, horoscopes, news and many other contents of questionable quality in exchange for a rather high monthly or weekly subscription, which in most cases the user had not consciously requested.

There are a total of 20 suspects in this second round of investigations, some of whom were TIM employees at the time of the events. 250 million of the seized euros were frozen in TIMwhich however is not investigated (although this does not mean that things will not change as the matter evolves).

According to the investigations, the trap was very dangerous, and in the peak period of activity, between 2017 and 2020, it led to approximately 30-40,000 unwanted activations of monthly or weekly subscriptions per day. The victim just had to visit the wrong (or right, depending on your point of view) site with their smartphone to find themselves subscribed to. And sometimes it wasn’t even possible to appeal to the user’s error/recklessness: even several “machines” (in the sense of SIMs and devices used only for communication with other devices, without any human interaction) fell victim to the fraudulent operation .

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As we were saying, 250 million are seized from TIM, while the rest is distributed as follows:

8.6 million to Engineering Engineering Informatica SPA 7.9 million to Reply SPA 1.12 million to Bordebuzz 1.43 million to Digirain 10,000 euros to Federico Marchetto, a TIM employee at the time 53.9 million euros to Telecoming SG

TIM declared itself surprised by the order to freeze the figure, and is confident that things will be clarified as quickly as possible. However, it is not impossible that some of the responsibility will be placed on her: the first tranche of investigations had concerned the illicit activations of WindTre customers, and although it too had not been investigated at first, now, while the actual trial is taking place, the prosecution cites it as civilly liable, because some of his former employees (managers, specifically) are accused in the affair. However, the trial is still ongoing and a sentence has not been reached.

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