Confused88
Level 1: Cadet

TOPIKOO SCAM

Answered

After finish reading an article through tweeter via my mobile, I received a mobile message about my subscription to TOPIKOO @ 6.90/wk!!!  Realising this may be scam, I immediately deleted the message.  Am I safe from any unauthorised charges? I completed a personality test at the end of the article.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being
Accepted Solution

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Pretty much once the message is deleted, it is gone, however you could try calling the Topikoo, looks like their contact details are:
1300 724 406
support.au@digitalturbine.com

https://crowdsupport.telstra.com.au/t5/Billing-Payments-KB/Premium-SMS-and-Telstra-Carrier-Billing/t...

- They are listed under the group MIA (Digital Turbine) and hopefully they will be able to cancel the subscription for you remotely Smiley Happy
Helpful Links

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Previously worked with a Telstra Partner however I am not a Telstra Employee, just a fellow customer helping when I can.

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41 REPLIES
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

in the message was likely a "Message STOP to 13xxxx" bit, if you didn't message stop, it is possible that the subscription is active...
Helpful Links

Internet not working or outage in your area? - Check the Outage page for details and troubleshooting.
Help with an account issue? - LiveChat 24x7 support
View Usage, Bills and more - Check it out on MyAccount

Previously worked with a Telstra Partner however I am not a Telstra Employee, just a fellow customer helping when I can.

Confused88
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Not wanting to aggravate the situation, I deleted the message instead.  How do I retrieve the message?

Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being
Accepted Solution

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Pretty much once the message is deleted, it is gone, however you could try calling the Topikoo, looks like their contact details are:
1300 724 406
support.au@digitalturbine.com

https://crowdsupport.telstra.com.au/t5/Billing-Payments-KB/Premium-SMS-and-Telstra-Carrier-Billing/t...

- They are listed under the group MIA (Digital Turbine) and hopefully they will be able to cancel the subscription for you remotely Smiley Happy
Helpful Links

Internet not working or outage in your area? - Check the Outage page for details and troubleshooting.
Help with an account issue? - LiveChat 24x7 support
View Usage, Bills and more - Check it out on MyAccount

Previously worked with a Telstra Partner however I am not a Telstra Employee, just a fellow customer helping when I can.

Confused88
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

A charge of $6.90 appeared on my bill!

I managed to send STOP message just now and immediately received a reply saying my subscription to Topikoo has been terminated....

I sincerely hope they mean what they said.

I could not believe that Telstra is allowing such impromptu deduction.  There must be so many innocent people inadvertently trapped in such situation.

Thanks very much for your response and the authority concerned must certainly look into this.

 

 

Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

It is a service which most if not all carriers in Australia do offer, however you can opt out of it, they are treated like premium SMS (when you enter contests and such).

Telstra by default do have a limit on all accounts on how much can be taken, but it can be reduced to $0/m on your request, then it can't happen again Smiley Happy you'd just need to have a word with the billing or sales team and request that premium SMS be turned off on your account.
Helpful Links

Internet not working or outage in your area? - Check the Outage page for details and troubleshooting.
Help with an account issue? - LiveChat 24x7 support
View Usage, Bills and more - Check it out on MyAccount

Previously worked with a Telstra Partner however I am not a Telstra Employee, just a fellow customer helping when I can.

em_76
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Did you text them with the stop message? If so, do you have the number? I just got scammed by these people too!
NeddyP89
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

I just got hit with this stupid scam as well as after an article from Facebook Smiley Sad I immediately send STOP the the required number seconds after receiving my subscription SMS. Will I still get hit with the charge $6.90?
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Topikoo scam

you shouldn't if it was straight away... but it depends on topikoo
Helpful Links

Internet not working or outage in your area? - Check the Outage page for details and troubleshooting.
Help with an account issue? - LiveChat 24x7 support
View Usage, Bills and more - Check it out on MyAccount

Previously worked with a Telstra Partner however I am not a Telstra Employee, just a fellow customer helping when I can.

pasco
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Yes you will be charged.. I did it 2 seconds after receiving the message and got billed for $6.90 . I read an artical on Facebook about baking a cake! Didn't even supply my number????

For those needing it the number to opt out is as in this text I got:

FreeMsg: Welcome to Topikoo subscription costs $6.90/wk charged to your mobile account. Opt-out send STOP to 19789069 HELP:1300363847
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

They can embed code into mobile app links which grabs the mobile number if it is shared with the Facebook app.
Helpful Links

Internet not working or outage in your area? - Check the Outage page for details and troubleshooting.
Help with an account issue? - LiveChat 24x7 support
View Usage, Bills and more - Check it out on MyAccount

Previously worked with a Telstra Partner however I am not a Telstra Employee, just a fellow customer helping when I can.

pasco
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Thanks.. The conflict cling thing is that I don't have my phone number linked to my FB account. Could be my gmail account maybe? Anyway it is still pretty shonky, surely the telecom ombudsman or another agency can have a crack about that type of behavior. It's a registerd company and its practices can't be legal!
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

They aren't meant to do it without your true permission... Which certainly doesn't include you clicking a link without awareness. You can report them to the ACCC but a little outside the TIO.

And you don't have to have the mobile number in Facebook, if in your phones own settings it is sharing the number to The Facebook app it can then use it to embed into links and other services.
Helpful Links

Internet not working or outage in your area? - Check the Outage page for details and troubleshooting.
Help with an account issue? - LiveChat 24x7 support
View Usage, Bills and more - Check it out on MyAccount

Previously worked with a Telstra Partner however I am not a Telstra Employee, just a fellow customer helping when I can.

pasco
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Brilliant thanks for your advice.. I will be sure to be in contact with the ACCC.
AlanLatch
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Apparently clicking on a Banner is a reason for Topikoo with Telstra as an willing accomplice to charge a fee of 

$6.90 per week for a service I'm unaware I received. The subsequent message from Topikoo advising me to message "stop" or ring a 1300 number I regarded as SPAM but did send the stop mesage. To no avail as after 3 weeks I'd accumulated $20 of charges on my Telstra account from a Company I'd never heard of. They did message me the same "stop" message each week but by then I regarded it as definately SPAM. I have lodged a complaint with the company, spoken to one of their reps and hope that they will reverse the charge otherwise I intend to refer it to the NSW Office of Fair Trading. I'm surprised that a Company of the stature of Telsra would have anything to do with such a shonky practice. I have since been advised by Telstra that my "third party charges" have been "turned off", who turned it on and what the hell is it? 

 

Pissed off Telstra customer.

Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Third party billing is on by standard, it is limited by default, but is turned on...

It covers everything from premium sms which is like the competition sms they have or the voting lines for your TV shows, through to charging Google play purchases on a android device back to your account, and again through to these sorts of subscription services...

These sorts of services are themselves within the law and above board, however it is the underhanded tactics utilised by some of the providers which is the problem.
Helpful Links

Internet not working or outage in your area? - Check the Outage page for details and troubleshooting.
Help with an account issue? - LiveChat 24x7 support
View Usage, Bills and more - Check it out on MyAccount

Previously worked with a Telstra Partner however I am not a Telstra Employee, just a fellow customer helping when I can.

ElevenEleven
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Same just happened to me then. Scrolled through Facebook, clicked an article and boom.... sms saying I have "subscribed" to this which I hadn't even heard of. I did not click anything besides the article and my phone number is not even linked to facebook. I spent 1 hr exactly on the phone waiting for Telstra "24/7" (which it told me would be 20 minutes wait) to be put through to Foxtel! She said I had been put through to them because the section that looks after Telstra billing have all gone home! I previously checked my bill and I have been charged $6.90 the second I received that unwanted subscription sms which I did not accept, and another 25c when I replied STOP. I hope to god that replying really does stop this service that I did not request the pleasure of....
Mir1
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

The Topikoo scam is facilitated by a company called 1300support.com who have an office on Miller St.  How this happens is - You are surfing online, and click a 'next' button.  Under this is actually a subscribe button and you immediately get a text from Topikoo saying you have subscribed.  If you try to dispute you are routed to 1300support.com

They will tell you that you have to email an address to raise the dispute, and then they may refund you via cheque.  1300support.com are able to organise the refund over the phone without the email - but you have to argue to get it.  They are the ones that own the software that applies you to the subscription, and they don't follow the rules. 

And they are well aware of how they are scamming people - when I called them out on the first call they hung up.  I had to continually ring, until they realised I wasn't going away.

This market scam is against the law in Europe but I'm not sure of the law in Australlia.  Normally there should be a validation service, and at the very least, Telstra should validate it by asking you to log in to confirm your purchase but they don't.

Telstra - I think you need to apply some security at the very least on this - This scam is well documented worldwide, but they will keep doing it if they gain $6 each time they snare someone.

As many people as possible should complain to NSW Fair Trading about 1300support.com and also Topikoo and Digital Turbines as they are all made-up companies pushing market scam subscriptions.

Shugr
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

One other thing to note. You can get your service provider to block premium SMS, however when you move to a new plan it goes back to default settings so you have to ask for premium SMS to be blocked. Again.

darac
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Just had this happen to me. Called Telstra straight away and they blocked premium services, contacted Tipikoo on my behalf to cancel the subscription and indicated that they would automatically refund any charges from this service if they appear on my bill. I have a reference number and confirmation email. Fingers crossed no further calls to Telstra are required.




CrazyJoeDevola
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Why are 3rd party payments through my Telstra account even allowed and can I disable 3rd party payments alltogether?

I tried to stop the Topikoo payments before by calling Telstra, asking to block, getting the SMS, the whole shebang - it did not work. I am still being charged :-(

 

Telstra should block this Topikoo for all their customers as it is obviously a scam. Just like certain emails senders are known to be junk mail of phishing. Just like some online retailers are red-flagged with my bank and when the bank sees a credit card transaction from those sites - they alert the customer. Telstra should have the same thing.

 

And there should be an option to block the option for 3rd party payments altogether.

 

 

Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

If you only changed it in the last billing cycle it would have changed only after you requested it meaning that it would only apply to requests after that meaning the charges might have already been charged before the change.

Also half the problem is that it all comes down to like 5 big companies with many little company's, and they are all approved businesses registered with the relevant organisations. So as far as legality they are technically above board on the business side... It is the practices which are debatable and at the very least morally bankrupt.
Helpful Links

Internet not working or outage in your area? - Check the Outage page for details and troubleshooting.
Help with an account issue? - LiveChat 24x7 support
View Usage, Bills and more - Check it out on MyAccount

Previously worked with a Telstra Partner however I am not a Telstra Employee, just a fellow customer helping when I can.

beckstaar
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Had the same thing with my optus mobile and still had the charge come on my bill. 

ningaloo
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

I had the same experience with Topikoo.  I rang them and they told me they would unsubscribe me but I would have to pay the original $6.90.  I rang Telstra to complain and they said they would speak to Topikoo to get me a refund.  I had a call from Topikoo confirming they would mail me a cheque for $6.90.  That was 6 weeks ago and no cheque has arrived.  So I rangeTelstra yesterday to complain and to ask them why they allow such shonky companies to charge on Telstra Bills.  I didnt get any response to that question but have now heard from Telstra that Telstra will refund the $6.90.

Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Ningaloo, the problem is that they are not shonky companies as far as the law sees it. The company that owns topikoo also runs another dozen companies which all are above board and also provide a lot of the SMS/phone competition and voting lines used on tv shows and the like... And the charges are run through the same system for which they are approved service providers. Most people complain to Telstra and not the ACCC so it never really gets dealt with...until the ACCC force them to clean up their act I doubt that those companies will change and they will still get away with it as it is technically all above board in official terms.
Helpful Links

Internet not working or outage in your area? - Check the Outage page for details and troubleshooting.
Help with an account issue? - LiveChat 24x7 support
View Usage, Bills and more - Check it out on MyAccount

Previously worked with a Telstra Partner however I am not a Telstra Employee, just a fellow customer helping when I can.

ningaloo
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Thank you Drqwerty90 I will definitely contact the ACCC and hope other contributors do the same.

JeremyKelaher
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

I had the same issue, going nuclear over it.


@Confused88 wrote:

@After finish reading an article through tweeter via my mobile, I received a mobile message about my subscription to TOPIKOO @ 6.90/wk!!!  Realising this may be scam, I immediately deleted the message.  Am I safe from any unauthorised charges? I completed a personality test at the end of the article.


 

ningaloo
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

You will have to wait til you get your Telco Bill and check if you have been charged the $6.90 - I suspect you will have and will have to go thru the same process as I did to get a refund!

JeremyKelaher
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

it is a pre-paid phone - definitely charged. twice. no message on first charge. going nuclear means - I used to work at telstra on these sorts of things


. nuclear.

panda87
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

This happened to me this morning.. Opened up a quiz on Facebook (dumb I know, but I have done others from the same site with no issues).  Anyway, clicked one of the "next" buttons, instantly got a SMS saying I was subscribed.  I instantly sent STOP to the number and got the message saying I was unsubscribed.

 

I have been speaking to 24/7 support who have advised the charge is already on my account, but since I have blocked premium SMS it "should" be safe now. 

 

After reading the posts here though, I am concerned that I will keep getting charged and Telstra has not been able to assure me I won't be.

BenHamilton
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Yep iv been scammed by these people too. Did a "personality test" on facebook and one of thee next buttons subscribed me. I dont think facebook should allow Scammers to have sponsored links but more importantly TELSTRA needs to PERMANENTLY BLOCK PAYMENTS TO TOPIKOO as theyre acting illegally. I phoned the help lone after texting STOP and they told me my subscription is cancelled but wernt able to provide me with the ABN or any specific business identification information... dodgy. But theyre happy to send you a refund cheque apparently! Even more dodgy. I have contacted the ACCC and reported this scam bit feel unless TELSTRA takes action and stop supporting ILLEGAL ACTIVITY. Nothing will change. I urge all those who have beem scammed to report this to Facebook, telstra and the ACCC and hopefully many voices will make a difference.
Keena
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

My phone got knocked in my bag when i was in a rush and didnt put the screen saver on properly and its got on to fb and not im getting messages from topikoo !! How can they charge u that without u giving any info up and agreeing to terms etc. Soo mad !!! 😡
SR5095
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Well they got me too last night.  FB Scam. No agreement to subscribe just clicked a "Next" button during a quiz.

They seem to have changed their name and pricing. It said I subscribed to Themekoo costing me $14.90 per month. to opt out I had to SMS STOP to 19789118 or 1300363847.  I have done so and after unsubscribing I requested Telstra block all premium SMS on my mobile. Got a message back from the scammers saying I had been unsubscribed but charged.  That's one hell of an expensive click/lesson. Reporting to the ACCC - also reporting to FB as I will never do another FB quiz - would encourage all others caught by these thieves to do the same - perhaps with enough complaints they can be stopped.

Lara2
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

I am furious about this. Two charges for Topikoo and for Smart World started appearing on my phone account. They were for the phone my 14 yr old daughter uses. My daughter has no idea what caused the charges and as she thought the texts were spam, deleted them. I told Telstra I would not pay as my 14yo. is underage and who said that some random company could make changes to my telephone account anyway. They go through so much authorisation steps before I can make a change to my account, how can they let some random third party make changes and charges? there is no small print warning anywhere that Telstra will act as a "broker" for other companies and I have not agreed to this.

What if Telstra start wanting to be a real estate agent and my daughter randomly accepts to buy a 5mil house!

I tried to send a STOP message to the phone number listed above for Topikoo but didn't send as I was then warned there will be an extra cost to my account to send the message and it could be $100's for all I know.

 

ningaloo
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

 Take it further with Topikoo and Telstra - I ended up getting a cheque from Topikoo and a refund from Telstra ( I didnt cash the cheque).  I agree with you Telstra needs to stop these charges being made through Telstra accounts.  I think a lot of people are complaining to the ACCC but nothing happening so far.

Mer77
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

I to have been scammed by TOPIKOO and whenever I message STOP to the number I get a message saying I can't do it.. Smiley Sad

What do I do HELP!!!!!
julie65
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Got me too. Tried relying stop but number has been disconnected. On to telstra now and they are barring this mob from contacting me or taking money from me. $6,90 per week for a message service What the heck? So I wonder where this money goes?

Kp1000
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

This is still going on ... Was scammed last week.   Really shonky work, Telsta!

Support Team
Support Team

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Hi Kp1000, to ensure no fees are incurred in future I'd recommend following the cancellation instructions in the SMS you've received from the subscription provider (normally by texting 'Stop' to a particular number), and our teams on 13 22 00 or via the online chat service at  http://tel.st/hsc3 can remove any charges from your latest invoice. From December 3 we will be making changes to the ways premium SMS services can be billed to Telstra customers which should stop this - more information can be found at https://exchange.telstra.com.au/making-right-call-third-party-subscription-services/

Need help? Check out our Community Wiki or Support Portal || Looking for a new mobile? Order online today || Get help with any Tech at Home with Telstra Platinum || Don't forget to tag answers as Accepted Solutions and give a Like to the member(s) who helped you out.

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Lodaman
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

I copped a topikoo text even though SMS premium is barred on my account.
joannep
Level 1: Cadet

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

this is outrageous - I have just got my phone bill with 5 weeks of Topikoo @ $6.90 a week and another $14.90 for Themekoo. With all the spam and phising messages - it is outrageous that one has to opt out of something that  you get in to unknowlingly. Now for an hour on the phone to Telstra to try and get a refund!

Support Team
Support Team

Re: TOPIKOO SCAM

Sorry to hear, Joanne. We've just dropped all such subscription services, for this very reason. 
What was the outcome of that call? - Matthew.

Need help? Check out our Community Wiki or Support Portal || Looking for a new mobile? Order online today || Get help with any Tech at Home with Telstra Platinum || Don't forget to tag answers as Accepted Solutions and give a Like to the member(s) who helped you out.

All moderation actions are supported by the CrowdSupport Community Guidelines

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