back to article The 99p mobile phone: What's the catch?

Carphone Warehouse started selling a mobile phone for 99p on Friday. Alcatel OT-209 mobile phone The handset is basic and ugly - an Alcatel 0T-209 - and you have to buy £10 Virgin Mobile PAYG credit. And that's it? Yes, that's it: there is no catch. It really is the cheapest PAYG on the market - about £4 less than the …

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The perfect mobile...

...For IED fabricators?

It somewhat of a bittersweet vindication for me as a former mobile phone design engineer that the technology has matured to such an extent that a communication device representing millions of man-hours work is sold for less than an ice-lolly.

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Oh, of course...

So you buy your 99p phone (with mandatory £10 credit), sling it in your glovebox for emergencies.

Six months down the line, your £10 credit will have miraculously evaporated and your phone's number will go MIA.

Unless your account has a billed event within a period of six months, the network swipes your wonga and scrubs your account. They bleat something about credit holding / banking regulations when you protest. That's how they'll make their money on this ice-lolly.

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"Who will buy this phone"

Two words:

Drug Dealers.

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Paris Hilton

But...

Does it come with a Vibrate Option?

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this works...

O2 numbers are released in running batches. ie 07877878000 -> 07877879000

Mr Scammer has to just go into an o2 store and a carphone at the beginning of the month, and ask to see what numbers are available, "becuase they want to choose a good one for their new contract". The scammer then knows that the next 5000 numbers or so, that are from carphone, and the same from o2.

The numbers get programmed into an autodialler machine..... RING RING - "hi, i'm calling from Scammers Insurance, you've recently got your phone from o2 (or carphone), but you haven't been given the correct insurance, it should be £99 for they year... blah blah blah etc... i just need to ask you some security questions, i can confirm some basic details with you to prove i'm offical, its an o2 line, on contract, less than £50 per month, your number is 07877878001, and its from carphone warehouse. If you could confirm with me your name, etc etc etc..."

Ofcourse there is a chance it is the shop staff, or indeed the organisation. But the shop staff would just sell on your personal details, no need to call you, and I'm certain CPW dont have insurance scams as part of its business plan.

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