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Celcom pushes “Perfect 10” contest SMS to its users. Is this a scam?

If you’re a Celcom customer, you probably might have received an SMS as shown above. It looks like a network pushed message which reads “Play Perfect 10 for a chance to win RM20K monthly and RM2K instant CASH prize! 3-day FREE trial. RM1/day. T&C applies” and it only provides two options 1. Play or 2. Unsubscribe.

If you’re cautious, you probably would have a lot of questions in your head. What is Perfect 10? Who sent this message? Am I subscribed to a service without my knowledge?

The message itself looks quite dodgy as it doesn’t reveal much information and consumers won’t be able to view the T&C before they choose to “Play”. When we did a quick check, this appears to be a contest that’s organised by Celcom but it is hosted on https://celcom-p10.com.

The website itself doesn’t inspire confidence because it doesn’t use the official celcom.com.my domain. Initially we thought this could be a phishing site as it tries to look convincingly like a Celcom branded page.

We also couldn’t find any mention of this SMS based contest on the official Celcom website. However, we can confirm that this is definitely organised by Celcom as the Perfect 10 campaign was also promoted by the telco on both their Facebook and Twitter accounts in June 2020.

This is a year-long campaign where subscribers can win RM2,000 cash if they answer 10 questions correctly. You are given 10 seconds to answer each question. In order to join, you’ll need to subscribe to Perfect 10 which costs RM1 per day. As mentioned in the SMS, the first 3 days are free and you’ll be charged on the 4th day onwards.

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On the Perfect 10 page, they have published a list of winners from last year until 14th January 2021. They have also announced the monthly prize winner until December 2020.

Although there’s nothing wrong with running a contest via SMS, the concern is the way Celcom is promoting the contest via push SMS with a simple “1” or “2” reply. It doesn’t clearly state Celcom as the organiser and users are not presented with clear T&C. This may lead to accidental subscriptions and they could end up with RM30 being charged every single month if they don’t know how to unsubscribe.

If users were to opt-in by dialling the *365*685#, that would be a different matter since they are intentionally wanting to subscribe to the content service. The contest is still running until 31st May 2021.

When we search on Twitter, it appears that there are customers who are unaware that this contest is organised by Celcom. There are also tweets from people complaining that their credits are being deducted daily and accusing the telco for quietly deducting credits for the contest.

If you’ve accidentally subscribed to Perfect 10 and want to stop the service, you can do so by sending “STOP” or “BATAL” to 26888, or dial *365*682#.

It is advisable that you check your telco bill if you have any suspicious transactions that you didn’t make and you should report it to your telco. You may lodge a complaint to the MCMC if you do not get a satisfactory response.

Alexander Wong