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Schoolchildren warned over mobile phone downloads

The mobile phones industry watchdog is urging schools to sign up to its scheme to educate children on how to avoid hidden charges when downloading mobile phone content such as ringtones.

Under the PhoneBrain scheme, school pupils aged between13-18 throughout England and Wales will be educated in how to spot potential scams such as hidden subscription fees and paid-for promotional messages which can send charges spiralling.

PhonePay Plus, which is spearheading the campaign, has developed a class which targets these areas and is hoping that 4,300 secondary schools will implement the lesson.

A statement from the regulator read: “By combining real educational needs while tapping into young people's passions, the youth education programme is designed to help teachers inspire students to learn.

"They will explain the threats and opportunities afforded by the £1 billion market and how they can protect themselves and their friends and family from falling foul of misleading text promotions, or overcomplicated terms and conditions."

PhonePay Plus’ scheme has been launched in conjunction with Ministry of Sound, the Peter Jones Foundation and Make Your Mark.

New research commissioned by PhonepayPlus shows that in 2008 47 per cent of 11-17 year olds will have used a phone-paid service.

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