What’s The Deal With That “How Many Eyes?” Ad?

In case you were wondering, the answer is "Five, counting the word "eyes" in the title."
In case you were wondering, the answer is "Five, counting the word "eyes" in the title."

The ad is hard to ignore. It features a Photoshopped picture of an Asian woman with two sets of eyes. The ad asks how many eyes do you see, and adds that “X% of Americans get it wrong.”

You can’t pass up a challenge like that, can you? It’s practically calling you an idiot! How stupid can people be, if they can’t count the eyes correctly?

If you click on the ad to find out, you will be taken to a website which offers a ridiculously easy “IQ test.” It poses ten easy questions (interestingly, many people report that the Asian lady is not on this page, and thus you never do get an answer to the question).

The catch? In order to get your score, you have to give them your cell phone number, so that they can text it to you. (For a fee.)

This is just one in a long line of scams which leverage the fact that any third-party company can set up a “subscription” on your cell phone bill, without your express authorization.

If you give out your cell phone number, it can be used to attach an extra monthly charge to your cell phone bill. In the case of the IQ test, the amount is $9.99 per month until you notice, and manage to cancel it.

The “IQ test” scam is a Flycell website. Flycell.com is a company which specializes in coaxing people to hand over their cell phone numbers. Flycell sites offer ring tones, game cheat hints, “joke of the day” text messages, love tests, and anything else you can think of.

Your best defense against these scams is to:

A. Never give out your cell phone number online.

B. Always check your cell phone bill every month for unusual charges.

What To Do If A Scammer Starts Billing Your Cell Phone

Calling the company to complain is almost certainly useless.  Instead, call your cell phone company.  Your cell phone company will be able to block the “subscription,” and block any other such service from attaching to your bill in the future.

In many cases, cell phone companies will refund some or all of the “subscription fees,” as a courtesy to you.  Make no mistake, this is a move to keep you placated.  Cell phone companies are aware of the trouble these scammers cause their customers, but the cell phone company also makes a lot of money off of these fraud charges. 

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