Phone theft victims protected from massive bills by £100 cap

Five mobile providers have signed up to a new £100 liability cap to protect victims of phone theft Credit: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Victims of mobile phone theft will be protected from massive phone bills which are run up by their robbers, under new measures announced today.

A new £100 liability cap has been agreed by five leading mobile providers - EE, O2, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone, which will protect crime victims from massive bills when their phones are stolen.

Under the new agreement as long as the phone is reported lost or stolen within 24 hours of going missing the most a victim of theft will pay if thieves try to run up a bill on their account is £100.

The Citizens Advice Bureau welcomed the news as they say they are regularly contacted for help by people who have been hit with five-figure bills after their phones were robbed.

Chief executive Gillian Guy said: "Victims of phone crime should not be paying excessive bills run up by thieves.

"A cap on bills from stolen mobile phones will come as much-needed relief to consumers targeted by phone fraudsters. Citizens Advice has been calling for a cap to be put in place after helping consumers landed with bills as high as £23,000."

However consumers association Which? said the protection did not go far enough.

Executive director Richard Lloyd said: "This long overdue cap proposed by mobile operators falls short of expectations and won't do enough to protect consumers facing unfair bills run up by criminals when their phone is lost or stolen."

Mobile provider Three were the first to introduce the liability protection for its customers in January and the other four operators have confirmed they will soon follow suit.