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Diplomatic services, such as the US Embassy in London or the UK Embassy in Washington, have also charged premium rates for calls from the general public.
MSN is closing all its chatrooms in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and most of Asia from 14 October, and changing the way others are operated globally.
Adult chat lines (phone sex) and tech support are a very common use of premium-rate numbers.
Other services include directory enquiries, weather forecasts, competitions and voting (especially relating to television shows).
Another now-uncommon premium-rate scam involves television programming that induces young children to dial the number, banking on the notion that they will be unaware of the charges that will be incurred.
One variant, targeted at children too young to dial a number, enticed children to hold the phone up to the television set while the DTMF tones of the number were played.
Telephone companies typically offer blocking services to allow telephone customers to prevent access to these number ranges from their telephones.