In the continuing saga of all things Internet, you're already plagued with viruses, spyware, malware, pop up ads, security compromises, identity thieves and many other bad things. You do what you can to protect yourself, but for many end users, it isn't enough. Phishing is one of the tactics becoming extremely popular, and not all of them directly relate to the Internet. Many scam mails often are laced with scary messages, but offer a “friendly” phone number to dial if something is awry. More often than not, it's a premium rate number and people are taken for thousands each year. Many companies have tried to put a stop to this, and some are going to extremes.

Though not entirely for the sake of protecting people from scammers, Bulldog, based in the UK, is now requiring their customers to pay a fee just to be able to make any premium calls in the first place. It equates to about $90 just for this “service”, and though many are angry about it, the company is steadfast. Is this what service companies will start pushing towards? “Denial” of service, whether it be to protect yourself, protect the company or pad pockets, with service being unlocked for a fee? ISPs and telecos also can end up losing big when it comes to scammers, so it seems plausible that other companies may follow suit. And none of this, of course, actually fixes the situation. It just makes you pay a fee. Bulldog is a broadband/teleco company based in the UK.