www.shouldianswer.com is a website about cold callers and fraudsters. There is a Should I Answer APP which warns you against all kinds of unwanted calls and can block callers if you choose.
These were created by Mister Group ltd who explain their mission to be:
“We have gained the first experience on our own few years ago. Our friends and people around us started to be bothered by telemarketing calls, which were rapidly raising in our country those days. Some of our friends even lost their money because of these telemarketing scams! So we decided to do something about it – and that’s the story about how the Should I Answer APP was born.”
“Our goal is to make our smart devices friendlier to regular users, so they should serve exactly the purpose the users want them to – not to the purpose the other dark side tries to force us. Telemarketing, number spoofing, unsolicited calls… all such activities are in our radar, and we try every day with all the possible powers to make them behave within legal boundaries.”
How It Works
The Should I Answer APP uses a huge database of spam and telemarketing calls from numbers reported to Do Not Call Registry, numbers reported to Federal Communication Commission and of all the community reviews at Should I Answer.
How is The Service Paid For?
Should I Answer say they try to keep as much of the project for free as possible. Plus, there are adverts on screen and donations.
The job of the National Crime Agency (NCA) is described as leading the fight against organised crime; human, weapon and drug trafficking; cyber crime and economic crime that goes across regional and international borders.
However, criminals are posing as National Crime Agency officers over the phone in an attempt to con people and steal from them.
The scammers target the elderly and some victims have lost their life savings.
The NCA has so far recorded hundreds of reports of scammers claiming to be NCA officers and they often give a bogus NCA identity number.
The criminals warn victims about a banking scam and persuade them to allow remote access to their computers, or to hand over personal information and bank details.
Sometimes they ask their targets to move the money to a “safe” bank account.
One case involved a 70-year-old man from London who transferred his life savings of £350,000 out of his account after scammers pretended to be NCA officers and staff from an IT security company. The victim allowed the men remote access to his computer after they said he had been hacked and needed to move his money to safe account.
Members of the public should be aware that an NCA officer will NEVER:
Ask for remote access to your computer via phone, email or online
Ask you to verify personal details such as passwords, account numbers or card details via phone, email or online
Ask you to transfer or hand over money via phone, email or online
Threaten you into providing this information
If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.
There are various scammers who specialise in scams involving wood working. Usually, they offer for sale thousands of plans for sheds or similar wooden structures on sale at a very low price. Heavy marketing seems to get them some customers.
This latest one is about building your own woodworking workshop.
The message starts with big banner messages
“No money needed. No space needed. No tools needed.”
Sounds easy and free, assuming anyone actually wants to build a wood working workshop and believes this rubbish.
It goes on about the need to watch a video clip that tells you the most common mistakes people make when building such a workshop.
And the video reveals a secret source that will sell you tools at least 70% off.
If anyone is able to sell items at such a bargain price – why would they keep it secret. Unless the items are stolen perhaps or completely fictitious.
Despite having promised you don’t need any money, it then claims this will only cost you $1000.
Doesn’t sound like nothing to me.
If anyone did want to build a woodworking workshop, I’m sure there is better information available free of charge online without needing a scammer involved.
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An email tells me I have new voice message waiting for me. But it’s from a company I have never heard of so have no wish to find out if there is any kind of message or much more likely – a simple scam. Never open links in unsolicited messages.
Many scammers quote NASA as the ultimate source of brain power and use their name supposedly as backers of some new random technology or as detractors from some answer to a common problem. In this latest case, the scammer invokes the name NASA claiming that NASA engineers don’t know how they missed this … It turns out to be a secret project that will change the face of electricity for ever. There are lots of these scams in America especially offering magical ways to generate free electricity. All lies of course.
Hasan Kabacki complains that he has already sent us a Statement of Account and yet we haven’t paid him. Not surprising as his business has never done any work for us and he is a scammer. The attached file is rar format which only scammers use – to try to evade anti malware scans.
“Ancient tonic melts 54 pounds of fat”. Very strong acid or alkali can destroy fat but of course that would kill a person. This scam is about a supposed Japanese formula, accidently leaked, that burns fat instantly without the person needing to do any exercise. Sounds painful. No thanks. But then it doesn’t exist.
“If you’ve been fighting with tooth and gum problems, this is for you” says the scammer then claims all of these problems are caused by lack of a vitamin that is so rare that only 2% of people have any of it. No. the full list of vitamins is well known and the causes of tooth decay and gum disease are well known. Claiming that lack of something new is the problem is ludicrous, then the email claims that taking this magic vitamin can rebuild your teeth almost overnight. Scammer magic again. All lies of course.
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There has been a huge increase in Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams through mobile or online banking.
This is where a scammer convinces someone to transfer money to the scammers account – usually by pretending to be a bank employee or Police officer.
Previously, the banks used to treat victims of these scams as being to blame and therefore having to take the financial loss themselves.
Then, some time ago, the largest banks and building societies signed up to a new voluntary code that sets standards for how they should treat victims of APP scams.
However, Which? has raised concerns about the way banks interpret the new code and how in some cases they are trying to shift the blame back onto customers.
e.g. The case of Miss P.
A caller to Miss P. told her that she had won a loyalty bonus worth £35 off her next BT bill and quoted the full details of her bank card as well as her full name and address ‘to confirm her eligibility’. Although she shared no sensitive data over the phone, this laid the groundwork for the second stage of the scam.
A few days later, she received a call from the ‘National Crime Agency’ warning her that £400 had been taken from her account due to a series of scams involving BT and complicit banks. The caller explained that the authorities knew she had been targeted only days before by a caller pretending to be from BT.
They then asked her to help with their investigation into her local bank branch, by moving her money to a ‘safe account’. She agreed and, as instructed, printed off an email that appeared to confirm the opening of this safe account – with Clydesdale Bank – in her name. In reality, this account was controlled by the criminals.
Miss P then visited her nearest branch to transfer £30,000 from her account, telling them that she wanted to move the money so that her savings weren’t all in one place, as she was coached to say.
Lloyds says staff followed the correct procedures, as per the Banking Protocol – a rapid response scheme through which branch staff can alert police and Trading Standards to suspected frauds.
Nothing gave the bank cause for concern. However, Miss P says no concerns were raised or questions asked. It was only the following day when she attempted to move more money from her account, that staff blocked the payment and became concerned about a potential scam.
Lloyds initially refused a refund because ‘she didn’t take steps to verify the identity of the cold caller’.
Under the APP code, banks and their customers must take steps to prevent APP fraud, but if both parties have met the standards set out in the code, there is a ‘no-blame fund’ that banks can use to reimburse innocent victims.
The code also states that firms should provide a greater level of protection for customers who are considered vulnerable to APP scams and these customers should be reimbursed regardless.
Lloyds has since decided to reimburse the full amount.
It is best to take care before instructions from anyone on the phone, even if they do know some of your financial details. Always verify who is calling you by checking with their company at a phone number you find independently.
If you have any experiences with phishing scams do let me know, by email.