Author: comptroller

The SIM Swap Scam

If you access a website and have forgotten the password, there is usually a link labelled ‘Forgot Your Password’ or similar and if you click the link they will send you a password reset request by email.  You click the button in the email message and reset your password.

Now, if scammers can get hold of such an email message, then they can reset your password and lock you out of your own account and you will have great difficulty getting your account back.

This situation is becoming more dangerous as many people and businesses rely on mobile phones for proof of identity. e.g. your bank may send you security numbers to type into your account to prove your ID but if scammers can access your phone and read your messages, they are in control.

The SIM Card Swap

Unless you have leave sufficient information openly online for scammers to break your password, then their usual approach is called social engineering.

This means to take advantage of people’s trust. So they will research your information online and use what they find to convince a mobile phone shop worker (or customer service worker) to cancel your current SIM card (I lost it) and activate a new one.

They will then have access to your messages, contacts list etc.

Then they try to access your bank account and shopping accounts.

Prevention

To be safe, you need to limit the amount of personal information that is available about you online. Anything you make public can be read by criminals intent on defrauding you or stealing your identity.

Text messages are very useful but remember that they are not encrypted and can potentially be read by anyone.

You can use APPS that encrypt data such as iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, etc. for anything that must be kept private.

If there is any suspicious activity on your account or you receive suspicious calls, then contact your bank or phone company.

Do leave a comment on this post – click on the post title then scroll down to leave your comment.

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BT Stop Callers

BT has a range of services to help you block unwanted callers.

Apart from annoying friends and relatives, most of these calls may be from cold callers i.e. marketing and sales calls from companies you have never dealt with.

There are also the scam callers pretending to be from an organisation you may deal with e.g. claiming to be from BT checking on your line and asking you to confirm your details first.

There are malicious callers and there are time wasters.

Telephone Preference Service

First, you should also ask the company to stop calling you and remove you from their calling list.

If that doesn’t work then register with the Telephone Preference Service. Once registered then you should only receive Marketing calls from companies you have agreed can contact you.

Of course, criminals don’t obey these rules.

You can register with the Telephone Preference Service by signing up for BT Privacy at Home at www.bt.com/callingfeatures. We also offer Caller Display which allows you to see the number of the person who’s calling. BT Privacy at Home and Caller Display are both free. You can sign up to them at www.bt.com/myfeatures.

Scam calls

These are commonly made by scammers pretending to be from BT.

They may ask you for personal information or want access to your computer. Don’t be fooled, this is fraud.

For more information, or to report a scam call, visit www.bt.com/help/home/scams/

Remember

  • Stay calm and don’t talk to the caller
  • Don’t give away any personal information or answer the phone with your name or number
  • Keep your answerphone message short and to the point
  • Keep note of these calls

If you’re getting abusive, threatening or obscene calls, then you should report them to the police. It will help if you note down the date, time and number that called, along with any other information.

If you’re receiving a lot of malicious calls you can call our Nuisance Call Advice Line on 0800 661 441 (8am to 10pm Monday-Friday and 9am to 6pm on a Saturday).

Calling features that can help:

  • BT Call Protect – sends nuisance and unwanted calls to a junk voicemail
  • BT Privacy at Home includes registration to the Telephone Preference Service >
  • Caller Display – lets you see the number that’s calling you before you answer
  • BT 1471 – dial 1471 to check the number that last called you
  • Ex-directory – take your number off the telephone directory

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Christiano Ronaldo scam

Christiano Ronaldo is one of the world’s most famous footballers.

He plays for Manchester United currently although probably not for much longer.

He is paid £26.8 million  per year so he’s not exactly short on cash.

The scam is simple.

The scammer sent out mass text messages to random phone numbers, such as

Hello. It’s Christiano Ronaldo using my second account.

Can I borrow your debit card so I can buy some new football boots at Sports Direct.

Is there anyone in the world stupid enough to believe that and send him their payment card details?

Apparently there is.

Unbelievable.

 

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Instant Photographer Scam

Photography is one of those things that everyone can do a little and nowadays most of us carry smart phones that include a reasonable quality camera. People upload around 300 million pictures per day to Facebook and around 95 million photos are shared on Instagram every day, almost all from smart phones.

But, being able to take a reasonable picture is a world apart from being a qualified professional photographer.

The scam email starts off with the typical scammers opening warning to catch people’s attention.

Did you know that pro photographers are FURIOUS about this site?

Then comes the sales pitch

“WHY?

“Because it shows normal folks like you and me (the underdogs) the true secrets of photography”

“Meaning you can take photos like them without formal training.”

“It’s no wonder guys are saying the site should be banned”

It continues like this for paragraphs.

The email appears to be trying to sell you a video training course and maybe it’s a good training course although the chances are against that as reputable sellers don’t use scammer’s language.

More likely is that the training video (if it exists) is just cheap rubbish put together by a scammer. Once she’s got your money – she won’t care whether you can ever take decent photographs. Don’t waste your money.

Do you have an opinion on this matter? Please comment in the box below.

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