Category: Scam Call

Ministry of Justice Fake Callers

The scam involves a telephone call from someone claiming to be from the Ministry of Justice or other government department. The target person is typically told that they are eligible to receive payments such as the repayment of bank charges, tax, fraud, debts or any other charges.

Targets are asked to give personal information, such as date of birth, address, bank details, passport ID etc. Then they are asked to make payments using untraceable methods such as Western Union or by gift card.

This should ring alarm bells for the targets but many pay up even when asked to pay in UKash vouchers or PaysafeCard.

These callers have no connection with the Ministry of Justice, or other parts of government.

They seek your personal data in order to sell the details to other criminals por to engage in identity theft.

If you have been a victim and paid money via the Ukash voucher scheme, contact UKash immediately on 0808 234 6244 (open 24 hours) to see if the payment can be blocked. For further information see the warnings on the Ukash website.

If you have been a victim and paid money via Paysafecard, contact the company immediately on 0845 021 3059 (open 24 hours) to see if the payment can be blocked. For further information see the Paysafecard website.

The Ministry of Justice takes seriously any attempt to misappropriate its identity or that of its agencies, associated offices and official logo’s and will investigate any such incidents of misuse and take appropriate action where necessary.

Any correspondence, like letters or emails apparently from the Ministry of Justice that request private information, should be treated with extreme caution. If you have any doubts about the authenticity of such communications, please contact Ministry of Justice on 020 3334 3555 or online.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-wasters do let me know, by email.

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Do You Recognise My Voice

This is a variant on the text message from a scammer pretending to be a friend who is in dire trouble and needs your help.

This one is a phone call and relies on you to falsely recognise the voice.

The caller says “Hi, Do you recognise my voice?”

Generally people will guess the nearest sounding voice they can think of and a typical response is something like “Is that Charlotte?”

Now the scammer has the name of one of your friends or relatives and will play the part, while being careful not to give anything away that would tell you she’s not the person you know.

Oh Thank God I’ve got through to you.”.

Then she launches into a long story about being overseas and how she was mugged… or needs an urgent operation in hospital… or needs to escape the country she’s in but hasn’t enough money… or was in a car accident etc.

The scammer’s aim is to get you to wire money to her urgently and not ask too many questions.

Don’t be rushed by the apparent urgency of the matter – think it though and think about how to prove who you were actually talking with.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.

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The 118 Call Redirection Scam

Disreputable 118 directories businesses have been buying up out of use phone numbers – they chose ones that are very similar to popular numbers e.g. one digit wrong from Marks and Spencer or numbers from well-known companies that have gone out of business  e.g. Toys R Us.

Why do they buy these numbers?

So they can put what is essentially an advert for themselves but cunningly made to look as if it is instructions from the out of business company.

e.g. you call a number you think is valid but get a recorded message telling you the number is no longer valid and you should call 118 …….  You call them and you will be talking to a directory service which then charges you for calling and asking for the right number and likely charges you for every minute you talk on that new number.

This can catch people out and they can end up with hefty bills that are unexpected. In some cases more than £50.

Power Tel that run the 118 023 service has been fined £200,000 by the Phone Paid Services Authority for this scam.

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

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London Police Sent to India

In India, there are large numbers of scam call centres. It is scamming on an industrial scale and a high proportion of their fraudulent calls are made to UK and US citizens.

The FBI are on the case tracking down these criminals and working with Indian authorities to stop them.

Now, the City of London Police are deploying officers to India to combat these scammer’s multi-million pound racket.

It seems that some Indian call centres run legitimate work during the day then turn to scam calls during the night.

The UK Police have formed a special team to work on global solutions to fraud and part of that is building a capability to take the fight to the criminals.

This sounds a good idea – to get ahead of the scammers and stop them where they live and work.  International crime can be harder to track and to block but maybe this approach will improve matters.

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

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