Category: Scam Call

Telephone Preference Service Scam

Graham received a call on his landline.

The lady caller addressed Graham by name and claimed to be from the Telephone Preference Service and knew that Graham was already registered.

She told him that his registration would expire and he needed to be re-registered.

She also knew Graham’s postcode and the fact she knew these details was convincing that she was genuinely calling from the Telephone Preference Service.

But she then passed Graham over to another person for re-registration and that person had a thick accent that made understanding him very difficult and he was far less professional.

He asked Graham for his “pay number”.

Graham asked “What is a pay number?”

“The number on your cheque book or bank statement” was the answer.

Graham now knew this was a scam – no respectable organisation would ask for sort code and account details like this, plus the Telephone Preference Service is free and doesn’t need any re-registration.

Graham told them what he thought of them and put the phone down.

A wise move.

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

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U.S. Breaks Indian Scam Call Centre

U.S. authorities have sentenced 21 people in connection with an India-based call centre scam that cost Americans hundreds of millions of dollars.

Defendants were given sentences of up to 20 years in prison, in what U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called “the first-ever large-scale, multi-jurisdiction prosecution targeting the India call centre scam industry.”

According to the U.S. Justice Department, the sophisticated operation revolved around call centres in Ahmedabad, India, from where individuals called American citizens while posing as officials with Internal Revenue Services or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Victims were told that they owed the government money, and were threatened with arrest, imprisonment, fines and deportation if they didn’t pay up. Those who gave in to the scam were made to pay using wire transfers, direct bank deposits or iTunes and other gift cards.

Once payment was received, the scammers contacted a network of runners in the U.S. who would launder the payments.

The scammers set out to defraud older Americans, legal immigrants and many others out of their life savings through lies and threats. Because of this, all resources at the Department’s disposal will be deployed to shut down these telefraud schemes, put those responsible in jail and bring a measure of justice to the victims, according to Attorney General Sessions.

The indictment also charged 32 Indian-based conspirators, who have yet to be arraigned.

The US authorities seem to be the only International player willing and able to take on the organised international fraudsters, root out these criminals and prosecute them.

Well done the U.S. Authorities and the Indian Police.

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

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Automated Scam Calls

PPI callers and many others have been using automated systems for years that call and ask you questions then get you to press a button to be connected to an agent.

Automated systems are a lot cheaper than staff so for the criminals engaged in large scale scamming, this can be the most efficient way.

Action Fraud Technical Support Scam Calls

Action Fraud say people are receiving cold-calls from fraudsters claiming to represent Action Fraud. When the calls are answered, an automated voice asks the responder to “press 1 if you have made a report to Action Fraud.” When the responder presses 1, they are transferred to a fraudster.

Victims are informed that their computers have been hacked, which has led to their online bank account being compromised and funds being withdrawn. One particular victim was told that £40,000 had fraudulently left their account.

The scammer may ask for remote access to the victim’s computer, via a remote access tool. Once the scammer has that, they may be able to access confidential information, login and passwords, credit card details etc.

HMRC

The scam sees people called randomly with an automated message warning that they are under investigation by HMRC and need to call the number given or “face serious legal consequences.”

If you call back the crooks will likely ask for your bank details and make off with your money.

HMRC does not make threatening phone calls. HMRC will call people about outstanding tax bills, and sometimes use automated messages, however it would include your taxpayer reference number.

Talk Talk Example

“I have had an automated phone call from this number 081233472243. It was informing me that my internet connection would be cut at 1pm today, press button 1 to speak to an agent or button 2 to stay connected. I chose to hang up.

This is the first time I have had an automated call, I have had a lot of calls lately concerning my internet connection, I always hang up or sometimes they hang up when I tell them I don’t believe they’re from TalkTalk. They always ask me to turn my computer on, I always refuse.”

Good job she didn’t fall for the scam.

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BT Support Internet Scam

This is a latest version of the support call scam.

The Fightback Ninja received a call from ‘Agnes’ at BT support.

She told me they have found that my Internet connection is not working properly and that my IP address shows up as being in California. So they suspect someone has illegally gained access to my Internet connection and that is bad.

Once they have checked they will be able to help me to block this problem.

I just agreed with her as she listed each step, knowing this to be a stupid scam but interested in the process the scammers go through to steal from people.

There were a lot of people talking in her background and I complained that I could hardly hear over the noise. She told me I could hear perfectly well. ‘Agnes’ is a bossy scammer.

Agnes then asked me to check my IP address and said she could explain how to do that.

I checked online and my IP address of course shows my real location, not California as ‘Agnes’ claimed.

Agnes was now getting angry when I told her I could see on screen that the IP address was showing its location correctly. And she accused me of telling stories.

I told her I wasn’t a lying cheating scammer like her.

Then she put the phone down as it was obvious I wasn’t going to be scammed.

These horrible people will take money from anyone – do not believe cold callers unless you can prove who they are and what they say.  Anyone cold calling your home about your Internet connection is almost certainly a scammer.

Note: If you want to know the IP address for your device  there are various ways to check depending on what  device you’re using but a simple website such as https://www.iplocation.net/ will tell you your current IP address and also give you the apparent location of that IP address.

The apparent location will likely show the nearest town but sometimes may show the location of your Internet Service Provider instead so don’t be concerned if that’s the case.

The apparent IP location is generally unimportant – it’s mostly just for the curious.

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

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HMRC Warn of Tax Threat Calls

Scammers target vulnerable and elderly in cold call tax voucher fraud, warns HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

HMRC say that scammers call the victims and impersonate an HMRC member of staff.

“They tell them that they owe large amounts of tax which they can only pay off through digital vouchers and gift cards, including those used for Apple’s iTunes Store”.

Victims are then told to go to a local shop, buy these vouchers and then read out the redemption code to the scammer who has kept them on the phone the whole time.

The conmen then sell on the codes or purchase high-value products, at the victim’s expense.

HMRC said the scammers frequently use intimidation to get what they want, threatening to seize the victim’s property or involve the police.

The scammers use vouchers because they are easy to sell on and hard to trace once used.

HMRC would never request the settling of debt through any such method.

The vast majority of the victims are aged over 65 and suffered an average financial loss of £1,150 each.

As these scammers often prey on vulnerable people. HMRC urge people with elderly relatives to warn them about this scam and remind them that they should never trust anyone who phones them out of the blue and demands they pay a tax bill.

If you suspect that you or a vulnerable or elderly relative has been the victim of this scam or a similar one, you should report it immediately to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

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The Wangiri Phone Scam

This is the call back scam, which has risen to epidemic levels in Ireland.

Ireland’s phone operators say that tens of thousands of scam mobile phone calls are sweeping across Ireland in an “unprecedented” surge.

The calls, often have international prefixes including +231 (Liberia), +269 (The Comoros Islands), or +43 (Austria) and are intended to trick people into phoning back at premium rates.

The numbers are high cost international numbers and the fraudsters will get paid for each call back. The fraudsters will try to keep you on the line for as many minutes as possible.

The scam is known as a ‘wangiri’ call, (means one ring) because the mobile phone typically rings just once or twice.

The scammers hope that people will automatically call back without looking too closely at the number.

The telecoms watchdog admits there is no easy way to identify such calls but advise not calling back unless you know the number that called you and certainly do not call back if left a blank message.

Some mobile operators do block these scam numbers as they are identified and that stops them  from calling their customers and blocks their customers from returning the call.

If your receive such calls, then notify your phone company of the calling numbers.

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