Tag: scam calls

Action Fraud Scam Calls

The scam typically goes like this:-

  1. The victim receives a cold-call from a fraudster claiming to work for Action Fraud.
  2. When the call is answered, an automated system asks the responder to “press 1 if they have made a report to Action Fraud.”
  3. When the responder presses 1, they are transferred to a fraudster.
  4. The victim is informed that their computer has been hacked and their bank account has been accessed without permission and money taken.
  5. The scammer may ask some simple questions to build trust e.g. are the lights on your router flashing? Do you have credit cards? Do you have more computers in the house?
  6. The scammer may ask the victim to run some programmes on their PC and use the results on screen to ‘prove’ that the computer has been compromised.
  7. The scammer asks for access to the computer and ask the victim to install remote control software to make it possible for the scammer to take control.
  8. Once they can control the computer the scammer can search for financial and personal information an if possible access the victim’s bank account.
  9. Victims discover later on that money has been stolen from their account or maybe days later that someone is spending on their credit card etc.

What Can You Do?

Even if the caller is knows details such as your name or address, don’t give out any personal or financial information during a cold call.

Don’t give a caller remote access to your computer, don’t go to a website they give you and don’t install software they recommend or supply.

Action Fraud does not use an automated machine to speak to victims of fraud, so if you receive a suspicious call, hang up immediately.

If you think your bank or payment card details have been compromised, or if you believe you have been defrauded, contact your bank immediately.

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Automated Scam Calls

PPI cold 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. However, recently, other criminals have started using these automated calling systems.

e.g. Automated Action Fraud Computer Support Scam Calls

The victims receives a cold call from a fraudsters claiming to be from Action Fraud.

On answering the call, 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.

The victim is told that their computers has been hacked and money stolen from their online banking accounts.  More questions lead to the scammer asking to take control of the computer and then stealing any confidential information they can and possibly installing malware or a key logger.

e.g. Automated HMRC Calls and Texts

Calls and text telling the victim that they are being investigated by HMRC and they must contact the phone number in the message for further details and to make payment.

HMRC do not make such threatening calls and texts.

e.g. Automated Talk Talk Scam Calls

Calls that warn of phone line or broadband termination. “Press 1 to be connected to an agent” etc.

Then a similar pattern of questions to above and theft of confidential information or money.

What Can You Do?

Do not trust these callers unless you can verify they are genuine. This usually means you call them back on a number you know is valid (and beware the scammer leaving the line open when you put the phone down and then pretending to be the number you called).

The scammer may have some details about you – name, address and more. But do not be taken in by this as it is likely the scammer bought this information from someone who hacked company data.

If you have any experiences with such callers, 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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