Posts Tagged insurance scam

Weekly Top 3: Updated Old Tricks

Investing in new technology, developing smart ideas, innovating, outsourcing, call centers – the buzzwords of our business-minded con artists. They’re professionals and they know their stuff. 7 in 10 receive nuisance calls, texts and emails everyday, yet these large-scale scam operators are never penalized because apparently they are just “annoying” and not yet causing “substantial distress” to people.

You, as the target market of these fraudsters, should know better than their old tricks. Update yourself with these words of advice:

  • Don’t give any personal information to strangers or to businesses – remember, they should already know your details!
  • Ignore employment agencies asking for payment in advance
  • Check your bank and credit card statements regularly and let your bank know immediately if there are any entries you don’t recognise
  • Often, you can’t get lost money back, particularly if you have handed over cash. But you have more protection if you paid by credit card or a debit card.

For our weekly top 3, the approach of our scammers is always a hard sell. Strategies are aggressive and their tactics include cold calls and unsolicited pitches – as if they are really selling some products or services BUT actually no. They are disguised as telemarketers who just want to get your bank details or other personal info. Worse huh!

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Our Top 3 and more on the Swansea scam update

If you are one of those people affected by the £300,000 UK-wide mobile phone insurance scam, well here’s some good news: the men behind it have already confessed and admitted that they masterminded it. From October 2005 to April 2010, Christopher Surman, 47, Wayne Ghosh, 43, Andrew Patterson, 32, all from Swansea, and Omar Mapara, 33 from Yate, South Gloucestershire, conspired to cheat customers of mobile phone providers by selling insurance policies that were unauthorised by the Financial Services Authority and were invalid.

I hope it’s really a good news for you guys. Let’s continue to help our crime busters by reporting unjust and deceitful conducts.

And for our weekly top 3, these scammers really don’t learn their lessons. Tsk, tsk, i think they really want to go to jail?? They should never get away from this.

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PPI Nuisance Calls: An Ongoing and Prevalent Problem in the UK

As demonstrated by numerous comments on tellows worldwide, nuisance calls have become a frequent and extensive problem around the globe. For an increasing number of users from the UK, PPI calls pose a particularly persistent and common issue and have been an often discussed topic on our tellows blog. The fact that – not without reason – most consumers have grown increasingly suspicious of telephone calls by unknown numbers is illustrated by comments such as those of Fifalde, who wrote about the number 01494590777:

This number tried calling my mobile several times yesterday – I don’t answer any numbers that I don’t recognise or have stored in my phone so I left it – no voicemail left which is a dead giveaway that its either PPI or something else. I just added it to my reject list. Hope this helps

PPI Calls as Cost Trap and Disturbance of Everyday Life
According to a new survey conducted by Citizens Advice, two thirds of British adults have received messages related to claims for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) – 98% of which were unsolicited and without permission. More than half also said they were contacted more than 10 times within the past year often considered a disturbance of everyday life for the recipients: whereas nearly a quarter received calls during dinner with family, 14% were interrupted at work.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizen Advice, noted that those who fall victim to a PPI claims scam suffer twice the damage – once with the bank and a second time when the claims firm doesn’t provide the full compensation the victim deserves. Reporting number 02086148283 as PPI claims scam, user SiM warned about possible costs as well:

PPI company that cons you into signing up with them and then takes 30% of whatever they find for you, as payment. They also use a computer dialer that calls numbers and then hangs up on you if an operator is not available to talk at you

Furthermore, Guy stressed that nuisance calls “are often a sign that the service on offer is not very good or is actually a scam” and demands a ban for financial services firms from cold-calling to help consumers detect untrustworthy companies and scams.

PPI Claims Scam Approach and Target
More than 90% of the participants of the latest Citizen Advice survey stated that they were contacted by telphone regarding PPI claims with 40% receiving automated messages on their landline whereas 35% were contacted via text message on their mobile phone. According to previous research of the organisation, nuisance calls were not restricted to claims management companies alone: cold calls accounted for 35% of complaints concerning financial services.

As with most scams, the main aim is to gain access to the victim’s money. In the case of this particular scam, the victim is often persuaded to pay fees in advance for fake loans and sometimes, a person’s bank details have been passed on to other companies. With at least half of 30,000 complaints between April 2012 and March 2013 related to PPI and other financial services, users like Nikki who commented on the number 01625665142, are not alone with their grievances:

Ppi credit agent, told not interested 5 times, still continue to ask if I have had any texts or voicemails when asked what’s it to do with them they get angry an then say well have you checked your credit file, when told one last time I’m not interested the woman said fine an hung up. Don’t waste time answering to them

Numbers Related to PPI Claims Calls
Among the most recently reported and commented on telephone numbers connected to PPI claims on tellows are the following numbers:

 

To stay on the safe side, don’t provide any personal or financial information about yourself (and especially your bank account) on the telephone. Also don’t forget that you have the right to end the conversation by simply putting down the phone – especially if the person on the other end of the line seems to have a dubious agenda. If you have any information on a phone number that might be untrustworthy – PPI related or not – don’t hesistate to report it on tellows.

Sources:
telegraph.co.uk

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Students – more likely become victims of a scam

Mobile phone fraud involves a variety of scams that either persuade you to buy phone-related products/services that turn out to be non-existent or to make phone calls or texts to premium services by accident or to unknowingly sign up to expensive subscription services. And each year millions of the UK consumers fall victim to mobile phone frauds.
There is one group of people who are more likely to become a victim of a scam – students! Students are using their mobile phones almost 24 h a day and they are open to communication with the world. Those might be the reasons for the latest frauds in the UK, when students were victims.
Last fall college students have been left in thousands of pounds of debt after becoming involved in a mobile phone contract scam. A fraud has made young people sign up for numerous expensive mobile phone deals on the promise they will not be required to fulfil them. Young people from Preston College have taken out mobile phone contracts which they hand over to a fraudster, who promised to cancel the contracts. But instead he shipped them abroad to places like India and Pakistan leaving students facing bills for more than £2,000 each. Some of them were paid a fee for their work, while others were probably conned into the belief taking mobile phones would “improve their credit rating.” Police have today revealed frauds – criminals from Blackburn.
Very often scammed are especially international students. Tellows user m.wentzel reported number 02032398294 and his comment:

This is one of the numbers that pretends to be from the UKBA to fool international students in the UK and tell them there is something wrong with their imigration application. They have parts of your data (maybe name, zip-code etc.) and they try to get ALL of your information plus your credit card details. Do not give that information!

In 2012 BBC informed that in nine months viruses that steal cash have jumped from 29% of mobile malware to 62% . Mobile security firm Lookout said viruses were getting on to phones via booby-trapped apps and through adverts and webpages harbouring malware. Those viruses added charges to a user’s bill to cash in. Fraudsters inserted a virus called “NotCompatible”. Such a virus might be used to artificially inflate the popularity of an advert, a song on a music website to help generate a larger return for criminals.
Another example of scam adds has been reported by Tellows user London on number 07572597532:

Be careful people. This guy puts fakes adds on gumtree. But is a scam.
Trust me. This guy is a scammer.

People are being tricked into signing up, often by typing in their mobile number online, for services they actually don’t want. Messages are then sent out which can cost users up to £4.50 per text to receive. Unless people keep a close eye on their mobile phone bills those charges can add up very quickly. For example, twenty-four-year-old Beth Coundley from Chichester got caught out after receiving around five texts a month for five months. In total she was charged around £130 despite insisting she never signed up for any services.
And those are just few examples of this huge problem. To protect yourself it is better not to respond to unknown numbers, to reply to text messages from someone you don’t know, to reply to any text that claims you won money. We have to remember it is not possible to win money without entering a competition.
Taking into consideration the amount of phone frauds, the UK government is doing everything possible to protect their citizens. There are advices how to protect yourself and your money in the internet, also everybody who becomes victims can make a fraud information report on webpage of Tellows. Police and National Fraud Authority are working together to fight this fight. Unfortunately, the development of technologies guarantees the development of fraudsters’ imagination.

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Another Day, Another Scam – Be aware of current fraud-methods!

Another scam trying to lure you into a trip by promises of great riches sprouts shoots.

We would like to warn you about a message which promises a bonus payment of 1000₤ in addition to the regular pension. This recorded message want you to push 5 for further information or 9 for unsubscribing. Sometimes it’s not a message but a call. One of the numbers which are used by those fraudsters is 01619610056. Please don’t answer to that, its a scam! If you know other numbers, comment them here in order to warn other users!

Another method to get your money is stealing your bank details. We reported last year about scammers who claim to be SKY-employees in order to get your bank information. Now another company called Lending Stream is intend to gain access to your purse. They claim they granted you a loan in the past which they debit from your bank account now – although there isn’t any evidence for this loan. Even big banks like Lloyds aren’t protected from this method. Unfiortunately, you are often left alone with the problem because they don’t know how to avoid scams like this.

Our user Andrew tells us about his bad experiences with Lending Stream.

this company offered my father a loan so he paid them a u-cash voucher for 145 pounds so as his loan went into his bank account… it all seemed above board then they said they wanted another 250 to process….LENDING TREAM… Comlpete rip off merchants PLEASE STAY AWAY… my dad is 68 years old and they took most of his wages and then wanted more…SCUM THATS WHAT THIS COMPANY ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And they said he cant have his money BACK!!!!

All we can do is to pay attention and to share our experiences on tellows.co.uk.

Take care, your tellows-Team!

Sources:
Guardian – Lloyds Payday Fraud
Guardian – Recorded Phone Message

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The Silent Call Plague – Weekly Top 3 Spammers

There’s not much news on the top UK spam ranks:

1. 01932504981 from Weybridge with a tellows score of 7
2. 07520905002 mobile phone number with a tellows score of 8
3. 02073286956 from London with a tellows score of 7

Insurance scam business is still flousishing, especially with the number 01932504981 that is still relentlessly trying to sell car insurance on behalf of Van compare.

User Odd call‘s comment speaks of the incompetence of the caller:

Answered and they said calling from car insurance company and that my insurance was up for renewal and was this right? I said “I have no idea” the guy on the other end said “oh my gosh!” and hung up. I have no idea what he thought I said, but it was different for a sales team to hang up on me rather than the other way round.

We got a silent call number on rank two for a change. Best comment of the week by scamhater says it all:

My advice is to always do what I do with these scam type calls;

1. use your phone to make a recording of 1 second of silence. (keep this 1 second silence in your ringtone or media folder)

2. save the recording and call it scamtone or something.

3. then enter the scammy number into your address book as ; scam1, scam2, scam 3 etc. Each one represents a different scammy number that you get over time.

4. finally, associate the 1 second of silence with each scammy number as a ringtone.

Simple – they can ring and ring and if you dont hear it you dont pick it up. If it is associated to a name ; Scam1 etc, you will never be tempted to ring it back from your call history.

Last week’s rank-3-number stayed where it is, still harassing people in the UK at all times of night. There are some hints that such silent calls at night could originate from an overseas call center, probably in India. Some companies are hiring telephone assistants in countries, where workforce is cheaper for them. They obviously did not keep the time zones in mind.

And as we already emphasized a million times, silent calls proved to be the precursors of real telemarketing or scam calls – so watch out!

Stay tuned and keep eyes and ears open for more spam numbers!

Kind regards,

Team Tellows

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UK’s Top 3 Spammers Sell Insurance

Surprise, surprise! 01484818084 is persisting on rank 1 of the British top spam numbers.

1. 01484818084 from Huddersfield with a tellows score of 8
2. 01932504981 from Weybridge with a tellows score of 7
3. 01412582118 from Glasgow with a tellows score of 8

As we already reported last week, number 01484818084 is a telemarketing number for PI claims, mortgages, insurance and even solar pannels. The latest comment by user Amber says that the number is still active, but it sounds like it is giving silent calls once in a while, as well:

Keep calling me, no one ever speaks, now on my phones “blocked number” list sends their call straight to my voice mail.

Insurance, insurance, insurance. Is there anything in life they do not have an insurance for? The company number on rank 2 is apparently Van Compare Insurance or Connect Quote – or a callcentre working for both of them. Several users reported this fact after having called them and after being led to the company´s answer machine.
copper1fox wrote:

Called this number back and this number takes you to an automated message advising they are calling up about car insurance.

On this week´s rank 3 we have a really ridiculous call centre. They really seem to be selling anything! Tellows users commented the following items sold by this number: air conditoning/dehumidifier, solar panels and grants, Home Safe Security and alarms as well as green energy.

User Broadsword wrote:

They rang twice man with strong Glasgow accent asking “Do you want any Gear”, plus other dirty comments. Laughed a few times and hang up. This at 10.30am.

Did they call you, too? What else can you tell us about these numbers? Are there any other harassing, ridiculous or dangerous numbers trying to call you?

We appreciate all useful comments on harassing phone numbers.

In the name of the community: Thank you!

Your Tellows Team

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Ignoring The TPS!? The British Top 3 Phone Spammers

The only number that didn´t change since the last British Top 3 spam number report is 01484818084 on rank 1.

1. 01484818084 from Huddersfield with a tellows score of 8
2. 01412582118 from Glasgow with a tellows score of 8
3. 01234945454 from Bedford with a tellows score of 7

Manyfold telemarketing offers seem to originate from number 01484818084 – the British top spam number! As we discovered recently with the help of all Tellows users, the callers are not only trying to sell PI claims or mortgages but also goods, suchs as solar pannels. The latest comment reveals even another “product” – CI insurace. Insurance scam seems to be the most flourishing fraud method of all in Britain.

User waveylines reported:

Asian person who rang me wanting my details…for a claim he reckoned i was due….was reluctant to give me any details about the company he worked for -was evasive but eventually told me that hie company was called Talk International and he worked in the CI claims department..Difficult to understand his accent….

Tellows does not want to promote any stereotypes or xenophobia. We highly depreciate this. Please keep in mind that suspicious telemarketing companies hire the cheapest workforce and therefore often make a profit out of globalization and bad economic situations in other countries.

The number on rank 2 is getting on people’s nerves with silent calls. It is a typical method of checking phone numbers with the help of an automath in order to give telemarketing calls sooner or later. Same thing with 01234945454 which is on rank 3.

Don’t let them take over! The community counts on your comments!

Your Tellows Team

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Spam Numbers Of The Week – The British Top 5

The most annoying numbers are still the same, though there are some changes on the minor ranks:

1. 01484818084 from Huddersfield with a tellows score of 8
2. 01234945454 from Bedford with a tellows score of 7
3. 07968463380 a mobil phone number with a tellows score of 7
4. 07787225074 a mobil phone number with a tellows score of 9
5. 07787241083 a mobil phone number with a tellows score of 9

This week’s most annoying phone number 01484818084 has been searched more than 5293 times now. Beware! Several stories about what the callers are offering on this number have been reported. The range is very wide, starting off with PI claims, mortgages as well as solar pannels. This does not sound trustworthy at all.

This is what waveylines wrote about this number:

Asian person who rang me wanting my details…for a claim he reckoned i was due….was reluctant to give me any details about the company he worked for -was evasive but eventually told me that hie company was called Talk International and he worked in the CI claims department.

For number 01234945454 we found out that the initial ping calls comming from this number turned into PPI claims spam. We already reported about this method in a previous article:

Main principle of the scam: the caller is trying to convince people that they are owed money for an unclaimed PPI insurance. The method of the fraudulant calls is simple: assuming the called person has a loan, stating exactly how much money the person is owed by the unclaimed insurance and offering their service of getting the client’s money back – after prior payment, of course.

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We count on you in the struggle against phone spam and scam!

Your Tellows Team

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PPI Claims Phone Scam To Strike UK – The Most Wanted Numbers

Here are this week’s top three callers:
1. 01254368742 from Blackburn with a tellows score of 7
2. 0166886633 from Bamburgh with a tellows score of 8
3. 01412582118 from Glasgow with a tellows score of 8

We have a new top spam candidate this week: 01254368742 from Blackburn. Citizens of the UK beware, this is a new phone scam method that is about to strike not only Great Britain, but also other English-speaking parts of the world.

There were more than 2000 search requests for this number on Tellows since several cases of PPI fraud attempts have been reported. Fraudsters have been contacting people, saying that they won a PPI claim for the loan somebody apparently had. What loan? Never had one? No matter, cold callers hope to catch people in desperate financial situations to fall for their scam.

Main principle of the scam: the caller is trying to convince people that they are owed money for an unclaimed PPI insurance. The method of the fraudulant calls is simple: assuming the called person has a loan, stating exactly how much money the person is owed by the unclaimed insurance and offering their service of getting the client’s money back – after prior payment, of course.

After other scams, such as the so-called “PC doctor”, lotteries or surveys, fraudsters are now trying to be paid for gaining money back for clients who had an unclaimed payment protection insurance (PPI). PPI, also known as credit insurance, insures consumers that they will be able to pay off their debt in the case of losing their income source or in case of illness or death. The difference between serious insurance agencies and fraudsters is that the latter will ask consumers to pay for the service in advance and/or give out their bank details on the phone.

As many Tellows users reported, the number followed the classical scheme of sending out ping calls first in order to check whether phone numbers are active. babs reported:

This number rings my mobile every day. I do not answer. I looked up number is Accrington Lancs,. I always leave it to go to voicemail. never leave a message. Have now reported it to my network provider. I withheld number and rang it. A machine picked it up, said Elsworth Associates.

First complaints about PPI matters from this number were lodged since the end of June. User scott wrote:

they are a ppi company that can claim cash back on loans etc, it is possible on mobiles to block a certain phone number like this one. hassling us peeps ive blocked the number so good luck.

User Carol is not impressed at all:

Called asking to help me “claw back PPI” when I said I didn’t require their services they said they would remove me from their database. Yeah, right!

Beware and don not fall for this. In order to prevent other scam methods to flourish, do not hesitate to report spam/scam numbers and their ways to Tellows. Thank you for your cooperation!

Yours,
Team Tellows

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