Posts Tagged scam

Don’t fall for the scam claiming to be from SKY!

Reports from people receiving calls from possible scammers claiming to be from a Sky contact center still continue on despite the recent conviction for conspiracy of 14 people who used the same trick, as sentenced by the Swansea Crown Court.

The latest report came from the victim who was advised to wait for a replacement viewing card to be inserted in her Sky box. The next scam caller told her that she was also entitled for a refund for the overcharging of Sky. After the victim gave her bank details to the caller, she then discovered that large sums of money had been withdrawn from her account.

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01614510965: Nuisance calls increase due to leaked Barclay’s customer data?

A whistleblower handed the Mail a memory stick containing thousands of Barclay’s customer files, which is allegedly just a sample of a wider database containing information on 27,000 customers.

The file includes sensitive information about customer’s earnings, savings, mortgages, health issues and insurance policies. These files were compromised and sold to boiler room scammers for up to £50 per file. The stolen data may be as detailed as providing information about each customer’s occupation, health, marital status, and even their investment habits.

These information may then be used by scammers in understanding the investment attitude of customers and use this for fraudulent activities like the sale of carbon credits, diamond, rare earth metals and different kinds of commodity scam. As explained by the whistleblower, the Barclay file is:

pure gold to brokers (who must have made a fortune out of it) because it gave them a psychological edge over potential investors – their victims. Because of its detail it allowed the brokers to get inside the minds of their targets. They knew exactly how much money these people were prepared to invest and their attitude to risk.

These fraudsters who act as „loaders“ or brokers can earn up to 40 percent a deal as investment sale commission. Contracts that may seem legal and valid would even include an „exit clause“ – the date when the ROI is expected. But before this happens, the fly-by-night scammer closes shop and disappears, only to open another one after a while.

tellows UK also received a number of complaints in relation with this scam. 01614510965 was cited as harrasment call by user Annoyed:

Said they were Barclays but would’t give any information until I gave my details to this random person at this random number. Ridiculous obviously declined and asked them to write instead they haven’t, not suprised. Do not hand your details over the phone ask them to write to you and remove your contact number from their system.

RJG also reported the number 08000852652:

Scam! Contacted Barclays and it is not one of their numbers. Been passed on to the Fraud Department

Initial investigations by Barclays suggest that the massive theft of data may be linked to its former Barclays financial planning business which ceased operating in 2011 and said the leaked data originated from 2008 or earlier.

Barclay may face charges for failing to protect customer data. The case is being investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office, the police and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Sources:
www.theguardian.com

www.redd-monitor.org

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A Call for Reform: Empower Regulators to Fine More Companies as Nuisance Callers

Three years since UK’s Information Communication Office has been given the power to impose a fine of up to £500,000, only two firms have been prosecuted so far. This is the situation despite the staggering increase in the number of complaints received between April and October last year, totalling to 100,000 – a far cry from the 30,000 reports in 2012.

One of these companies is First Financial, which was fined £175,000 after sending millions of spam texts to promote its website using unregistered sim cards.

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Parliament Acts on Worsening Nuisance Calls

Due to the increasing number of complaints regarding unwanted marketing messages and abandoned, silent phone calls, the UK Committee on Culture, Media and Sports has recently published its report on nuisance calls since it started its inquiry in July 2013.

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Ofcom Rallies Troops in War on Caller ID Spoofing

21st October 2013 brought good news for all phone-owners as British regulator Ofcom joined forces with international regulators in the UK, USA and Canada to crack down on ‘spoof’ callers.

Ofcom and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will be working with the US’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Canada’s Competition Bureau and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). This new task force aims to share international resources and knowledge to tackle nuisance callers’ stranglehold over phonelines the world over.

Spoof calling, for those unfamiliar with the term, involves using a nifty bit of software to mask the number you’re actually calling from, in order to prevent the recipients of your calls being able to locate you, or call you back. This is of course, infuriating for those of us badgered incessantly by anonymous callers. What’s even more infuriating is that whilst some spoofers use gobbledegook numbers instead of their own, others have really taken the biscuit and tactically use well-known organisations’ digits to execute some quite remarkable conning manoeuvres.

Whilst spoofing has been happening for years, the people behind it are becoming ever more audacious. Regular spoofing will be something along the lines of what user Steven reports about number 01164465587:

SILENT CALL and if you try and call it back it is unrecognised. Looks like a scam or a spoof. The BT 1471 read this number correctly but it is duff.

Commenting on number 01618149908, user Dawn mentions another standard spoofing tactic: hiding a phone number with a bad reputation and using an as yet ‘clean’ one so you aren’t forewarned when the phone rings.

just so people know,,,,DRD ALSO CONTACT YOU USING THIS NUMBER ,,,,07734953850,, i have found out that this is a “SPOOF” number they are used by tele marketing to make them seem legitimate number calling you 

If you’ve been called by 000-000-0000 (or another unlikely-looking number), it’s highly probable that the caller was using spoofing technology. Difficulty in tracking down spoofing culprits is increased thousandfold by the fact that the origin of the call is completely untraceable. Without an area code, there is generally no way of discerning where or who a call has come from. This means that internationally-placed spoof calls are becoming increasingly common: hence the transatlantic team-up.

The joint statement from the six organisations, published on the ICO’s website, avers that they

will work together to share information and target organizations responsible for spoofing.

The member organisations will pool resources, share information and work in collaboration with telecommunications industries in their respective countries to target and reprimand offending organisations. Guidelines on what constitutes ‘misuse’ of the spoofing technique are also being reconsidered, revised and made much clearer, with a view to introducing tougher punitive measures: monetary penalties of up to £500,000 are being considered for foul-players.

In the UK, US and Canada, all telemarketers are legally obliged to identify themselves, meaning that spoofing, and also number-concealment, are against the law. Always be on your guard with unknown callers and watch out for the warning signs: are they trying to weasel information out of you, personal or otherwise? If they claim to be calling on behalf of a service you use, ask yourself if this is how they normally contact you. Try to call back on the official company number if you’re in any doubt at all and never respond to threats or implausible claims.

Take care and have a great week!

Your tellows team

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When a Stranger Calls: The Top 5 Most Annoying Numbers of the Week

Dear friends of tellows,

as autumn settles in and leaves start to change their color, unfortunately, some things remain the same. Not a day passes by without users reporting unwanted nuisance calls on tellows. The most searched numbers this week include the following:

1. 01143072406 with 5 comments and 4717 search requests. tellows Score: 7
2. 02075363554 with 3 comments and 3514 search requests. tellows Score: 5
3. 01614867770 with 16 comments and 10225 search requests. tellows Score: 7
4. 01753441520 with 5 comments and 7394 search requests. tellows Score: 7
5. 01415676218 with 11 comments and 4543 search requests. tellows Score: 7

Rated by our users as rather untrustworthy with a tellows score of 7, our first number, 01143072406, has been a frequent guest on our top 5 list. Most of our users that reported the number have complained about unsolicited telemarketing calls by a well-known British energy and home services provider.

Our second place this week, the number 02075363554 has been reported by our users for unsolicited telemarketing calls as well. In spite of a neutral tellows score of 7, the majority felt bothered by the persistent calls from the number. User Jill reported:

Unsolicited have asked not to call previously

Calling from Manchester, our third number, 01614867770, has been ranking on our list for nearly a year and with a rating of 7 has been considered to be rather untrustworthy. Most of our users felt harassed by frequent calls regarding insurance issues. User Stirling32 commented:

As stated previously, calling on behalf of an insurance company to discuss an accident (very minor bump) had in 2012. Asked for personal details – including that of my family – before they’d continue with the call, which I refused until they confirmed some details to me. Of course, I was told that due to data protection, they wouldn’t divulge anything to me until I had to them!! […] Recommend ignoring unless you have five minutes to waste having a little fun with them….

The fourth place this week goes to number 01753441520, a new entry on our list and yet another number that earned a tellows score of 7 due to unwanted calls that our users perceived as harassment. Many of our users stated to have received calls in spite of being registered with TPS. User Johnny even wondered:

I’m registered with TPS and ex-directory as well. however, i still recieve unsolicited calls. what use is TPS if it doesn’t work.

Ranking on our final place is number 01415676218 with calls originating from Glasgow. According to the comments of our users, the number calls both on the land line as well as the mobile phone, all throughout the day and at unsociable hours without leaving a message. User Samantha decided to take action against the unwanted calls:

I started answering, they still call every day and I swear at them. I have put in a report to TPS, I advise everyone else to as well.

If you have received unsolicited or dubious calls or have any other information on a certain telephone number, do not hesitate to share it with our tellows community. Other than that, we hope you stay scam and nusicance call-free.

Your tellows team

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Unsolicited Telephone Calls: The Top 5 Nuisance Callers of the Week

Dear friends of tellows,

with another week coming to an end, we have another set of spam and scam numbers that have kept you and your phone lines busy throughout the past seven days. With a few new entries, this week’s list is composed of a mix of the usual suspects and newcomers. Let’s have a look:

1. 08000641087 with 9 comments and 9774 search requests. tellows Score: 6
2. 01143072000 with 15 comments and 8300 search requests. tellows Score: 7
3. 01482489200 with 4 comments and 1153 search requests. tellows Score: 8
4. 02392386688 with 3 comments and 1731 search requests. tellows Score: 6
5. 01625538490 with 8 comments and 6595 search requests. tellows Score: 8

Our first place this week, number 08000641087, is known to users on our Polish and German sites as well and has become a frequent guest on our list. Most of our users complained about having received several missed calls without any voicemessage left from the number. Additionally, user EVE reported that you can’t return the calls:

This number has rung my mother several times over the past few days,no ideas who its from because theres no message and you cant ring it back.

The second number today is 01143072000 calling from Sheffield. In spite of numerous comments and search requests on tellows, this week’s entry marks only its second appearance on our list. Even though the number with a tellows score of 7 is deemed rather untrustworthy by our users, its authenticity is highly debated. Whereas some reported a telephone provider behind the calls, others questioned the legitimacy of the calls due to the fact that they were also contacted abroad in the US and Turkey, for instance. User Buck commented:

The number called me.. No message left for me. Previous calls from same number that I won’t answer. Calls day and night. Good number search shows me where the call is made from, the location to the nearest 25 metres. Guess what, I am in Sheffield next week on business. Will be nice to meet the person won’t it.

Calling from Hull, the number 01482489200 ranks on our third place this week and is a newcomer to the list. Often allocated to a well-known telecommunications service provider in the UK, most have reported calls from the number as telemarketing and aggressive advertising. Additionally, most users questioned the authenticity of the calls like Petunia 70:

I said i didn’t know whether he was really from Talk Talk and asked his name. He asked for my name,address and birth-date. I said I would check with Talk Talk and ring him back.He rang off.

Another newcomer to our list, number four 02392386688 makes calls from Southhampton – the nature of which are rather disputed among users. While some regarded continuous calls from this number as nuisance, user L Scard rated the number as trustworthy, commenting:

got call from this number it was from spectrum housing group telling me when my job would be done,nothing horrible no sales talk just spectrum.

Finally, number 01625538490 from Macclesfield ranks as yet another newcomer on our fifth place this week. According to our users, the caller offers services to reclaim PPI for loans and credit cards. Most users have doubts regarding the legitimacy of the calls.

If you have recently received any calls from an unknown number that seem untrustworthy or dubious, do not hesitate to share your experiences on tellows.co.uk and help raise awareness about telephone spam and scam numbers. Have a nice weekend!

Your tellows team

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No More Nuisance Calls: The False Promises of Scammers

As most of our tellows users know all too well, incessant calls from telemarketers or call centres have become a genuine nuisance. Thus, services to put a stop to these type of unsolicited calls enjoy increasing popularity. Aside from apps such as the tellows app to detect spam and scam calls, there is the option to register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) to prevent unwanted and cold calls.

A Scam Claiming to Stop Spam
However, not all service provider are trustworthy: some fraudsters try to take advantage of the fact that many consumers are plagued by unsolicited calls. The police advise to be extremely cautious of callers claiming to provide services to prevent unwanted calls. Claiming to be aware of the fact that you have been bothered by numerous unsolicited calls recently, the caller attempts to offer information and appliances in order to stop the calls.

In some instances, the caller may even know some personal information such as your address, the bank you use or your credit/debit card number. Some of our tellows users have made similar experiences as Betty Sinclair, who allocated the number 07825874525 to BT, who reported:

Unknown number sent numerous messages, knew details about myself which unnerved me.

Generally, the purpose of the call is to obtain further information regarding your credit/debit card such as the issue or expiry date, account number, security code, to access your credit card account or use for identity theft.

Recognizing and Dealing with the Scammers
Sometimes even seemingly insignificant details can be a clue that you are targeted by scammers. Therefore you should be wary, how the caller identifies him- or herself: even though the scammers often claim to be calling from BT directly, only BT Privacy at Home offers the telephone preference service. Similarly, user spammed, who commented on the number 01274802868, noticed:

The caller said they were calling from British Telecom. As a former worker for BT they stopped calling themselves British Telecom back in the early 90s.

To avoid falling a victim to these types of scams, you should never give bank or personal details on the telephone, especially if you have doubts about the legitimacy of the call. If the caller claims to be from your bank, phone them on the number that you normally use or know to be legitimate to confirm that the call you receive was genuine.

Furthermore, you should be aware that if you receive unsolicited calls in spite of being registered at TPS, the calls are probably scam calls as well. User Paula, for instance, wrote about the number 00443562780913:

The person who called, spoke English with an accent, said she was not trying to sell anything but merely conducting a survey. She seemed to know both my name and when I asked her how they have these information, since I’m registered with TPS, she got evasive and asked if I could just answer her some questions.

In case you have provided personal and financial information to what you suspect to be scammers, you may contact your bank and, if necessary, ask them to issue a new credit/debit card. Moreover, you can report the scammers to the police at Action Fraud as well as on tellows to warn others who may be contacted by the scammers.

Source:
Chester Chronicle

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The Top 5 Most Wanted Spammers and Scammers

Dear friends of tellows,

with September just beginning, a lot of you have had busy telephone lines and rather than receiving pleasant calls from friends or family, a lot of you were bothered yet again dubious phone calls. The following numbers are the 5 worst offenders of the first week of September:

1. 01234567890 with 3 comments and 2768 search requests. tellows Score: 6
2. 08000641087 with 9 comments and 9519 search requests. tellows Score: 6
3. 08448471424 with 3 comments and 4294 search requests. tellows Score: 4
4. 01914326538 with 3 comments and 2422 search requests. tellows Score: 6
5. 01592642600 with 3 comments and 2963 search requests. tellows Score: 8

The most wanted of the week, number 01234567890 from Bedford, has made monthly appearances on the list since August and always ranked on first place. According to the overall consensus of our users, this number is used for a scam to gain access to the recipient’s computer by claiming it has been infected by a virus.

An even more notorious “guest” on our list, the number 08000641087 has been occupying the second place almost continously for the past two months. Calling frequently without leaving a message, the identity of the caller has remained a mystery to our users. However, some have shared their theories who might be behind the persistent calls:

This number called 5 times but leave any message; surely it is up to something bad. I dont how it had number but I have two theories. Either from ITV after submitting an answer to a competition or moneysupermarket.com after buying insurance, the only two companies I have recently given my number.

Our third place this week, telephone number 08448471424, has been first reported two years ago. With an overall tellows score of 4 and ratings ranging from 1 (reliable) to 8 (not trustworthy), the trustworthiness of the number has been the subject of some discussion. User mandeee stated:

This is the o2 collections department for overdue accounts. It’s an automated service, though, and will harass you for up to 24 hours AFTER you pay the bill. Trustworthy, but a nuisance, too.

A complete newbie to the list, number 01914326538 ranks on our fourth place and in spite of a score of 6, most users seem to consider it untrustworthy. Whereas some suspected a debt collection company behind the calls, user Concerned commented:

The above number called twice today, I did not recognise it nor did I answer it. I did, however call them back, the receiver was picked up for about 1-2 seconds then hung up with no communication. I was not impressed or appeased by this response so have been left suspicious of their intentions

Ranking on our fifth and final place this week, the telephone number 01592642600 is another newcomer to the list even though it has been active for quite a while and with a tellows score of 8, is not exactly deemed trustworthy. While some have marked the calls originating from Kirkcaldy as aggressive advertising, other users suggested that the number was used for investigations regarding tax fraud.

If you have further information on this or any other number that appears to be making dubious phone calls, you are more than welcome to contribute to our tellows community and exchange details about telephone numbers and callers with other users. Other than that, have a nice and hopefully peaceful weekend.

Your tellows team

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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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