Author Archives: Jessica Braasch

What are Brexit phone scams?

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Dear readers,

This time tellows would like to share some insights about the impact of the Brexit on phone scams and unwanted calls. As we are all concerned, the Brexit is not only a frustrating process, but besides its own complexity and influences, there is also a very annoying side effect – the Brexit scams. Phone frauds are not strange to us, there are many fraudsters in the UK and we often read news about phone scams. However, Brexit is making it worse by providing these scammers more ways to deceive people. Let’s take a look at the latest four Brexit phone scams.

brexit
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez and Kevin Grieve on Unsplash

Getting to know the Brexit scams

HMRC Brexit scams

Do you own a business and trade with the EU? If yes, then lets assume you have been told by the government that you have to register for a ‘UK trader number’. Scammers will try to reach you through email, text message or over the phone, and ask for your personal details such as bank account details, internet banking password or offering you a tax refund in exchange for personal or financial details.
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Introducing Our New iPhone App Partner

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Dear tellows fellows,

tellows database consists of over millions of telephone numbers reported by our users worldwide. As you can read on our API page, we are always open for any collaboration and partnership by offering the access to our database. Recently, we made a collaboration with Ever Apps LLC to support its anti spam call app for iPhone with the tellows database. In case you haven’t heard of this application, here’s a quick overview of our new partner app!

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Annual Review 2018

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Dear tellows fellows,

we, the tellows team, sincerely wish you a happy new year!

Thanks to you and your endless support we could reach our goals and grow even more in 2018. From the new features of the tellows app to our new and fresh homepage design, we will tell you all the important news in the following annual review. Check it out! Continue reading

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Tech Support Scam Returns with a New Trick

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Dear tellows fellows,

as you might remember, we have posted an article about fake technical support scam in the beginning of last August to warn you of the rising issue of a Microsoft scam. Microsoft has also released several statements on their official website to warn people about this fraud. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop scammers from finding other ways to trick people.

Recently, we found out that many fake tech support scammers have been using another method to deceive Microsoft users. They take advantage of Microsoft TechNet portals and created over 3000 fake pages. The TechNet portal is usually used by Microsoft users to save documentations of products and images as well as to offer community forums for its users. Unfortunately, the scammers have found a way to use the subdomain of TechNet portal, gallery.technet.microsoft.com, in order to be displayed on Google. Although the pages are usually blank pages with error message, the scammers’ purpose is to display their phone numbers on the headline of the pages. They mostly affiliate the tech support with Bitcoin or Coinbase Helpdesk. The problem has gotten bigger, as the fraudsters were able to rank quite high on google search and their fake pages were displayed on the first page when the users search for keywords such as “Helpdesk Microsoft”, “Helpdesk Coinbase”, etc.
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French University Project with tellows API

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Dear tellows fellows,

tellows is versatile and the tellows data can be used for different systems. We developed an API that suits all kinds of projects and allows you to access the database and use the number details as preferred.

Today, we want to introduce a student project from the UPMC University in Paris, which was realized with the help of the tellows API.
For the students, the task was to build an Android App with an API. The idea was to develop a caller ID that identifies French numbers and shows whether a number is dangerous or trustworthy. With the help of our API, they managed to build the App in just a few weeks. As soon as a call comes in, it shows the respective tellows score that indicates if the number is dangerous or not. Opening the app, it will show a list of all recently received calls. Furthermore, it displays the number, score and country.

The final result was presented within the class and turned out successful. We are happy that we could be part of it and help to realize the project. However, a publication of the application is not possible.

screenshot appscreenshot app opened

tellows is happy to collaborate with companies and developers to create projects for commercial or research purposes. If you have any questions, please contact us.

If you need more information about our API, please visit this website.

Your tellows team

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tellows App for iPhone – New Login Feature and Personal Blacklist

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Dear tellows fellows, starting today a new tellows iPhone version  for “tellows Caller ID & Block” is available in the App store: 1.4.0! The app works for all devices using iOS 10 or higher.

Version 1.4.0 comes with an improved protection from unwanted phone calls, thanks to some new features. You have the ability to log in to your own tellows account and easily access it from multiple devices. You can also edit your account settings and posted comments, when you log in to tellows in the web browser.

Additionally, you can now create your personal blacklist and add unwanted numbers that are not yet rated or don’t appear in the blacklist. If you rate a number negatively, it will be added to your personal blacklist and will be blocked the next time you receive a call. Even if the overall rating assigned by other tellows users of the phone number is different, it will still be blocked. You must be logged in to use this feature and synchronize your personal blacklist with your device. You can use your one personal blacklist across all devices and tellows products.
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tellows API for programmers – Protection from Nuisance Calls (e.g. with Asterisk)

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We have now created an API (live interface to tellows), which allows you to integrate the information about a number into your own programs. The API is mainly for programmers who want to access the data base of tellows.
An example application is the integration into a Asterisk telephone system, in order to process the score of numbers and respond accordingly.

For a detailed look at the tellows API with all available parameters, see our documentation: tellows API Documentation

If you are interested in an individual solution for your company, you can join our partner program: tellows API – Partnership Program

Response of the API via test access: https://www.tellows.co.uk/basic/num/08003289393?xml=1&partner=test&apikey=test123

Parameters in the URL
xml: 1 = XML output; 0 = HTML formatted output
partner: Partner login will be given by us on request
apikey: key for partner login and is also given on request
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The tellows app for Android and iPhone – Avoid Spam and Scam Calls with our Caller Identification

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You can now access real-time information about your incoming calls to learn more about the caller – whether it’s a trustworthy friend or an annoying telemarketer. Once your phone rings the tellows app will tell you the trustworthiness of the caller. Share you experience about the number by commenting on the caller’s phone numbers, thus warning your fellows tellows users against probable dangers.

The only requirement is of course, aside from internet access, an Android Smartphone or an iPhone.
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A Call for Reform: Empower Regulators to Fine More Companies as Nuisance Callers

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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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