Author Archives: Kristine

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.

Weekly Update on the UK’s Top 5 Most Wanted Telephone Numbers

Here we go again with Tellows weekly update on 5 most annoying spam and scam numbers in the UK. Let’s have a look what has been changed and who is the new Top 5 leader this week:

1. 01422387713 from Halifax – United Kingdom with a tellows Score of 9
2. 01618505451 from Manchester – United Kingdom with a tellows Score of 8
3. 01792455426 from Swansea – United Kingdom with a tellows Score of 8
4. 01933441081 from Wellingborough – United Kingdom with a tellows Score of 7
5. 01942710601 from Wigan – United Kingdom with a tellows Score of 7

1st place this week goes to the number 01422387713 from Halifax. There were more than 15000 inquiries for the Top Leader this week. Tellows user tmstony reported this number as harassment call and commented on this number:

Calls and hangs up. Unable to take no for an answer and behaves badly when I refuse to confirm personal data.

2nd place goes to the number 01618505451 from Manchester. Our users already know this number very well as it has been irritating them for the last couple of months and still persist being harassing. Tellows user Mad woman told us:

These blighters called my mobile phone – a number I never give out and saved for friends and family only and worried about a friend in hospital. Called them back, in a panic. Obviously a chattering call centre. Asked for who were they – HYC – what does that stand for Help Your Claim (hello??). And why did you think I needed help with any scurrilous claim? Got the schpiel, personal questions etc. OUTRAGEOUS! Said something unprintable and have now reported to Information Office Commission (government run) www.ioc.co.uk. Thx for your good work.

Last but not least this week number 01942710601 from Wigan. This is the first time this number appears in our weekly Top 5. Our user Jag commented:

I made a financial query on the MSE site and this number keeps on calling. FED UP!!!

Please do not hesitate to share your experience with us! Number of inquiries for unknown numbers increase every day and we need your contribution in order to provide more and more information on spam and scam numbers.

Together we can!
Your Tellows Team

New Top 5 of Most Annoying Numbers in UK

Whenever someone receives a call from a strange number arrises a question: ”How to check who is calling me?” Answer is simple – check it on Tellows It works very simply. Put in the number of someone who called you, read the complaints and see where the number comes from, read experiences of other people and then post your own. Simple, you see!

Regarding the most wanted numbers we make our weekly updates on most annoying numbers in UK. So, are you ready to know who is hiding behind UK’s most annoying numbers this week ? Here we are with UK’s latest update on Top 5 of Most Annoying Numbers.

1. 01422387713 from Halifax – United Kingdom with a tellows Score of 9
2. 01618505451 from Manchester – United Kingdom with a tellows Score of 8
3. 01709384780 from Rotherham – United Kingdom with a tellows Score of 6
4. 01933441081 from Wellingborough – United Kingdom with a tellows Score of 8
5. 01614867770 from Manchester – United Kingdom with a tellows Score of 8

The most wanted number 01422387713 this week comes from Halifax and Tellows user Fed up posted the last comment on this number:

Call daily on my work phone. Have requested they stop but they still persist

This is a classic harassment call and it has been our top leader for a couple of months already. The second place goes to number 01618505451 that has been reported as harassment call, also. Our user bagsy told us:

Calling me everyday for months despite me ignoring their calls. ask too many personal questions over the phone

If you receive harassing phone calls, hang up immediately on obscene callers or strangers who ask questions regarding private matters. Do not share your private information and be aware of scammers!

We wish you a scam free week!
Yours, Tellows Team

UK – world’s most phished country in 2012

According to the world renowned cyber experts RSA, in 2012 UK consumers lost more money to online fraud than any other country. The RSA Anti-Fraud Command Centre (AFCC) released figures of a £405.8m loss in the UK for 2012 which was gained from 250 000 phishing attacks.
For the UK, this resulted in a 25% increase from 2011. The top five countries, which have a significant English speaking population, are as follows. US are second even though there loss was a decline of 19%. Canada, India and South Africa make up the rest.

An annual lost to the UK through cybercrime was estimated at £27bn by Detica-BAE Systems. From this £27bn, £21bn is believed to come from businesses.

The cost to consumers is equally catastrophic. Detica believes that a total figure of £3.1bn has a more encompassing scope than RSA. Fake antivirus packages and ‘scareware’ cost the consumer around £30m.

However, one must use caution when using estimations of cost as previous usages have been exaggerated wildly. However the RSA’s figures are based on attacks detected and dealt with by its AFCC. The attacks are then given the value of $300 per attack as this is the average from 8 years of operations, with 500 000 incidents tackled in this time. Detica’s totals use analysis from 25 industrial sectors and consultation with five British government agencies.

Due to the widespread use of chip-and-pin technology and other multi-factor authentication, the UK population are less at risk than those in the US.

Limor Kessem, Technical Lead of Knowledge Delivery at RSA believes that the UK are targeted due to an increase in technology for the average person. She said “The problem with the UK is that more people use the internet, more people have technology”.
The Office for National Statistics released figures last week that show that 84.7% of the UK public have used the internet at least once. In comparison, the US has a figure of 77.9%. In addition, the UK has the most usage for internet access from mobiles which increases the risk of attack.

New tactics are constantly being evolved by potential fraudsters to rid you of your money. For example, online fraudsters often require an individual, or an ‘insider’, to reside in the country of the target. This is in case attendance at a bank is required and in this sense the fraudster can impersonate the target. “It’s partly because of the accent. You have to sound like a local if you really want to make sure the transaction goes through”, said Kessem.

Highlighted in a 2012 UK Cards Association report on payment fraud were methods that a potential fraudster might carry out in-branch. The theft of a card at an ATM, or tricking individuals into revealing their card and PIN by posing as a telephone salesperson have been used in the past.

UK’s Most Wanted Spam and Scam Callers

Another week has passed and we are back to you with our weekly update. This week’s peculiarity is concerning all those annoying PPI claims companies and telemarketers with their calls and even worse is that they are refusing to remove people’s numbers from their lists – that’s the way they work. As a result, in these tough economic times, your telephone seems to ring more often and the amount of annoying or harassing phone calls from telemarketers and PPI claims companies may even double.

Let’s have a look on UK’s most wanted spam and scam callers this week:

1. 01422387713 from Halifax – United Kingdom with a tellows score of 9
2. 01618505451 from Manchester – United Kingdom with a tellows score of 8
3. 01792455426 from Swansea – United Kingdom with a tellows score of 8
4. 01942710601 from Wigan – United Kingdom Score with a tellows score of 6
5. 02076197597 from London – United Kingdom with a tellows score of 3

First place goes to the number from Halifax with a tellows score of 9 that has been reported by our users a Harrasment call. Tellows user Annette commented on the number 01422387713 :

They rang me – I hadn’t a clue what he was taking about – I told him he shouldn’t have my mobile number anyway – And I wasn’t interested in what he had to say noe was I going to confirm to him any information he asked for. I told him not to ring me again and to remove my number from the data base

A newcomer in our Weekly Top 5 with a number 01792455426 belongs to another PPI claims company called Lifestyle Money. Tellows user fred bloggs commented on the number:

apparently, through searching on the web, 01792455426 belongs to Liefstyle Money who call you about reclainming PPI which is very easy to do yourself and there is no reason why anyone should use a separate company !

The last but not least is another newcomer with a number 02076197597 that was reported as a fund raiser and Peter wrote the last comment on this number:

It’s a call center working for a fund raiser.
If you signed up to give money for a good cause, a third company working together with the fund raiser will call you and ask you to increase your donations.
It’s no scam but can be annoying if you ignore them and don’t ask them to remove you from their records.

As you can see there are many newcomers this week what means that the world of spam and scam is changing every day. New and new players are joining the game and we need your help to find them out !

Take care, friends of tellows !!!
Team tellows

The Most Wanted Scam and Spam Calls in the UK

Here we go again with last week’s 5 most annoying spam and scam numbers:

1. 01422387713 , from Halifax – United Kingdom, with a Tellows Score of 8
2. 01618505451, from Manchester – United Kingdom, with a Tellows Score of 8
3.01933698538, from Wellingborough – United Kingdom, with a Tellows Score of 7
4. 01709384780, from Rotherham – United Kingdom, with a Tellows Score of 6
5. 01942710601, Wigan – United Kingdom, with a Tellows Score of 6

The first 3 places this week go to PPI claim companies. I’m sure you’re all sick to death of having these calls and the day when they will stop calling you will be the happiest day of your lifes.

Tellows user Fed-up commented on the number 01422387713 :

Call daily on my work phone. Have requested they stop but they still persist

Another tellows user Lucius wrote the last comment on this 01618505451 number:

yet another scam with profound interest in me claiming my PPI. they cold call any number they get their dirty little fingers on. scum/scam.

Telemarketing calls are also still annoying our users. This time calls from Vodafone. Our user Ian_Belfast is writing:

I recently had a text from Vodafone telling me they would call soon to check that I am on the right price plan. Inquiries on the web suggest that this number belongs to Vodafone,so nothing to worry about except that it’s irritating that they have rung three times in one day and hung up on answer each time

We’re looking forward to reading more of your comments!
Keep us updated and have a spam free week !

Yours,
Team Tellows

A few clicks from an in-app advert can lead to a £200 cost

A wave of protests, triggered by the in-app advertising featuring in Talking Friends Cartoons encouraged parents to become more cautious about the iPhone apps their children use.

Parenting groups actively warn parents to pay more attention towards the iPhone and iPad usage by their children, as this can result in large telephone bills, generated by children who were incentivised by the in-app advertisements.
The app developers constantly have challenges to face: previously it were costly in-app purchases placed in the most common children’s apps and now – in-app adverts. The most recent “immoral” iPhone in-app advertisement encouraged children to sign up to a £208 (per year) subscription service.

Well-known children’s cartoon, featuring Talking Tom Cat and Talking Lila the Fairy became the basis for the Talking Friends app, which then, respectively, motivated smart phones developers, like iPhone, iPad and Android to develop the Talking Friends Cartoon app for their electronic devices. It is a cost-free app, allowing users to expand their knowledge of the favourite characters, download cartoon’s wallpapers and, moreover, view short cartoons developed in co-operation with Disney. However, apart from that app users were exposed to the banner at the bottom of the screen, that, if linked, transferred them to a quiz, advertised by a firm called Yamoja, encouraging to participate in it and get a chance to win a 64GB iPad.

To participate in the contest clients had to subscribe, paying a weekly fee of £4, for which in turn they got sent 4 weekly messages like “funtones, wallpapers, games, celeb news & more”.

Stuart Dredge, famous for his remarks about Apps, posted a comment on such adverts in his Apps Playground blog: “What an advert that tries to sign you up to a £4-a-week mobile content subscription was doing inside this app is genuinely beyond me.”
The application was cleared from the app, but a different expensive inbuilt app has been recently introduced by National Geographic.

A lot of discussions appeared after the launch of Dino Land app in the middle of February 2013 since it offered the clients to purchase additional virtual “bones” for total sum of £69.99, which allowed rising the pace of the game. The offer seemed particularly alluring for children who could not wait to finish the game and were eager to accelerate this process.
Dino add provides series of apps for children such as Playmobil Pirates, Coin Dozer and Racing Penguin that include inbuilt offers with costly extras. Websites for parents reveal the raising numbers of cases when parents received bills of £500 or even larger amounts because of their children buying add-ons offered in a game while playing, and suggest the parents disabling any acquisitions through the apps.

CEO and co-founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts said: “App-developers need to build in greater controls from the start – it’s shocking that a few click-throughs from an advert can lead to a £200 cost for unknowing parents, and it shows just how important it is to keep an eye on your child’s device settings.”

Founder of website for parents Netmums Siobhan Freegard commented: “Few people mind a couple of targeted ads which are relevant to the app service, as they realise it’s the price to pay for the ‘free’ app. But bombarding children using free apps with expensive products and services they can unwittingly sign up to a couple of clicks is immoral.”

Tellows highly recommend parents to pay more attention on apps your children are using to avoid such cases.

Kind regards,
Team Tellows

The British Top 5 Phone Scammers

The winner of this week is scam from Manchester claiming to get back your PPI. They call you, leave no message and hope you will call them back. If you do so, they charge you double for your phone call.
Let’s see who are the UK spammers of the week:

1. 01618505451, from Manchester – United Kingdom, with a Tellows Score of 8
2. 01933698538, from Wellingborough – United Kingdom, with a Tellows Score of 7
3. 01614867770, from Manchester – United Kingdom, with a Tellows Score of 8
4. 01706830603, from Rochdale, Rossendale – United Kingdom, with a Tellows Score of 7
5. 01912760399, from Tyneside – United Kingdom, with a Tellows Score of 7

Tellows-user Tyson has reported number 01618505451 with a Tellows score of 9 and wrote:

Scam artists wanting your money like the banks and the PCM of uk does fuckall again come on bnp

Second place belongs to the number 01933698538 what is another “reclaim your PPI” scam. SMGR wrote the last comment on this number:

Icemark Consumer Solutions – looking to recover PPI (I have never had a loan or credit card). Did not pick up – a recorded message left a voicemail

For the first time in our Top 5 appeared number 01614867770 that was reported as Harassment call with Tellows score of 9 by our user P.A.T. :

Several calls over the last few days some silent. Have sent an email telling them that if they call again I shall log nit and ask my solicitor to claim £30 for each call I answer! Silent or not.

Don’t hesitate to share your experiences with us,
Take care,
Your Tellows Team

Mobile scam that hit thousands of people

Last weekend tens of thousands mobile phone users in Ireland woke up to a missed call, that, at the first glance, appeared to have originated locally. However, it was actually just a carefully disguised premium rate service number based in Slovenia, which the scammers used to profit from those who called back. While there is still no exact data on how much money in total the users have lost, it is estimates that connection charge alone was in excess of €2 in addition to similar costs incurred by the users for each minute spent on the call.

The scam was initially set up to play on peoples’ feelings and emotions after missing a call in the middle of the night, and it worked to the extent that people called back. Once the user had called back, the automatized system would play random noises to ensure that the caller stays for as long as possible and pays as much as he can. Many of tellows users are also annoyed by the calls in the middle of the night, our user sleepless reported:

Last night, while I was sound asleep, my phone rang. WTF! I was really pissed because I was sleeping soundly and then a sudden phone call woke me up. I did not answer the first call and then, someone from this number gave me more rings and it reached 20 missed calls. That was ridiculous. I HATE IT , REALLY !

Our user Jippard gives a good advice to everyone who has ever got a missed call:

Don’t answer calls from this number. If you answer you’ll only get harassed more and more from this company and others. If you get calls from strange numbers that you don’t recognise don’t answer. If its an important call they’ll leave you a message and you can phone them back.

The good news are that everything is being done to stop the fraudulent earnings reaching the scammers pockets, and, hopefully, Irish consumers will be reimbursed for any costs they have incurred due to the scam. Nevertheless, the idea behind prevention of this particular fraud is not just to keep the customers happy or to stop those in charge of the scam profiting from it. Irish communications regulator ComReg has stated that prevention is also being done to prove to others who may attempt a similar trick that the payment system in Ireland is secure enough to be able to withstand such scams and not to pay out the wanted money.

No data protection issues can be seen so far in the case, as the numbers that were called had been generated by a computer and all had the same prefix of 087, therefore it appears that there is no connection to any phone lists being leaked or used. However, regardless of the fact that the scammers will not get their money, they are also unlikely to be traced as the host numbers that appear to have come from Slovenia may have been cloned and could have come from a completely different place.

ComReg spokesperson has said that such scams are not uncommon in Ireland and are dealt with as quickly as possible and that any person, who believes that they may have been a victim to this particular scam, should contact their personal phone service provider to check whether any costs have been incurred.

Phone scams are by all means not the only type of fraud that are constantly happening. Letters from supposed foreign Lottery funds asking you to cover administration costs before you receive your money; SMS telling you that you have won money and that you need to call back; advertisements suggesting work from home where you have to pay for materials first; fake computer virus alerts and emails from banks requesting your financial details – all of these are scams that are not uncommon and might be attempted on anyone, therefore it is always essential to watch out for them. And Tellows is always here for you to help fighting against annoying scammers. Together, we can !
Your Tellows

Weekly Top 5 Annoying Spammers & Scammers

Another week has passed and we are back to you with our weekly update. Scammers and spammers were very active this week and as a result we have a new Top 5 leader.

1. 01422387713, from Halifax – United Kingdom, with a Tellows Score of 8
2. 01618505451, from Manchester – United Kingdom, with a Tellows Score of 7
3. 01792455426, from Swansea – United Kingdom, with a Tellows Score of 8
4. 01933698538, from Wellingborough – United Kingdom, with a Tellows Score of 7
5. 02031671196, from London – United Kingdom, with a Tellows Score of 7

There were more than 10000 inquiries for the Top Leader !! It drives me crazy when I think of how these people are persistent in annoying UK citizens with their scam calls days, weeks and months long. They do not even somehow get our numbers, but they also know our names! Tellows-user rosie is very frustrated and she shared her experience with us:

THIS COMPANY KNEW MY NAME, AND WAS TRYING TO GET ME TO COMFIRM IT,
I SAID I DO NOT COMFIRM ANYTHING TO SOMEONE WHO I DONT KNOW, I KEPT SAYING TELL ME WHO YOU ARE AND I MAY KNOW WHO YOU ARE LOOKING FOR, ABIT OF THIS BANTER WENT ON, AND AS I WOULD NOT COMFIM, HE HUNG UP, IVE READ THAT YOU SHOULD NEVER COMFIRM ANYTHING TO STRANGERS

2nd place this week and the winner of the last week 01618505451 as well as owners of 3rd place 01792455426 and 4th place 01933698538 are very active telemarketers that “help you to claim your PPI” but actually don’t. Another classic scam. Our user GÄntz is also wondering how many are there ???

evers day another PPI calims company calls… how many are there?

The last but not least /02031671196 is another telemarketer. Tellows user scott has reported:

These guys hassle me every day for the past 3 months, they call at all hours to catch you off guard! They try to sell me vacant land for property development. AVOID at all costs!

Every week spamers and scammers are getting more and more active and we really need your help, dear Tellow-users, to report the numbers that have been annoying you the most. The war is not over. And we are very thankful for every comment you leave and every number you report !