Author Archives: Lucia Minervino

About Lucia Minervino

I graduated in philosophical sciences and I have recently been interested in the field of web marketing and SEO. Passionate about books, I read any type of content which can tickle my imagination. I currently work for tellows and I deal with content marketing. Contact

Springtime tax scams is back!

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Dear readers,

Here we are in the season of Springtime tax scams, again scammers are trying to take advantages from us, especially targeting the young people and the senior as stated by HMRC. The numbers of youngsters and the elder possessing a smartphone is growing through these years. According to Ofcom Communications Market Report 2018, over half of the population who aged over 55, and 95% of young people (from 16 to 24) own a smartphone in the same period. This means that fraudsters have higher chances to scam people successfully through bogus text messages or phone calls.

Phone scammers are directing at youngsters and the vulnerables since most of them are less familiar with the tax system. HMRC stated that close to 2,500 reports of tax scams were reported per day last Spring, with roughly 250,000 reports received in total during the whole season.

Scammers are most likely approaching potential victims with refund scams in the tax period by email or texts pretending to be HMRC. They will offer a tax refund or payment for around 100 pounds in exchange for personal information such as bank account details. Be prepared for phishing websites. HMRC already made 6000 requests to shut down these cloned websites last tax season. Moreover, Fraudsters mostly asked for immediate action, therefore beware of phrases like ‘you only have 2 days to reply’ or ‘urgent action required’ in text messages or e-mail.

According to Head of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith:

“These criminals will contact victims in many ways including spoofed calls, voicemails and text messages. People should spot the signs of fraud and be wary of emails with attachments which might contain viruses designed to obtain personal or financial information.”

Take Five, the national campaign that advises on protection against financial fraud, Katy Worobec:

“The offer of a tax rebate might sound tempting, but don’t let the criminals hoodwink you into giving away your details or your cash. If you’re worried that you might have given away any of your information, then contact your bank straight away.”
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Cross-devices Blacklists for Registered tellows Members

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Dear tellows fellows,

more and more frequently consumers are victims of telephone spam or frauds, or are simply provoked by frequent unwanted calls. They use various tricks to pull our money out of our pockets. Here in our community, many phone owners report and rate the numbers that called them, sharing their experiences with other users to protect you and themselves. This works in an easy and uncomplicated way.

The heart of us is the tellows score. It is calculated from all previously stored ratings for a specific phone number. Users of the community can report and rate phone numbers on a scale of 1-9, where 9 means that a very dangerous or very annoying phone call is on the line and 1 is a rather harmless one. So you can rate and categorize each phone number on a scale from 1 (trustworthy) to 9 (dubious). From 7 on, the corresponding phone number is placed on a blacklist of the community and is thus blocked for everyone using the tellows products by itself and provides an appropriate protection. Depending on the rating, you can then assess the seriousness of a called number. In this way you can inform yourself online about the experience other users have already made with the respective number. And if there is a cost trap or telephone fraud behind it, you can know it because of the negatively rated number before they call you back again. Additionally, you can 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.

In order to be able to benefit from the collected assessments and experiences at an early stage, for example even before a call is answered, the successful tellows app for devices with Android or iOS was developed. This already indicates during the ringing, how trustworthy the calling number is by using the reports of the community. Thus, when the call is received, the tellows score is displayed.
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Interview with Our Intern

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Dear tellows fellows,

it’s very important for us to provide our users the best service and useful information on our platform. All the employees working at tellows are involved in different projects to improve tellows everyday. Since earlier this year, one of our interns had been helping us to make tellows better in many different ways. We asked him to give us a peek of how it feels like to be a tellows intern and what tellows does behind the scene. Check out the interview below!

Could you first tell us a little bit about yourself and why you decided to do an internship at tellows?

“I’m Matteo from Italy and I’m a graduate in Economics. I wanted to have more work experience that is related to my studies and my favorite subjects so I searched for new job opportunities and found the chance to work at tellows as an intern for 6 months. I already knew about tellows before, because I used the platform to search for unknown numbers in the past. Continue reading

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HMRC Scam – Police is coming!

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Dear tellows fellows,
we constantly receive information about new types of telephone fraud from our users. We want to thank you for always keeping our community updated and for warning other users about new types of scams!

telephone scam

We have been seeing several reports in our tellows community regarding frauds claiming to be from HMRC. Usually it is an automated voice message warning you that the police will become involved if you ignore the call, or requiring an urgent call back. Many users have already reported about a recorded message, a common feature with all these calls. Therefore, we want to warn you about this type of fraud.

Here are some reports about this type of scam from our users:
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New iPhone App Cooperation – Caller ID & Blocker with #SCB

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Dear tellows users,

we are happy to announce a partnership with the app developer Sergey Smirnov. He developed the iPhone app #SCB • Caller ID & Blocker to identify and block unwanted calls. Additionally you can put numbers on a personal black- or whitelist. The app also allows you to filter and block incoming SMS messages.

The #SCB app uses the tellows database to identify unknown numbers. Therefore spam numbers like robocalls, telemarketers and advertising can be identified before the user picks up the phone and saves you lots of time. If you have been bothered by a number that has not been reported, you can add it to your blacklist and report it to warn others about this number as well.

caller namecaller name
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tellows cooperation: spam protection with Truecaller app

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Dear tellows-fellows,

we are happy to announce that we are working together with one of the worldwide leading provider for phone book apps: Truecaller maintains a database with over 2 billion numbers which can be searched to identify phone numbers. It is possible to directly block spam and suppressed numbers. Using the search request feature, you can easily add numbers into your contact list or report them as spam, so other users can be warned as well.
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What makes unwanted calls go around the world?

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With more than a thousand complaints registered to Which every week for ‘nuisance’ calls, fines for companies breaching TPS’s and Ofcom’s rules reaching fines up to £2m, how does this industry still remain afloat? Below we have listed a few points that is the hidden driving force, not always appreciated by a frustrated recipient understandably. Knowing what drives this industry of world-wide communications is knowing that there isn’t an over-night solution. But there are solutions! Keep up with our blog to find out what they are.

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Let tellows mellow your day – Protect yourself from nuisance calls with the tellows caller identification app

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Dear tellows fellows,

reap the benefits of your patience for our tellows app is finally available for Android users! Up to now the only way to look up numbers was to open our webpage, meaning, looking the calling number up was only possible after the call.

Thanks to our new tellows Android app you will discern the trustworthieness of the incoming call on the first ring of your phone. The tellows Score provides the means to decide whether to answer the phone or deny the call.

Update (2018): The tellows app can now also block unwanted spam calls!
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This Week’s Top 3 Most Wanted Numbers

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Hello tellows users!

A motley crew of pesterers and swindlers for you this week! There’s no rest for the wicked and therefore no rest for your phone either.

Caller number one, 01913009131, has got it all wrong. The idea with telesales is to keep the customer on the phone long enough to flog the product; this lot seem to have missed the point and will generally get about a sentence out before hanging up on you. This means we’re not 100% sure what ‘The Consumer Helpline’ are selling, but user Taylor gives us a clue…

askin if my partner had an acident last year. told him it was a long shot and hung up

I believe the correct term is ‘ambulance-chasers’.

Caller number two, calling from 02081509083, is a mysterious gentleman who seems to have trampled over colleagues and customers alike to achieve his financial goals. Under a plethora of identities and company names (most of them false, it seems), this caller has created himself a reputation that goes before him.

ryan_235 advises:

don’t touch this guy with a bargepole!!!! dodgy investments and a nasty habit of ripping you off and never paying you back. steer well clear.

pn__ gives us an ounce more insight:

villas, golf courses, murky dealings in Spain… not to be trusted.

If you hear any of the following names: Morgan Forbes/Pearl Island/First Capital Wealth/Hugh Herschell, alarm bells should ring! Remember, these sorts of people make money by being charming, so keep your wits about you!

Sombrely bringing up the rear is caller number three, a company called OTPL, on 0280697934, who are selling – wait for it – funeral insurance.

User Lynne’s experience:

phoning to sell funeral insurance from India apparently, multiple calls per day, very irritating

Like a gaggle of very persistent vultures, they’ll hover over your phoneline, calling you several times a day, for that extra dose of doom and gloom that we all need on an November day.

Keep saving these numbers under ‘time wasters’, or blocking them altogether if you can. Knowledge is power, so if you’re unsure about a caller, pop the number into tellows.co.uk and see what other users are saying about the caller.

Have a great week!

Your tellows team

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The Nuisance Callers have a new Top 3

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Dear friends of tellows,

Another week and new numbers for you to be aware of. Although this week was rather uninteresting, we still found our Top 3 numbers which present a happy mix of different tellows scores: from a 2 to a 7. Not all the numbers are untrustworthy but that doesn’r mean that they can’t annoy you to death if they want to. The difference is that trustworthy numbers have the ability to negotiate the possibility of the removel if your number from the calling lists. You just have to demand it. Now let’s see which numbers were looked up the most this week.

1. 01142565286 with 6 comments and 4008 search requests. tellows Score: 6
2. 08003289393 with 1 comments and 3730 search requests. tellows Score: 2
3. 08003160492 with 3 comments and 1253 search requests. tellows Score: 7

Our first number 1142565286 is from Sheffield – United Kingdom and it belongs to Motorway Direct. “Car protect” is just one of their companies and they call the people in order to offer them a car warrenty. It’s a great coincidence that the call comes exactly at the time when your own warranty expires.

This number is from a company called car protect. don’t know where they have my number from and why they knew that my warrenty has expired. they didn’t answer when i asked for it sop i hung up

The second number 08003289393 with the amazing score of 2 is from British Telecom and it either calls it’s clients in order to inform them of important changes or new proposals, or they call potential customers to offer them their services.

This number is associated with BT either accounts or engineering and would only be calling for a legitimate reason.

And finally our third number 08003160492 belongs to the Littlewoods Company or to Kay& co, that’s still unclear, but it seems to be a courtesy call, like after an order, they call to confirm the details. The strange thing is that in some cases no one ordered anyrhing. So if it’s a normal call and you really ordered something, then you have nothing to fear but otherwise be careful of revealing personal information.

This is a number from the Littlewoods company! They wanted me to answer some question about an order of mine but ive never ordered something there. strange!

If you have received such calls, which in some cases are a little bit dubious, share this information with the tellows community. You never know, how many people might find it helpful. Have a nice week

Your tellows team

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