Archiv für den Autor: Lucia Minervino

Über 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

(English) Students – more likely become victims of a scam

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Leider ist der Eintrag nur auf Amerikanisches Englisch verfügbar. Der Inhalt wird unten in einer verfügbaren Sprache angezeigt. Klicken Sie auf den Link, um die aktuelle Sprache zu ändern.

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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(English) UK – world’s most phished country in 2012

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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.

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(English) Weekly Top 5 Annoying Spammers & Scammers

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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 !

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(English) Great Success Against PC Doctor Scammers

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It sounds like a relief from one of the most common scam methods of the past two years: the American FTC (Federal Trade Commission), in cooperation with several crime defense organisations such as the Australian Communications and Media Authority, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission and the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency as well as law enforcement officials in India, has arrested 17 people in responsible positions of fraud companies.

As the Guardian reported, Indian fraud companies used locations and acounts in the USA and Canada to funnel the money back to India. Namely it were the following companies whose assets have been frozen: Pecon Software; PC Care247; Connexxions Infotech; Connexxions IT Services Private Ltd; Zeal IT Solutions; Lakshmi Infosoul Services Private Ltd; Virtual PC Solutions, First PC Solution; Direct PC Solution; Virtual IT Supports; Global Innovative Service; 24x7pchelp; 24x7pctech; Transfront Solutions; New World Services; Megabites Solutions; Mega Bits; Greybytes Cybertech; Bluesystemcare; Shine Solutions Private Ltd.

Tellows reported about the so-called PC doctor scam method on its blog earlier this year: http://blog.tellows.co.uk/tag/virus/

The scam was addressed to citizens of all English-speaking countries, with calls originating from India. Briefly said, the scam consisted in calliing the victims on the phone with the caller introducing himself as an employee of microsoft calling because of a virus that had been detected on the called person’s PC. The caller would ask the victim to open the Windows Event Viewer – a part of the Windows operating system that regularly gives error warnings, but these have no negative influence on a computer’s functioning.

Consequently, the caller would instruct the person on the other end to download a pseudo-anti-virus programme for a fee or even subscribe the person to a regular update for the application that should fix the computer problem. Even worse: in some cases the fraudsters were asking for personal information and bank account details to gain their victims‘ money. According to the Guardian, the fraudsters were in average able to ripp more than $ 800 off each conned person.

Tellows has records of the following UK numbers connected to the fraud:

Source:

Yours,

Team Tellows

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

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Leider ist der Eintrag nur auf Amerikanisches Englisch verfügbar. Der Inhalt wird unten in einer verfügbaren Sprache angezeigt. Klicken Sie auf den Link, um die aktuelle Sprache zu ändern.

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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