It is already June in 2019, time flies! tellows team also has been busy keeping the information about phone scams up to date. As expected, unfortunately the numbers of spam calls, especially related to cost trap, is soaring because of a more advanced technology nowadays and scammers have more means to escape from the authority. Scammers have been taking advantages of taxpayers in March and April as it was the tax season. According to HMRC, over 100,000 reports of frauds were reported last year and the number increased in the first quarter of 2019 by more than 300%. Around a week ago, HMRC announced that it has been working with Ofcom, Mobile UK, Mobile Ecosystem Forum and Telecommunications UK Fraud Forum together to prevent bogus tax calls. The cooperation is successful and 1050 numbers are deleted by HMRC, many numbers starts with 0300. HMRC also stated that the number of phone scam reports are reduced by 25%, which is a very promising sign.
The movie ‘You’ve got a mail‘ is one of the tellows’ team favorite movies. But my readers, how many of us can become Joe and Kathleen in real life? Unfortunately, more people are falling victims to ‘romance scams’ regardless of gender, according to the official information* of many countries. Let us have a look at the figure:
The numbers above are surprisingly alarming. In the US, the losses of romance scams rose from $33M to $143M in 2015 to 2018 as stated in FTC. Online dating becomes more popular and common nowadays, thanks to the technology we can meet endless potential romantic partners online. However, we also become more vulnerable when there are scammers try to take advantages of the online dating platforms.
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!
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:
Dear tellows fellows,
lately we have been seeing many reports in our tellows community regarding fraudsters claiming to be computer tech support. These fraudsters used the most classic trick: they claimed to be from a well-known company such as Microsoft and told us that our computer had been infected or hacked. In order to fix the computer problem and prevent the virus from damaging the computer any further, they offered “assistance”. If we had agreed to this, they would give us some instructions we must follow. Usually, we would be asked to visit certain websites and enter our personal data there. Some fraudsters could even hack the computer and show a pop-up window to ensure us that our computer had indeed been infected by some viruses. In the end, they would either try to steal our personal bank data through the access we gave or charge us for the costs of fixing the non-existent computer issue. Continue reading
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has been informed recently of a supposed investment scam aiming at potential investors. The alleged victims are told that IKEA, the world recognised swedish company known for their modern architectural designs of both appliances and furnitures, are due to float shares on the stock market and therefore potential investors should purchase IPO shares (Initial Public Offering) before the floatation.
In response, actionfraud.police.uk and Ikea have themselves issued an article stating that this is false and there are no arrangements for Ikea to become publicly listed.
This described fraud comes under the umbrella of what is called ‘Boiler room Fraud.’ This is when you receive contact from someone offering investment opportunities which often leads the caller requesting a ‘seal the deal’ payment by requesting bank account details over the phone. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) report approximately 5000 people a year contact them on suspicion that they have been subjected to investment fraud. Unfortunately, around 10% would have already issued funds to the criminals. In addition, the FCA warns that out of these victims who would have transferred money to the criminals, the probability that they will be contacted in the future by the the same operation or have their details sold to other fraudsters would be increased.
We used www.financial-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com:
Floatation: Floating shares are shares of a public cooperation that are available for trading in the stock market
Initial Public Offering (IPO): The first price for which a company offers to sell stock in itself when it moves from private ownership to public trade.
We also acknowledge actionfraud.police.uk for their content published on the 13th of June: Beware of cold callers offering fraudulent sales of shares in IKEA.