Tag Archives: fraud

£ 7 Million in One Year with ‘Vishing’ Scams

In the day of vast advancing technology, it is nearly impossible to keep track of all of the latest developments and the new possibilities subsequently emerging. Unfortunately, that also holds true for the various strategies and tactics of con artists who try to exploit the latest innovations for personal gain. One of these ever growing scam methods that has become rather popular among scammers is called “vishing” and, according to Financial Fraud Action (FFA UK), could affect nearly a quarter of adults in the UK.

How ‘Vishing’ Scammers Operate

The equivalent to the e-mail scam phishing, the telephone ‘vishing’ scam is not fundamentally different from others: the caller tries to gain access to sensible personal information under false pretences. Posing as employee of a legitimate body such as the bank, police, telephone or internet provider, the scammer attempts to obtain personal details and financial information regarding credit card and bank accounts (e.g. the pin number) as well as personal information including the full name, date of birth or address. Once received, the information can be used to access and empty the account or to commit identity fraud. Some scammers may also try to persuade the victim to transfer money to another bank account or withdraw cash to pay them.

User Brett, who appears to have been targeted by ‘vishing’ scammers, reported a similar story for the number 01267226778:

This number called repeatedly over a period of a week. I finally answered and everything seemed legit. They asked for my card details to ‘verify’ my details with the bank. DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR DETAILS.

Another comment that read similiar was made by Peter Smith on the number 02032867209:

Be WARNED!!They phone me talking about Bank refunds too! They mentioned UKask, I looked this up found THIS “UKash Common Scams” saying…..Reclaim bank charges scam. Ignore mails or calls claiming that you’re entitled to a refund on overpaid bank charges. These will typically come from a scammer claiming to represent a bank, official agency or law firm and will require all your personal details, and may claim a charge for their services.

Dubious and Fraudulent Calls in Numbers

Out of all the crimes in the past year related to online and phone banking, shopping and identity fraud, at least £7m of a total increase of £36m have been attributed to ‘vishing’ scams. Nearly a quarter of people in the UK have been on risk to become potential victims of the scam, receiving cold calls during which they were asked to offer personal or financial information. The FFA UK also reported that 4 in 10 people had difficulties distinguishing a trustworthy from a deceptive call. Furthermore, 30% of consumers stated that they had received at least 10 cold calls a month – 41% of which suspected the call to be dubious.

The fact that it’s not always easy to differentiate between a dubious and a trustworthy call, is also illustrated by the comments on the number 01131649097. Whereas user Jenny considered the number to belong to an actual bank fraud team, user, Anon shared a different opinion:

This is a scam. If your card is stolen and HSBC calls you, they wouldn’t ask you to call back. I received a call from this number AFTER I cancelled my card. I terminated the call when I realised it was a scan. I didn’t call back and didn’t receive another call. A genuine fraud department would call again.

How to be Cautious and Aware of Telephone Scams

  • don’t give out or confirm any kind of personal information to an unknown caller
  • don’t be afraid to put down the phone and disconnect the call
  • don’t trust a caller just because he or she has some information about you: criminals could obtain some basic information about you (name, address and bank account details)
  • be wary of requests to call them back even if they claim it is for you to check their authenticity (they could keep your phone line open by not hanging up)
  • remember: banks don’t call asking you for your pin or to withdraw money to hand over or transfer to another account

 

In case you suspect to have been the victim of such a scam, contact your bank or card company immediately. If you know any details or numbers that seem suspicious or even dubious, don’t hesitate to share your information with us on tellows. Especially with scams like this one where the scammers are likely to use one number for several scams, it could help warning other people and possibly even prevent further scams.

Source:
theguardian.com

How to stop nuisance calls – the elderly as perfect victims

Nuisance calls are on the news again. Just a few weeks ago we told you about the findings of a study, that revealed highly startling news on the business practice of nuisance callers and the real extent of scam in the UK. The findings of Ofcom did not only show how nerve-wracking unwanted calls are in the eyes of most people, the results were also combined with a claim on improved and immediate action, which in detail means: a complete ban on cold calling. This week we will give you another clean proof on the necessity of action.

The current problem concerning nuisance calls
The starting point of the ongoing silent, abandoned, harassment and any other unwanted calls is the fact, that the existing mechanisms launched for protection and defence are not working at all. The Telephone Preference Service TPS as a free service for customers to opt out from receiving marketing calls, is not at all hindering businesses to use phone calls as a working method for any kind of promotion or scam. As the restriction is not broad enough, a registration of one’s number on TPS does only help to stop unsolicited calls with a sales purpose, which means that for example any kind of recorded message as well as research or silent calls are not under the control of TPS. As already mentioned in the blog on the Ofcom study, problems especially occur if the caller is calling from abroad, as there is actually no legal basis for taking action against this.

desperate man on the phone

Photo by Alon, flickr.com

Elderly people attracting the attention of scammers
Although it is well-known, that especially elderly people are likely to be taken in by fraudsters, there are still not a lot of options on how to deal with it, as a recent example in the Guardian shows. What bothers the most is, that there are no actual attempts that would help to improve this situation, except for claims of consumer organizations and so far unredeemed promises of officials. The only help might be to fall back on private companies offering services and products to deal with the unsolicited calls yourself. When it comes to elderly people, this means that younger relatives need to help out. As the example of the guardian writer shows very clearly, this is as necessary as frustrating. She shows us through her own experience with an elderly relative, that most of the techniques that would work for us – like just not answering calls from unknown numbers or not giving away personal information – are not as useful for elderly people. Particularly politeness, forgetfulness or just loneliness are the biggest problems here. Elderlies tend to answer all calls as they want to be friendly; they talk to the researchers as they need conversation; and they give away their bank account data as they trust the friendly voice at the other side of the phone. So what is best to do?

How to deal with scam and spam calls
Of course, a complaint is one of the first steps to do when receiving unsolicited calls. But this is not an immediate solution, it helps on the long run, not for the present. First of all, checking the possibilities that are offered by your provider makes sense. Some opportunities of blacklisting numbers or blocking calls are integrated in most of the systems.

But as the author of the guardian article points out as well, this is still not enough for the protection of elderly people. What she found might be the best solution for this problem in years, the trueCall device, blocking calls from unknown numbers completely, redirecting them to the answer phone straight away. Although this of course is not a free device, this product might be the perfect solution for a lot of different problems, as it can be used to block numbers, record important messages or even ask who is calling to decide right away if one should answer the phone. Although we could not test it, the mere existence of such a blocker means, that there are people actually thinking about how to solve the problem of unsolicited calls, as officials regularly fail to do so.

As many other applications, devices or web pages, also tellows works for the purpose of informing people on the dangers of unsolicited calls and hindering companies to scam. As long as the regulators are not able to take efficient enforcement action for the protection of consumers, it is up to tellows, trueCall et al. to support the fight on unwanted calls.

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.

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.

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

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 !

The UK Top 5 Annoying Numbers

Here are the most annoying and most wanted spam numbers that have been harassing UK citizens during the last week. Luckily, tellows users provide us with vital information and we are always up to date of the UK’s Most Wanted spam and scam Numbers.

1. 01618505451 from Manchester, United Kingdom with a Tellows Score of 7
2. 01792455426 from Swansea, United Kingdom with a Tellows Score of 8
3. 01933698538 from Wellingborough, United Kingdom with a Tellows Score of 7
4. 01614867770 from Manchester, United Kingdom with a Tellows Score of 8
5. 08453130337 from United Kingdom with a Tellows Score of 6

The most wanted number this week 01618505451 was searched almost 7500 times now. Our user Lucius identified it as Cost trap and reported:

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.

The 2nd place goes to 01792455426 . It is another PPI claiming company. Our user fred bloggs shared his experience with us:

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 3rd goes to the number 01933698538 which was reported as Telemarketer. Our user paul told us:

this caller is from smart claims and consumer solutions they keep phoning my mobile. never had a loan or credit card or been invilved in an accident.frustrated

The 4th place goes to number 01614867770 that has been annoying our users for a long while already. Our user Richard said:

I keep getting calls from accident claims saying that I had an accident last December and that I can claim for injurys but I have not had an accident. I told them dozens of times! called 6 times yesterday .

The 5th place goes to 08453130337. Our user Sean Haroldson has identified it as a Survey and reported:

Just recieved a call from this number the man said he was conducting research, i asked how he got my number, he told me they pick one number the rest is randomised thats how he got it, i wasnt buying it so i said not interested and hung up

Scammers have been very active this week so be careful and don’t hesitate to share your experiences with us,
Your Tellows Team

A new week leads to a new Top 3!

Hello tellows-friends! It’s time for a new Top 3 of the most annoying telephone numbers. And here they are:

01277897600 from Brentwood with a tellows Score of 9
01792455426 from Swansea with a tellows Score of 8
01614867770 from Manchester with a tellows Score of 8

Place 1 goes to 01277897600 from Brentwood. Our users evaluated the telephone number with a score of 9 which shows the untrustworthiness of it. The caller is identified as ufindalocal.com. Bert explained the method of them:

I had the same parasites call me my bill went from a couple of hundred to like 6k. They call you back trying to do add-ons and you think they are adding to the same contract! WRONG!! They give you a new one but don’t tell you we have even cancelled our contracts within the 60 days and they still try and get money from you!! Brad who seems to be the very obnoxious and with no people skills is a parasite he really needs help!!!!!

Place 2, 01792455426 from Swansea, seems to be another number from the PPI calling you because of different offers. Our users complained about silence and strange noises at the other end of the line. Like for example Clara L:

calls me a couple of times a week. it always goes dead when I answer it. when called back it’s always engaged

The 3rd place is again 01614867770 from Manchester with a tellows Score of 8. Some users reported that number as one of the Action Claims. Cooper illustrated a possible procedure of such a call:

“jo?”
“Hi, is that Mr Anthony ********?”
“Yes, speaking…”
line goes dead.

That’s it from this week.
Take care, your Tellows Team!

Another Day, Another Scam – Be aware of current fraud-methods!

Another scam trying to lure you into a trip by promises of great riches sprouts shoots.

We would like to warn you about a message which promises a bonus payment of 1000₤ in addition to the regular pension. This recorded message want you to push 5 for further information or 9 for unsubscribing. Sometimes it’s not a message but a call. One of the numbers which are used by those fraudsters is 01619610056. Please don’t answer to that, its a scam! If you know other numbers, comment them here in order to warn other users!

Another method to get your money is stealing your bank details. We reported last year about scammers who claim to be SKY-employees in order to get your bank information. Now another company called Lending Stream is intend to gain access to your purse. They claim they granted you a loan in the past which they debit from your bank account now – although there isn’t any evidence for this loan. Even big banks like Lloyds aren’t protected from this method. Unfiortunately, you are often left alone with the problem because they don’t know how to avoid scams like this.

Our user Andrew tells us about his bad experiences with Lending Stream.

this company offered my father a loan so he paid them a u-cash voucher for 145 pounds so as his loan went into his bank account… it all seemed above board then they said they wanted another 250 to process….LENDING TREAM… Comlpete rip off merchants PLEASE STAY AWAY… my dad is 68 years old and they took most of his wages and then wanted more…SCUM THATS WHAT THIS COMPANY ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And they said he cant have his money BACK!!!!

All we can do is to pay attention and to share our experiences on tellows.co.uk.

Take care, your tellows-Team!

Sources:
Guardian – Lloyds Payday Fraud
Guardian – Recorded Phone Message