Have you received fewer nuisance calls lately? Research by Ofcom would suggest so.
According to this Ofcom research, fewer nuisance calls are being made to UK landlines. So we can all breathe a sigh of relief, right? No, unfortunately not. Scam calls are still on the rise, and they now account for a much larger proportion of the nuisance calls received.
So it’s July, the start of summer holidays of 2019. We are all planning our vacation ahead, personally the tellows team really wants to visit Portugal, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina… We only hope the holiday could be longer! Anyway, tellows hopes that besides enjoying your holiday, you don’t fall victim to a vacation phone scam! Let’s check out the following Vacation phone scam together.
It is already June 2019, how time flies! The tellows team has also been busy keeping the information about phone scams up to date. As expected, unfortunately, the number of spam calls, especially related to cost traps, is soaring because of more advanced technology nowadays and scammers having more means to escape from the authorities. Scammers have been taking advantage 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 was successful and 1050 numbers have been deleted by HMRC, of which many numbers started with 0300. HMRC also stated that the number of phone scam reports has 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. Continue reading →
This week we would like to share news from Europol (The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation) and Trend Micro Research, together they released the Cyber-Telecom Crime Report 2019. The report explains our excessive dependence on telecommunications technology nowadays and how scammers take benefits from it by carrying out illegal activities. The cost of telecommunications fraud reached €29 billion according to Europol, as advanced technology dramatically increases fraudsters’ capabilities. tellows has already shared figures of the Missed call (the Wangiri fraud) and Vishing calls frauds before. This time we will have a look at International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF)! These frauds mentioned above are all infamous telecommunications frauds included in the Cyber-Telecom Crime Report 2019. Continue reading →
This time tellows would like to share some insights about the impact of the Brexit on phone scams and unwanted calls. As we are all concerned, the Brexit is not only a frustrating process, but besides its own complexity and influences, there is also a very annoying side effect – the Brexit scams. Phone frauds are not strange to us, there are many fraudsters in the UK and we often read news about phone scams. However, Brexit is making it worse by providing these scammers more ways to deceive people. Let’s take a look at the latest four Brexit phone scams.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez and Kevin Grieve on Unsplash
Getting to know the Brexit scams
HMRC Brexit scams
Do you own a business and trade with the EU? If yes, then lets assume you have been told by the government that you have to register for a ‘UK trader number’. Scammers will try to reach you through email, text message or over the phone, and ask for your personal details such as bank account details, internet banking password or offering you a tax refund in exchange for personal or financial details. Continue reading →
Ratan Kumar, a 41-year old Indian villager came to the BBC Delhi office last month to claim his prize in a “BBC lottery” worth millions of rupees, only to know that he was scammed.
Ratan said he got a text message two years ago saying that he won the BBC’s national lottery for 20 or 30 million rupees (£194,000-£292,000). Unemployed, Ratan fell for it, communicated with the scammers until November last year, and sent his personal details.
The perpetrator presented himself to Ratan as the chancellor of BBC. “He promised me a large sum of money but said I would have to first send 12,000 rupees ($191; £117) so that he can transfer the money into an RBI (Indian bank) account, ” Ratan told the BBC office.
Diamonds are not just any girl’s bestfriend – it is also a very attractive investment alternative. Annual return can range from 2.5% to 10%, depending on the color.
However, unlike gold and silver, or other investments where prices are reported on a stock market, diamonds are not traded on a public exchange but negotiated privately. This makes it harder to know the real value of the diamond, thus making it susceptible to abuse. The diamond trading industry is also unregulated – brokers are not required to be registered with a certain government authority.
A BBC news report recently warned older people who are the targets of this new form of investment scam on diamond trading. About 250 reports were received last year by the City of London Police.
The report from the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) showed that around 3.9m British families do not have enough savings to cover their rent or mortgage for more than a month.
As CSJ Director Christian Guy said:
Some of the poorest people in Britain are cut off from mainstream banking and have no choice now but to turn to loan sharks and high-cost lenders.
Worse than loan sharks are online payday scammers. They take advantage of the financial situation of people. They ask for a fee promising to release the loan afterwards, but in the end, you get to pay a fee for nothing.
Investing in new technology, developing smart ideas, innovating, outsourcing, call centers – the buzzwords of our business-minded con artists. They’re professionals and they know their stuff. 7 in 10 receive nuisance calls, texts and emails everyday, yet these large-scale scam operators are never penalized because apparently they are just “annoying” and not yet causing “substantial distress” to people.
You, as the target market of these fraudsters, should know better than their old tricks. Update yourself with these words of advice:
Don’t give any personal information to strangers or to businesses – remember, they should already know your details!
Ignore employment agencies asking for payment in advance
Check your bank and credit card statements regularly and let your bank know immediately if there are any entries you don’t recognise
Often, you can’t get lost money back, particularly if you have handed over cash. But you have more protection if you paid by credit card or a debit card.
For our weekly top 3, the approach of our scammers is always a hard sell. Strategies are aggressive and their tactics include cold calls and unsolicited pitches – as if they are really selling some products or services BUT actually no. They are disguised as telemarketers who just want to get your bank details or other personal info. Worse huh!