So it’s July, the start of summer holiday 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, not to fall victim of vacation phone scam is also important! Let’s check out the following Vacation phone scam together.
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 readers,
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.
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.
If you receive an incoming call from a foreign number, you should be very careful! Fraudsters from abroad use these calls to deceive their victims and steal their money. And although this type of scam isn´t completely new, thousands of consumers fall victim to them every year. Even in 2019, the business with Ping-Calls (referred to missed call scams) flourishes in various countries such as Australia, Germany, Japan and more. Lately we registered an increasing number of reports regarding the “Missed Call”-scam in the United Kingdom on our site tellows.co.uk. However, what is this “Missed Call”-scam and how can you protect yourself against it? This article will answer these questions. Let´s take a look!
Dear tellows friends,
Our magazine can already register 150,000 downloads, so we are pleased to announce today that our 2nd edition is now available! For those of you who do not know yet, what the tellows magazine is: Based on the many years of experience, we have created our own magazine with all the important information you need to protect yourself against unwanted calls and alleged fraud.
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:
Reports from people receiving calls from possible scammers claiming to be from a Sky contact center still continue on despite the recent conviction for conspiracy of 14 people who used the same trick, as sentenced by the Swansea Crown Court.
The latest report came from the victim who was advised to wait for a replacement viewing card to be inserted in her Sky box. The next scam caller told her that she was also entitled for a refund for the overcharging of Sky. After the victim gave her bank details to the caller, she then discovered that large sums of money had been withdrawn from her account.
A whistleblower handed the Mail a memory stick containing thousands of Barclay’s customer files, which is allegedly just a sample of a wider database containing information on 27,000 customers.
The file includes sensitive information about customer’s earnings, savings, mortgages, health issues and insurance policies. These files were compromised and sold to boiler room scammers for up to £50 per file. The stolen data may be as detailed as providing information about each customer’s occupation, health, marital status, and even their investment habits.
These information may then be used by scammers in understanding the investment attitude of customers and use this for fraudulent activities like the sale of carbon credits, diamond, rare earth metals and different kinds of commodity scam. As explained by the whistleblower, the Barclay file is:
pure gold to brokers (who must have made a fortune out of it) because it gave them a psychological edge over potential investors – their victims. Because of its detail it allowed the brokers to get inside the minds of their targets. They knew exactly how much money these people were prepared to invest and their attitude to risk.
These fraudsters who act as „loaders“ or brokers can earn up to 40 percent a deal as investment sale commission. Contracts that may seem legal and valid would even include an „exit clause“ – the date when the ROI is expected. But before this happens, the fly-by-night scammer closes shop and disappears, only to open another one after a while.
tellows UK also received a number of complaints in relation with this scam. 01614510965 was cited as harrasment call by user Annoyed:
Said they were Barclays but would’t give any information until I gave my details to this random person at this random number. Ridiculous obviously declined and asked them to write instead they haven’t, not suprised. Do not hand your details over the phone ask them to write to you and remove your contact number from their system.
RJG also reported the number 08000852652:
Scam! Contacted Barclays and it is not one of their numbers. Been passed on to the Fraud Department
Initial investigations by Barclays suggest that the massive theft of data may be linked to its former Barclays financial planning business which ceased operating in 2011 and said the leaked data originated from 2008 or earlier.
Barclay may face charges for failing to protect customer data. The case is being investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office, the police and the Financial Conduct Authority.
Three years since UK’s Information Communication Office has been given the power to impose a fine of up to £500,000, only two firms have been prosecuted so far. This is the situation despite the staggering increase in the number of complaints received between April and October last year, totalling to 100,000 – a far cry from the 30,000 reports in 2012.
One of these companies is First Financial, which was fined £175,000 after sending millions of spam texts to promote its website using unregistered sim cards.