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 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.
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.
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.
You can now access real-time information about your incoming calls to learn more about the caller – whether it’s a trustworthy friend or an annoying telemarketer. Once your phone rings the tellows app will tell you the trustworthiness of the caller. Share you experience about the number by commenting on the caller’s phone numbers, thus warning your fellows tellows users against probable dangers.
The only requirement is of course, aside from internet access, an Android Smartphone or an iPhone.
Originating by all accounts in Latvia, Belarus and Afghanistan, the latest scam sending ripples across the phone network is a worldwide operation. The perpetrators send short, curiosity-provoking, incognito texts to individuals requesting that they call back any of an array of fee-charging +371 numbers. Continue reading
Hello tellows followers!
The theme this week is domestic utilities. These people call you at your home, whilst you’re at home, making you feel not at home. We hope we can save you a little time if the following come calling.
Have you recently become a landlord with Your Move? Prepare to be assailed with calls from these insurance telemarketers on 01392849890! With 4581 search requests, it seems that not all of you are convinced by their credibility either (tellows score: 4), so handle with caution! Sister number 01392849808 is also manned by telemarketers selling gas/water/electricity; estate agents Right Move and Reeds Rains appear to be passing on your details to ‘helpful’ third parties.
Estate Agents have given them my number, what a cheek! but try to prove it! First said they were offering a Estate Agent service to connect gas etc. when moving in. then once had me listening started talking tariffs, I swiftly told them I wasn’t interested and they put the phone down, but I know it won’t be the last junk call I’ll be getting. This should be illegal.
Next up, we have 02036170540, who’ll tells you it’s a survey then try to sell you energy devices for your home. They’re not likely to know your name exactly and for that matter, don’t seem sure of their own: they operate under variations on the ‘British Energy Council’ and ‘Domestic Energy Valuation’, to the ultimately vague ‘British Advisory Board’. It’s been searched 10170 times on tellows and you’ve left 41 comments!
SammyJ reports one of the classic telemarketing tactics:
Call at nearly 9pm, “im not selling anything”, then in the next breath, we want to help youoptimise your household energy bills!!!
As a sidenote, the ’20 seconds’ of your time they so politely request is a majestic underestimation.
Finally, with 19307 tellows search requests to their name and an impressive 36 comments, the people from 01233648537 phone on behalf of various organisations to do surveys – anything from water companies to Natwest (which seems to be the current activity). So – private survey company or con-ring? Sandra gives us a clue…
Missed call at 8.35pm on Sunday. They called again 5 minutes later and started off with natwest bank survey. When I refused to answer questions they said they also deal with Anglos water and started questioning me about monthly direct debit. Told them I’m not interested in speaking to them and hung up. Have tried calling me back twice now!
There are many legitimate companies that outsource independent survey organisations to carry out questionnaires for them, but it is ALWAYS worth checking the legitimacy, not giving out or confirming personal details, and remembering that you are not obliged to answer the survey. These people are requesting time from YOUR day!
Hang in there, hang up on them and hang it all and go on holiday if it gets too much.
Ciao for now,
Your tellows team
Hello tellows users!
A motley crew of pesterers and swindlers for you this week! There’s no rest for the wicked and therefore no rest for your phone either.
Caller number one, 01913009131, has got it all wrong. The idea with telesales is to keep the customer on the phone long enough to flog the product; this lot seem to have missed the point and will generally get about a sentence out before hanging up on you. This means we’re not 100% sure what ‘The Consumer Helpline’ are selling, but user Taylor gives us a clue…
askin if my partner had an acident last year. told him it was a long shot and hung up
I believe the correct term is ‘ambulance-chasers’.
Caller number two, calling from 02081509083, is a mysterious gentleman who seems to have trampled over colleagues and customers alike to achieve his financial goals. Under a plethora of identities and company names (most of them false, it seems), this caller has created himself a reputation that goes before him.
don’t touch this guy with a bargepole!!!! dodgy investments and a nasty habit of ripping you off and never paying you back. steer well clear.
pn__ gives us an ounce more insight:
villas, golf courses, murky dealings in Spain… not to be trusted.
If you hear any of the following names: Morgan Forbes/Pearl Island/First Capital Wealth/Hugh Herschell, alarm bells should ring! Remember, these sorts of people make money by being charming, so keep your wits about you!
Sombrely bringing up the rear is caller number three, a company called OTPL, on 0280697934, who are selling – wait for it – funeral insurance.
User Lynne’s experience:
phoning to sell funeral insurance from India apparently, multiple calls per day, very irritating
Like a gaggle of very persistent vultures, they’ll hover over your phoneline, calling you several times a day, for that extra dose of doom and gloom that we all need on an November day.
Keep saving these numbers under ‘time wasters’, or blocking them altogether if you can. Knowledge is power, so if you’re unsure about a caller, pop the number into tellows.co.uk and see what other users are saying about the caller.
Have a great week!
Your tellows team
21st October 2013 brought good news for all phone-owners as British regulator Ofcom joined forces with international regulators in the UK, USA and Canada to crack down on ‘spoof’ callers.
Ofcom and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will be working with the US’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Canada’s Competition Bureau and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). This new task force aims to share international resources and knowledge to tackle nuisance callers’ stranglehold over phonelines the world over.
Spoof calling, for those unfamiliar with the term, involves using a nifty bit of software to mask the number you’re actually calling from, in order to prevent the recipients of your calls being able to locate you, or call you back. This is of course, infuriating for those of us badgered incessantly by anonymous callers. What’s even more infuriating is that whilst some spoofers use gobbledegook numbers instead of their own, others have really taken the biscuit and tactically use well-known organisations’ digits to execute some quite remarkable conning manoeuvres.
Whilst spoofing has been happening for years, the people behind it are becoming ever more audacious. Regular spoofing will be something along the lines of what user Steven reports about number 01164465587:
SILENT CALL and if you try and call it back it is unrecognised. Looks like a scam or a spoof. The BT 1471 read this number correctly but it is duff.
Commenting on number 01618149908, user Dawn mentions another standard spoofing tactic: hiding a phone number with a bad reputation and using an as yet ‘clean’ one so you aren’t forewarned when the phone rings.
just so people know,,,,DRD ALSO CONTACT YOU USING THIS NUMBER ,,,,07734953850,, i have found out that this is a “SPOOF” number they are used by tele marketing to make them seem legitimate number calling you
If you’ve been called by 000-000-0000 (or another unlikely-looking number), it’s highly probable that the caller was using spoofing technology. Difficulty in tracking down spoofing culprits is increased thousandfold by the fact that the origin of the call is completely untraceable. Without an area code, there is generally no way of discerning where or who a call has come from. This means that internationally-placed spoof calls are becoming increasingly common: hence the transatlantic team-up.
The joint statement from the six organisations, published on the ICO’s website, avers that they
will work together to share information and target organizations responsible for spoofing.
The member organisations will pool resources, share information and work in collaboration with telecommunications industries in their respective countries to target and reprimand offending organisations. Guidelines on what constitutes ‘misuse’ of the spoofing technique are also being reconsidered, revised and made much clearer, with a view to introducing tougher punitive measures: monetary penalties of up to £500,000 are being considered for foul-players.
In the UK, US and Canada, all telemarketers are legally obliged to identify themselves, meaning that spoofing, and also number-concealment, are against the law. Always be on your guard with unknown callers and watch out for the warning signs: are they trying to weasel information out of you, personal or otherwise? If they claim to be calling on behalf of a service you use, ask yourself if this is how they normally contact you. Try to call back on the official company number if you’re in any doubt at all and never respond to threats or implausible claims.
Take care and have a great week!
Your tellows team