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.
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.
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.
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.
Mid May brought a new study published by Ofcom getting down to the nitty gritty extent of these nuisance calls. This study involved 926 participants who kept a diary to record all unwanted calls received on just their land-line over a 4 week period between 13th of January and the 9th of February 2014. Critical findings were accumulated such as the number, type of number, whether the number was identifiable or not, frequency and type of organisation making the phone call.
Here is what the survey revealed..
If you are one of those people affected by the £300,000 UK-wide mobile phone insurance scam, well here’s some good news: the men behind it have already confessed and admitted that they masterminded it. From October 2005 to April 2010, Christopher Surman, 47, Wayne Ghosh, 43, Andrew Patterson, 32, all from Swansea, and Omar Mapara, 33 from Yate, South Gloucestershire, conspired to cheat customers of mobile phone providers by selling insurance policies that were unauthorised by the Financial Services Authority and were invalid.
I hope it’s really a good news for you guys. Let’s continue to help our crime busters by reporting unjust and deceitful conducts.
And for our weekly top 3, these scammers really don’t learn their lessons. Tsk, tsk, i think they really want to go to jail?? They should never get away from this.
Dear tellows fellows,
reap the benefits of your patience for our tellows app is finally available for Android users! Up to now the only way to look up numbers was to open our webpage, meaning, looking the calling number up was only possible after the call.
Thanks to our new tellows Android app you will discern the trustworthieness of the incoming call on the first ring of your phone. The tellows Score provides the means to decide whether to answer the phone or deny the call.
Update (2018): The tellows app can now also block unwanted spam calls!
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