Tag Archives: tellows

The ‘Tech Support’ Phone Scam that could clear out your Bank Account

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Hello tellows friends,

Today we ask you to consider: Is your computer really on the blink, or are you falling victim to a scammer?

It’s the oldest trick in the book. A stranger calls you from a number that you don’t recognise, claiming to be from a company that they actually have nothing to do with. A short while later you discover that money has been stolen from your bank account. But how do the scammers do it?


We first explored this type of scam last year and it is currently on the rise once again.

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The Summer Holiday Fraud

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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.


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HMRC works with telecoms to stop fraudsters

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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.


Data provide by HMRC
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New update from our Android app

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Dear tellows users,

Today we would like to talk about the new features of our Android app!

Since 2014, the year we launched it, our app has grown: we have moved to over 450,000 downloads, more than 6,400 evaluations and 200,000 subscribers. Every day we work hard to improve it and your advice and feedbacks have been fundamental.

Functionality at a glance

  • Immediately identify who is calling you:

We have improved Caller ID, so that the spam numbers are immediately detected through the tellows app; the tellows score will be always shown on the screen of our mobile phone and, in addition to the rating, you will also be able to find out the name of the caller, the type of call and from which location it phones. You will have all the information you need, so you can decide whether or not to answer calls!

  • Find any number and info on callers:

With over 180.000 reviews per day, you can find out who is bothering you in no time. Thanks to your reports, our database is constantly updated and over time it has become a big world family. New countries and new languages ​​are available in the application, no scammers or call centers around the globe will have a chance!

  • Evaluate and comment on phone numbers:

Commenting and evaluating is now easier and more immediate, in order that you can help us in our mission against telephone scams; just connect to your account and enter in the tellows world from all devices in a simple and free way. It is not required to leave a comment anymore when rating a number which makes it faster to evaluate unknown numbers. Your negative rated numbers are also on your personalized blacklist and can be blocked with premium.

  • Call barring and Blacklist customized with Premium:

In the Premium version, all dangerous numbers rated by you, are saved on your phone and can be blocked even in offline mode. All is possible thanks to the black list stored and updated locally and also use it without any advertising.

We could not be more proud of our product, but without your support and the trust that you give us every day, we would not have made the giant steps we have taken so far: you, our community tellows, are the beating heart of our app!

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Meeting your significant other online? – Romance Scam

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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:


*Information from ACCC, FTC, Action Fraud, RCMP and Netsafe.

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.
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Does it matter to you? International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF)

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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.
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Finally, it is out: Our new magazine!

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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.
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Masters of Dis-Gas? – scam callers masquerading as UK energy providers!

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The scam under discussion this week is a convincing one – so convincing, in fact, that they almost had us fooled. Let’s take a look at the evidence.

The caller claims to be from British Gas, calling for an array of reasons – paying your overdue bill, arranging a maintenance visit, etc. etc – and from more than one number. The area code indicates that the calls are coming from Leeds.

The most common calls are supposedly from the ‘Arrears Department’ at British Gas, wanting you to pay up. One user tells us it’s Capita, a debt collection company in Leeds, phoning on behalf of British Gas. However, some of you have smelt a rat. Here’s a comment about 01132989890:

When I answered, it was a recorded message: press any number for an important message about my bill. I didn’t press anything and it went on to say that my gas meter reading was due within the next week. British Gas email me about meter readings and this is about a month too early! Be wary!

And a comment about 01132989000:

Have had more than 10 calls from this number about non-payment of my latest bill… mighty strange as i have never given them my mobile number and left British Gas several years ago.

People who have never even been with British Gas also seem to receive calls from this number. Indeed, one user living in a remote village where British Gas is not actually available was contacted.

The sleuthier among you have attempted to call the number back, only to find that lo and behold, the number is not recognised.

This is where it gets confusing. Whilst some of you have also cleverly given British Gas a ring directly to ask what’s going on, some of you report being told that this number belongs to an offshore service of theirs, whilst others were told that it isn’t! What to believe?

We tried searching on this handy page:
http://www.britishgas.co.uk/help-and-advice/contactus-personal-details/did-we-call-you.html
The search service did not seem to recognise 01132989000 or 01132989890 as belonging to British Gas, which is suspicious in itself. Some of your experiences with this caller further indicate that this is a number to be wary of: one call started with the caller asking to speak to the ‘laptop owner’ and a receptionist from a doctor’s surgery also reports being hounded by this number on the surgery line.

We’re dubious about this one. If you get a call from this number, or any other unrecognised number claiming to be British Gas, we strongly advise using the link above, or contacting British Gas directly. Under no circumstances should you give your bank details out unless you are absolutely certain of a caller’s identity!

Keep your wits about you and have a great week!

Your tellows team

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When a Stranger Calls: The Top 5 Most Annoying Numbers of the Week

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Dear friends of tellows,

as autumn settles in and leaves start to change their color, unfortunately, some things remain the same. Not a day passes by without users reporting unwanted nuisance calls on tellows. The most searched numbers this week include the following:

1. 01143072406 with 5 comments and 4717 search requests. tellows Score: 7
2. 02075363554 with 3 comments and 3514 search requests. tellows Score: 5
3. 01614867770 with 16 comments and 10225 search requests. tellows Score: 7
4. 01753441520 with 5 comments and 7394 search requests. tellows Score: 7
5. 01415676218 with 11 comments and 4543 search requests. tellows Score: 7

Rated by our users as rather untrustworthy with a tellows score of 7, our first number, 01143072406, has been a frequent guest on our top 5 list. Most of our users that reported the number have complained about unsolicited telemarketing calls by a well-known British energy and home services provider.

Our second place this week, the number 02075363554 has been reported by our users for unsolicited telemarketing calls as well. In spite of a neutral tellows score of 7, the majority felt bothered by the persistent calls from the number. User Jill reported:

Unsolicited have asked not to call previously

Calling from Manchester, our third number, 01614867770, has been ranking on our list for nearly a year and with a rating of 7 has been considered to be rather untrustworthy. Most of our users felt harassed by frequent calls regarding insurance issues. User Stirling32 commented:

As stated previously, calling on behalf of an insurance company to discuss an accident (very minor bump) had in 2012. Asked for personal details – including that of my family – before they’d continue with the call, which I refused until they confirmed some details to me. Of course, I was told that due to data protection, they wouldn’t divulge anything to me until I had to them!! […] Recommend ignoring unless you have five minutes to waste having a little fun with them….

The fourth place this week goes to number 01753441520, a new entry on our list and yet another number that earned a tellows score of 7 due to unwanted calls that our users perceived as harassment. Many of our users stated to have received calls in spite of being registered with TPS. User Johnny even wondered:

I’m registered with TPS and ex-directory as well. however, i still recieve unsolicited calls. what use is TPS if it doesn’t work.

Ranking on our final place is number 01415676218 with calls originating from Glasgow. According to the comments of our users, the number calls both on the land line as well as the mobile phone, all throughout the day and at unsociable hours without leaving a message. User Samantha decided to take action against the unwanted calls:

I started answering, they still call every day and I swear at them. I have put in a report to TPS, I advise everyone else to as well.

If you have received unsolicited or dubious calls or have any other information on a certain telephone number, do not hesitate to share it with our tellows community. Other than that, we hope you stay scam and nusicance call-free.

Your tellows team

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Unsolicited Telephone Calls: The Top 5 Nuisance Callers of the Week

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Dear friends of tellows,

with another week coming to an end, we have another set of spam and scam numbers that have kept you and your phone lines busy throughout the past seven days. With a few new entries, this week’s list is composed of a mix of the usual suspects and newcomers. Let’s have a look:

1. 08000641087 with 9 comments and 9774 search requests. tellows Score: 6
2. 01143072000 with 15 comments and 8300 search requests. tellows Score: 7
3. 01482489200 with 4 comments and 1153 search requests. tellows Score: 8
4. 02392386688 with 3 comments and 1731 search requests. tellows Score: 6
5. 01625538490 with 8 comments and 6595 search requests. tellows Score: 8

Our first place this week, number 08000641087, is known to users on our Polish and German sites as well and has become a frequent guest on our list. Most of our users complained about having received several missed calls without any voicemessage left from the number. Additionally, user EVE reported that you can’t return the calls:

This number has rung my mother several times over the past few days,no ideas who its from because theres no message and you cant ring it back.

The second number today is 01143072000 calling from Sheffield. In spite of numerous comments and search requests on tellows, this week’s entry marks only its second appearance on our list. Even though the number with a tellows score of 7 is deemed rather untrustworthy by our users, its authenticity is highly debated. Whereas some reported a telephone provider behind the calls, others questioned the legitimacy of the calls due to the fact that they were also contacted abroad in the US and Turkey, for instance. User Buck commented:

The number called me.. No message left for me. Previous calls from same number that I won’t answer. Calls day and night. Good number search shows me where the call is made from, the location to the nearest 25 metres. Guess what, I am in Sheffield next week on business. Will be nice to meet the person won’t it.

Calling from Hull, the number 01482489200 ranks on our third place this week and is a newcomer to the list. Often allocated to a well-known telecommunications service provider in the UK, most have reported calls from the number as telemarketing and aggressive advertising. Additionally, most users questioned the authenticity of the calls like Petunia 70:

I said i didn’t know whether he was really from Talk Talk and asked his name. He asked for my name,address and birth-date. I said I would check with Talk Talk and ring him back.He rang off.

Another newcomer to our list, number four 02392386688 makes calls from Southhampton – the nature of which are rather disputed among users. While some regarded continuous calls from this number as nuisance, user L Scard rated the number as trustworthy, commenting:

got call from this number it was from spectrum housing group telling me when my job would be done,nothing horrible no sales talk just spectrum.

Finally, number 01625538490 from Macclesfield ranks as yet another newcomer on our fifth place this week. According to our users, the caller offers services to reclaim PPI for loans and credit cards. Most users have doubts regarding the legitimacy of the calls.

If you have recently received any calls from an unknown number that seem untrustworthy or dubious, do not hesitate to share your experiences on tellows.co.uk and help raise awareness about telephone spam and scam numbers. Have a nice weekend!

Your tellows team

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