Category Archives: General

HMRC works with telecoms to stop fraudsters

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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.


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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What are Brexit phone scams?

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Dear readers,

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.

brexit
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.
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tellows Study II: Harassment Calls Take Over in the UK

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Last year tellows Study I explored the most communicative countries according to our database, in which Colombia, USA and Mexico took the lead out of 50 countries. In 2019, tellows Study II aims at sharing our latest information of the most reported caller types in countries within Europe, Asia and South America at tellows’ platforms. Alone in the UK, almost 30% of the callers’ type are reported as harassment calls. Surprisingly the most noted caller types actually differ from country to country, let us check out the content below!

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Annual Review 2018

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Dear tellows fellows,

we, the tellows team, sincerely wish you a happy new year!

Thanks to you and your endless support we could reach our goals and grow even more in 2018. From the new features of the tellows app to our new and fresh homepage design, we will tell you all the important news in the following annual review. Check it out! Continue reading

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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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tellows Study: Colombia has the Most Communicative Users

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Dear tellows friends,

Have you ever wondered which country actually has more comments than your current country? Or how many comments are written on average in your country?
To answer these questions, we conducted a study on how many comments are written on tellows in individual countries regarding the page views and we discovered some interesting facts from the study.

tellows is currently available in 50 countries. For the study, we concentrated on the 17 most important tellows countries.
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Cross-devices Blacklists for Registered tellows Members

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Dear tellows fellows,

more and more frequently consumers are victims of telephone spam or frauds, or are simply provoked by frequent unwanted calls. They use various tricks to pull our money out of our pockets. Here in our community, many phone owners report and rate the numbers that called them, sharing their experiences with other users to protect you and themselves. This works in an easy and uncomplicated way.

The heart of us is the tellows score. It is calculated from all previously stored ratings for a specific phone number. Users of the community can report and rate phone numbers on a scale of 1-9, where 9 means that a very dangerous or very annoying phone call is on the line and 1 is a rather harmless one. So you can rate and categorize each phone number on a scale from 1 (trustworthy) to 9 (dubious). From 7 on, the corresponding phone number is placed on a blacklist of the community and is thus blocked for everyone using the tellows products by itself and provides an appropriate protection. Depending on the rating, you can then assess the seriousness of a called number. In this way you can inform yourself online about the experience other users have already made with the respective number. And if there is a cost trap or telephone fraud behind it, you can know it because of the negatively rated number before they call you back again. Additionally, you can create your personal blacklist and add unwanted numbers that are not yet rated or don’t appear in the blacklist. If you rate a number negatively, it will be added to your personal blacklist and will be blocked the next time you receive a call. Even if the overall rating assigned by other tellows users of the phone number is different, it will still be blocked.

In order to be able to benefit from the collected assessments and experiences at an early stage, for example even before a call is answered, the successful tellows app for devices with Android or iOS was developed. This already indicates during the ringing, how trustworthy the calling number is by using the reports of the community. Thus, when the call is received, the tellows score is displayed.
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