Category Archives: Knowledge

New Rules to Protect Consumers against Nuisance Calls

Dear tellows fellows,

we are very happy to hear that Ofcom has recently strengthened the consumer protection rules. The changes are made in order to provide more protection against nuisance calls, caller ID spoofing, and other types of telephone frauds. The new rules came into force in the beginning of this month and are reviews of the General Conditions of Entitlement, the main rules that all phone, broadband and mobile providers must follow to operate in the UK. Today, we would like to give you an overview of the changes that Ofcom made in order to protect you better against dubious numbers. Check out the key changes below!

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Tech Support Scam Returns with a New Trick

Dear tellows fellows,

as you might remember, we have posted an article about fake technical support scam in the beginning of last August to warn you of the rising issue of a Microsoft scam. Microsoft has also released several statements on their official website to warn people about this fraud. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop scammers from finding other ways to trick people.

Recently, we found out that many fake tech support scammers have been using another method to deceive Microsoft users. They take advantage of Microsoft TechNet portals and created over 3000 fake pages. The TechNet portal is usually used by Microsoft users to save documentations of products and images as well as to offer community forums for its users. Unfortunately, the scammers have found a way to use the subdomain of TechNet portal, gallery.technet.microsoft.com, in order to be displayed on Google. Although the pages are usually blank pages with error message, the scammers’ purpose is to display their phone numbers on the headline of the pages. They mostly affiliate the tech support with Bitcoin or Coinbase Helpdesk. The problem has gotten bigger, as the fraudsters were able to rank quite high on google search and their fake pages were displayed on the first page when the users search for keywords such as “Helpdesk Microsoft”, “Helpdesk Coinbase”, etc.
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Introducing Our New Rating Box

Dear tellows fellows,

Our community is changing and developing every day. We always take our users’ suggestions and ideas into account, in order to make tellows a better platform. Therefore, we have developed some new features to make the tellows community even more helpful and effective than before!

1. Rating without comment

It is very important for us that we can give information for our users which are not just informative but also helpful. We believe it’s significant to consider the fact that our users might not have enough information to write lengthy comments about some phone numbers. Therefore we have developed a new feature, so that you are able to rate a phone number without writing any comment, especially if you think that there’s no necessary information you can share. Continue reading

Caller Types at tellows

Every number that you find in our community is classified according to the type of call. Through different types of call, our users can easily recognize to which category the number belongs to. But sometimes the different call types might be confusing. You might sometimes be wondering whether a certain number should be categorized “Telemarketer” or as “Aggressive Advertising”. To avoid any kind of confusion and to show the clear differences between the caller types, we would like to give an overview of every single caller type that we have at tellows. But we won’t just explain what the term means, we will also give you some tips if you perhaps receive these types of call. Continue reading

No More Junk Faxes!

Having a fax machine might be one of the most convenient things for us to send and receive business documents. But sometimes, we get loaded with the amount of junk faxes we never wish to receive. Since we have already seen many reports from our tellows friends about the bothering acts, we think it’s important to give more information of how junk faxes work and what we can do to stop receiving them.

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Ofcom addressed nuisance calls: Call Incidence of 2017

Dear tellows users,

In order to determine the level of nuisance calls in UK, Ofcom has been undertaking a study of call incidents each year since January 2013. This study is especially conducted in order to analyze and measure the changes in number and type of nuisance calls received every year. In the study, there are a total of 5 possible different categories of nuisance calls as follows: Continue reading

French University Project with tellows API

Dear tellows fellows,

tellows is versatile and the tellows data can be used for different systems. We developed an API that suits all kinds of projects and allows you to access the database and use the number details as preferred.

Today, we want to introduce a student project from the UPMC University in Paris, which was realized with the help of the tellows API.
For the students, the task was to build an Android App with an API. The idea was to develop a caller ID that identifies French numbers and shows whether a number is dangerous or trustworthy. With the help of our API, they managed to build the App in just a few weeks. As soon as a call comes in, it shows the respective tellows score that indicates if the number is dangerous or not. Opening the app, it will show a list of all recently received calls. Furthermore, it displays the number, score and country.

The final result was presented within the class and turned out successful. We are happy that we could be part of it and help to realize the project. However, a publication of the application is not possible.

screenshot appscreenshot app opened

tellows is happy to collaborate with companies and developers to create projects for commercial or research purposes. If you have any questions, please contact us.

If you need more information about our API, please visit this website.

Your tellows team

Might come as a shock: “Electrical Board” claims 40% savings on your next bill

Disturbed call recipients have been offered a new toy this month by electricity companies. A plug-in device that promises to save 40% of your energy bills for a not-so-small price starting at £99. The callers are alleged scammers, falsely claiming to be from energy suppliers or regulators, such as “British Gas.” Unfortunately, among the recipients, it is the elderly that are likely to be targeted as Moneyfacts.co.uk report.

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UK public service warning: cold callers offer fake IKEA shares

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.
 
 
Have you received a call of this exact scenario or of a similar nature? We would like to hear from you. Let us know by commenting below OR by searching the phone number on tellows that was used to phone you and leave a comment there to assist others in their enquiry to a suspicious phone call!

 
 
 

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.

tellows magazine for the UK – worthwhile information on nuisance calls and telephone scams

The tellows magazine is now here for download!

Based on information compiled from the tellows website, its blog and from concerned authorities in the UK, the tellows magazine provides the most important things you need to know in order to avoid being scammed over the phone.

How useful is this magazine to me?
You could be the next target victim of phone fraud. Even if you are registered with TPS, it does not spare you from the threat. In fact, 57% of those TPS-registered numbers are not satisfied since they still receive an average of 7 unsolicited calls per month, based on the UK Consumers’ Association report.

Statistics from the tellows website also shows that Greater London receives the highest rate of unwanted calls, followed by the North West part and Yorkshire. This does not mean that other regions are not being targeted, rather, reports and complaints in tellows website are actually coming from all parts of the country.

Caller Identification

That’s why it’s important for you to be aware of these scam methods and be proactive in guarding yourself and family against fraud.

tellows UK Top 10 scam methods
tellows has identified these top 10 scam methods based on the actual reports of users submitted to tellows website. These are: online payday loan scam, call back, job offer, fake telemarketer, spoofing, vishing, ppi, pc doctor scam, lottery and winning scam, pension liberation fraud.

One scheme would ask you to pay fees in advance so they can process your loan, PPI, pension, job and training application, or your winnings in a lottery or contest. Another kind would send out messages that sound like an emergency or would ring your phone incessantly just to make you call them back. While the last type would pretend to be calling from a valid number, or would use the name of a legit company and brand, as if offering their products and services.

Legal basics
The magazine also gives you an overview of the Data Protection Act and the three most important regulators and agencies involved in this area. Direct links on where you can send a complaint are provided, whether it is about an unwanted live telesales calls, automated marketing calls, silent or abandoned calls, or unwanted spam text message.

More on tellows
For an immediate, everyday protection, details about how the tellows website, its blog and smartphone app work can also be found in the magazine to solve your worries and doubts on unknown numbers.