Category Archives: nuisance calls

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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Springtime tax scams is back!

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Dear readers,

Here we are in the season of Springtime tax scams, again scammers are trying to take advantages from us, especially targeting the young people and the senior as stated by HMRC. The numbers of youngsters and the elder possessing a smartphone is growing through these years. According to Ofcom Communications Market Report 2018, over half of the population who aged over 55, and 95% of young people (from 16 to 24) own a smartphone in the same period. This means that fraudsters have higher chances to scam people successfully through bogus text messages or phone calls.

Phone scammers are directing at youngsters and the vulnerables since most of them are less familiar with the tax system. HMRC stated that close to 2,500 reports of tax scams were reported per day last Spring, with roughly 250,000 reports received in total during the whole season.

Scammers are most likely approaching potential victims with refund scams in the tax period by email or texts pretending to be HMRC. They will offer a tax refund or payment for around 100 pounds in exchange for personal information such as bank account details. Be prepared for phishing websites. HMRC already made 6000 requests to shut down these cloned websites last tax season. Moreover, Fraudsters mostly asked for immediate action, therefore beware of phrases like ‘you only have 2 days to reply’ or ‘urgent action required’ in text messages or e-mail.

According to Head of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith:

“These criminals will contact victims in many ways including spoofed calls, voicemails and text messages. People should spot the signs of fraud and be wary of emails with attachments which might contain viruses designed to obtain personal or financial information.”

Take Five, the national campaign that advises on protection against financial fraud, Katy Worobec:

“The offer of a tax rebate might sound tempting, but don’t let the criminals hoodwink you into giving away your details or your cash. If you’re worried that you might have given away any of your information, then contact your bank straight away.”
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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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„Missed Call“-Scams are on the rise again!

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If you receive an incoming call from a foreign number, you should be very careful! Fraudsters from abroad use these calls to deceive their victims and steal their money. And although this type of scam isn´t completely new, thousands of consumers fall victim to them every year. Even in 2019, the business with Ping-Calls (referred to missed call scams) flourishes in various countries such as Australia, Germany, Japan and more. Lately we registered an increasing number of reports regarding the “Missed Call”-scam in the United Kingdom on our site tellows.co.uk. However, what is this “Missed Call”-scam and how can you protect yourself against it? This article will answer these questions. Let´s take a look!

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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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Top Phone Numbers of January

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Dear tellows fellows,

the first month of the year has passed. We’re very happy that all of our users have contributed to our platform by sharing useful information of various telephone numbers. Last month, we received more than 1200 ratings and comments in UK. The total number has increased by 200 ratings compared to December. In order to protect you from possible fraudsters and phone spammers, we would like to share some of the most searched numbers at tellows.co.uk. We’ve also added the type of callers and the name of companies, so you can see if the numbers are dangerous or not.
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Introducing Our New iPhone App Partner

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Dear tellows fellows,

tellows database consists of over millions of telephone numbers reported by our users worldwide. As you can read on our API page, we are always open for any collaboration and partnership by offering the access to our database. Recently, we made a collaboration with Ever Apps LLC to support its anti spam call app for iPhone with the tellows database. In case you haven’t heard of this application, here’s a quick overview of our new partner app!

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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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ICO to Reduce High Number of Nuisance Calls

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Dear tellows fellows,

The holiday season is here and it gets even better as the new laws regarding nuisance calls have finally come into force!

New Legislation in the The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR)

Nuisance calls have been a troubling issue in the UK for the past few years. According to Which, nearly three quarters of people in the UK receive at least one nuisance call a month. The government has now taken a further step to solve the never-ending problem of nuisance calls. Under the new legislation on the 17th of December, company directors who run unsolicited calls in their companies will be fined by the ICO of up to £500,000. Previously, the Information Commisioner´s Office (ICO) was only able to fine the companies and not the individuals who run the companies. Because of this, company directors have been able to evade justice by dissolving the company and setting up a new business under a different name. Thus, the new rules will give the ICO scope to fine the company, its directors, or both. The change would also allow the ICO to hold individual directors to account where the company fails to pay the fine or is placed into liquidation.

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European Cybersecurity Month: Phishing, Vishing, Smishing

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Dear tellows fellows,

October has always been the European cybersecurity month for the past six years. The European Commission and the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) arranged the occasion to raise awareness of cybersecurity and to provide users the opportunities to protect themselves from cyber-criminals.  The focus of the campaign is to give users some useful tips and tricks to prevent themselves from being a victim of cyber scams. These include phishing, smishing, and vishing. In case you haven’t heard of these scams, we have collected information about these types of scams below. Check it out!

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