Category Archives: Online Scam

The Bank Transfer Scam

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Dear tellows friends,

Bank transfer fraud happens more often than you can imagine. Fraudsters imitate various offial organisations, including banks, to persuade you to move money out of your account and into their hands.

Scammers use manipulative methods to panic real people into handing over their money and details. Perhaps you receive a call or text telling you that your account has been ‘compromised’ and you need to move your money somewhere ‘secure’. Maybe you have to click a link inside a text message or email and log in to your online banking account to stop a transaction. Of course such messages are more often than not fraudulent, but they can look very realistic. Links in text messages may take you to a spoofed albeit realistic version of your bank’s website, making the fraud almost more believable.

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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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TRADING ONLINE – When Making Money Becomes Spamming

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Dear tellows fellows, we love staying in touch with you and always keep you informed about new events on our blog. Today we want to talk about online trading because there are tons of reports about companies proposing how to make money online using their trading product or simply offering a trading academy.
 

Let´s see some examples…

Waleed:“I got a call from this number the caller was aggressive and better described as rude. She tried to insist on taking about trading and that I appeared in her website. When I told her not interested she made a comment “what you don’t like my voice”and this is when I just told her this is the end of the call and hung up”

Sten: “Aggressive, too insisting and offensive”

https://www.tellows.co.uk/num/%2B442031296963

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PayPal scams and false promises: the latest in phone fraud

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In today’s world, everything you could ever want or need can be found, bought and paid for on the internet, making it a playground for fraudsters. They’ll be as creative as they want when it comes to coaxing people into parting with their money. No time for guilt or remorse when you’re a scammer!

Today, we’ll present you with two online tricksters who’ve been at large on the world wide web and made maximum use of its advantages.
The first number 0019518883614 belongs to a certain “Mr. Smith”(this isn’t the creative part) and it comes from California, USA. Apparently, Mr. Smith would like to buy a car and would prefer to do it in the UK, for whatever reason. He favours the advertising site Gumtree to reach his victims.

You have to be careful here. If you want to sell some things on GUMTREE then you also can be a potential victim to this plot. Usually it hits those who want to sell something big like a car.

This number will send you a text containing the following email addresses and wants you to reply. You can just as easily send messages in Gumtree but of course that doesn’t fit with the plan.

[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

Writing back means that he has your email address and step one of this two-step scam is achieved. Step two is convincing you to pay with PayPal.

If you answer his text, you’ll get to hear a longwinded story involving in-laws and presents and being out of town… meaning that the payment has to be done via PayPal. At this point, anyone can see that something doesn’t add up. If you Google the number, you’ll see that it’s from the USA, so why get a car from the UK? Making a payment via PayPal in these situations is not recommended at all – there is a long history of cases like this where people have been tricked out of their money.

Being vigilant is always recommended whilst on the internet and this is especially true when buying and selling. Our second number 01612127403 is from Manchester, UK. In this case, cash is the goal once again but the tactics are different. In one scam, they offer marketing services but once you’ve paid up, you won’t hear a dickybird from them…

I got a call from a man claiming he represents Online Platform Management Consulting. We talked a little while and I agreed to pay for online marketing. I proceed with the payment and tried to contact the same number back but it was no longer active.

Another technique they use is posing as Google, threatening to remove an address from their listing. Though this technique isn’t really that smart, it’s still fairly creative.

What scammers want is money and personal information. We’re all inclined to believe it would be hard to get hold of these things on the internet but it can be all too easy! Don’t let your guard down and always think twice before disclosing sensitive or important information.

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A few clicks from an in-app advert can lead to a £200 cost

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A wave of protests, triggered by the in-app advertising featuring in Talking Friends Cartoons encouraged parents to become more cautious about the iPhone apps their children use.

Parenting groups actively warn parents to pay more attention towards the iPhone and iPad usage by their children, as this can result in large telephone bills, generated by children who were incentivised by the in-app advertisements.
The app developers constantly have challenges to face: previously it were costly in-app purchases placed in the most common children’s apps and now – in-app adverts. The most recent “immoral” iPhone in-app advertisement encouraged children to sign up to a £208 (per year) subscription service.

Well-known children’s cartoon, featuring Talking Tom Cat and Talking Lila the Fairy became the basis for the Talking Friends app, which then, respectively, motivated smart phones developers, like iPhone, iPad and Android to develop the Talking Friends Cartoon app for their electronic devices. It is a cost-free app, allowing users to expand their knowledge of the favourite characters, download cartoon’s wallpapers and, moreover, view short cartoons developed in co-operation with Disney. However, apart from that app users were exposed to the banner at the bottom of the screen, that, if linked, transferred them to a quiz, advertised by a firm called Yamoja, encouraging to participate in it and get a chance to win a 64GB iPad.

To participate in the contest clients had to subscribe, paying a weekly fee of £4, for which in turn they got sent 4 weekly messages like “funtones, wallpapers, games, celeb news & more”.

Stuart Dredge, famous for his remarks about Apps, posted a comment on such adverts in his Apps Playground blog: “What an advert that tries to sign you up to a £4-a-week mobile content subscription was doing inside this app is genuinely beyond me.”
The application was cleared from the app, but a different expensive inbuilt app has been recently introduced by National Geographic.

A lot of discussions appeared after the launch of Dino Land app in the middle of February 2013 since it offered the clients to purchase additional virtual “bones” for total sum of £69.99, which allowed rising the pace of the game. The offer seemed particularly alluring for children who could not wait to finish the game and were eager to accelerate this process.
Dino add provides series of apps for children such as Playmobil Pirates, Coin Dozer and Racing Penguin that include inbuilt offers with costly extras. Websites for parents reveal the raising numbers of cases when parents received bills of £500 or even larger amounts because of their children buying add-ons offered in a game while playing, and suggest the parents disabling any acquisitions through the apps.

CEO and co-founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts said: “App-developers need to build in greater controls from the start – it’s shocking that a few click-throughs from an advert can lead to a £200 cost for unknowing parents, and it shows just how important it is to keep an eye on your child’s device settings.”

Founder of website for parents Netmums Siobhan Freegard commented: “Few people mind a couple of targeted ads which are relevant to the app service, as they realise it’s the price to pay for the ‘free’ app. But bombarding children using free apps with expensive products and services they can unwittingly sign up to a couple of clicks is immoral.”

Tellows highly recommend parents to pay more attention on apps your children are using to avoid such cases.

Kind regards,
Team Tellows

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When the Saviour Calls and the Snake Bites – A Brief Introduction in the Ways of Dubious PC Wizards, Doctors and other Online Charlatans

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Your PC is infected with a Virus! – That’s What They Say!

First things first, sit back and relax. If you receive a phone call from company that claims to work on the behalf of Microsoft, it is a fraudulant attempt to drain your bank account. These wannabe Microsoft employees will spin tales about the most malevolent of software and the ways your PC system was infected by it. According to the American computer forum bleepingcomputer.com the fraudsters will try to lure you on onto their website to download a software called Teamviewer. This program enables the scammers to access your PC directly and, therewith, provides them with the opportunity to download and install malware, manipulate your system settings and spy for personal data. However, Microsoft will not call to warn you of a potential viral infection and offer support for free. Microsoft is not ignorant of the scam and was quick to publish an article on their investigation into the matter on their windows blog.

It’s those Indians – Isn’t it?

In most cases the caller entertains an indian accent. According to the Guardian the calls may originate in India. Nonetheless, the collaboration of additional companies is required to successfully funnel the money back to India. Firms such as PayPal are tricked into these dark schemes by forged documents but once the scammer’s accounts have been identified they are shut down immediately. Unfortunately, reversing already processed debit cards payments is nearly impossible.
However, Indian call centres are only one cogwheel in far greater machination. In numerous cases fake spyware lead the PC user to believe that his or her windows suffers dangerous malware by displaying fake system reports. In the next step the software will urge the user to dial non-geographical bound numbers, such as 18005010335 and 01234765093 to contact support and, ultimately, purchase the fake anti-spyware program. The very existence of rogue anti-spyware program indicated the involvement of professional developers aiming at infecting the peoples’ PC for profit.

Knowledge is Power – And Profit as Well !!!
Considerably more dangereous than the infection itself, however, is the fact that the scammers’ target groups are the old and the ignorant. Both of those groups believe in the authortity of the caller and , therewith, deliver themselves into the trap. Since the people’s ignorance is the fraudsters’ greatest and most effective weapon it is imperative to share our knowledge on the topic in every way possible. Tellows.co.uk and tellows.com provide the means to share information quickly and without restraint (as long as conformity with the law is given). This scam is most virulent in the english speaking parts of the world, although similar attempts of fraud have been reported in Germany where fraudsters even mimic the Bundesnachrichtendienst, the german intelligence agency. The scammer’s knowledge goes hand in glove with their profits, our knowledge, however, equips us with the power to deny them every single cent, penny or whatever currency there might be!

Take Care !!!
Team Tellows

Sources:
1. Dealing with Fake Tech Support & Phone Scams – Windows Security Blog
2. Virus phone scam being run from call centres in India – The Guardian
3. Beware of phone telephone scammers calling on behalf of Google – Bleepingcomputer.com

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