It is almost March, 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 last year. According to HMRC, over 100,000 reports of frauds were reported last year and the number is increasing. Last year, 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.
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.” Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
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.
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. Continue reading →
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!
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!
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. Continue reading →
Dear tellows fellows,
we constantly receive information about new types of telephone fraud from our users. We want to thank you for always keeping our community updated and for warning other users about new types of scams!
We have been seeing several reports in our tellows community regarding frauds claiming to be from HMRC. Usually it is an automated voice message warning you that the police will become involved if you ignore the call, or requiring an urgent call back. Many users have already reported about a recorded message, a common feature with all these calls. Therefore, we want to warn you about this type of fraud.
lately we have been seeing many reports in our tellows community regarding fraudsters claiming to be computer tech support. These fraudsters used the most classic trick: they claimed to be from a well-known company such as Microsoft and told us that our computer had been infected or hacked. In order to fix the computer problem and prevent the virus from damaging the computer any further, they offered “assistance”. If we had agreed to this, they would give us some instructions we must follow. Usually, we would be asked to visit certain websites and enter our personal data there. Some fraudsters could even hack the computer and show a pop-up window to ensure us that our computer had indeed been infected by some viruses. In the end, they would either try to steal our personal bank data through the access we gave or charge us for the costs of fixing the non-existent computer issue. Continue reading →
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.