Archive for category general

Scams are set to sky rocket during this FIFA World Cup season

Football season kicked off recently and the social media has been undeniably broad. Ahh yes, the World Cup has brought more than football to the forefront than economic, politcal and of great interest – social issues. But we must tell you there is something behind the scenes lurking. Scams with ‘World Cup’ related content are said to increase right through to the end of the season.

MessageLabs Intelligence report 419 scams, including emails offering tickets to games, fake auction websites, fake accomodation providers, offers of free mobiles are all in the mix that we can expect to see to be on the rise in the next few weeks.

Image courtesy of Chrisroll FreeDigitalPhotos.net

And it comes to no surprise to us here at tellows. We have received a number of comments from people around the world stating that they have received an email claiming that they have indeed hit the al’mighty jackpot and won themselves tickets to see the game live in Brazil. It seems that this email will ask the recipient to phone back and potentially be charged premium rates or respond to their email which could in fact permit hackers access to your computer. Symantec Intelligence inform that contact such as an email is often just the beginning of an elaborate scam.

tellows commentator OwenOcrazy said on phone number 8015429344

I got something quite different. I got an email with this return SMS number attached for tickets to the World Cup Brasil. Quite different but more or less the same. Who do these fools take us for?

What do we suggest to do if you receive suspicious contact?
1. Ignore any suggestion to respond with an SMS, phone call or email. You can verify the phone number by performing a tellows search and read what our users have to say about their experience.
2. If the email itself looks a suspicious with World Cup propaganda or merchandise related offers, do not proceed to click on any attachments or images.

And thirdly,

3. our information is gathered by our users themselves. If you have come across something that seemed suspicious to you, do leave a comment. We urge members of the community to warn others of persons and their phone numbers that aim to financially and emotionally rob others.

Source: http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/fifa-world-cup-scams-continue-circulate

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7 points to make your nuisance-call complaint effective

The FCC, the Federal Communications Commission are one of the go-to people if you wish to issue a complaint regarding nuisance phone callers. Their website will generally ask the all the appropriate questions in regards to your call. However, if you would like to use another body to lodge your complaint or if you’re complaining directly to the caller themselves (if you have got their contact information.) then in preparation, here we have below what you might want to jot down as the call is happening, or while the details are in your mind. Being a good and accurate historian is essential in building a case in any complaint situation.

 
 

1. The phone number where you received the phone call

2. The date and time of the call

3. Whether or not you are on the National Do Not Call list

4. Did the caller advertise goods or services?

5. Was previous consent given from persons in your household to call this phone number?

6. Have you made any previous inquiries or applications with the individual or company, such as requesting information from their website?

7. Whether or not you or other persons in in the household have requested the cessation of these phone calls

 

 

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Spoofing USCIS to scam immigrants and visa applicants

From 2000 to 2010, there were nearly 14 million immigrants who entered the United States. The US is basically accepting more legal immigrants as permanent residents than all other countries in the world combined. For these immigrants, at least for most of them I’m sure, American dream signifies new opportunities, a new world and a new life.

But then statistics leads us to having this huge immigrant population in the US as one of the most lucrative markets for the scammers. Immigrants or those who are still applying for an immigrant status could be naive, vulnerable, and still less informed about the country’s legal system.

Scammers would claim he is connected with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), “spoof” the victim’s telephone Caller ID system to display that the call originated from USCIS, ask for the social security and passport numbers, dates of birth, etc., and scare the victim by saying that there are some problems in his immigration records. The perpetrator would then convince the victim to pay a certain fee to process his records and threaten him with deportation or application/petition denial if the victim refuses to pay.

There have been similar reports in tellows regarding this matter. 0016466166770 was reported to be asking for a legal fee for an immigration lawyer.

iceman said:

they called me up also in asked my credit card no. for legal fee for immigration lawyer,and they talk very fast and persistent. i give them my old credit card no. anyway thank you for knowing it…

A similar thing happened to bai, this time the scammer is offering assistance on her visa application:

I got a call from this number saying she is processing a visa. she is asking for any debit card or credit card last 4 digit number in order to open the application.

Those applying for visas, green cards and employment authorization are also being scammed by „businesses“ promising faster and sure way of getting applications approved. Scammers also use fake websites offering step by step guidance on completing a USCIS application or petition that claim to be affiliated with USCIS. Others even ask for payment to download forms, instructions or other information.

As advised by USCIS, seek assistance from the right place and people that are authorised to help. Applying directly with USCIS can give you the same result without extra charges and fees. Trust only the official website of USCIS with free downloadable documents.

Report such scams to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov and your appropriate state authorities.

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Mothers Know Best, but these Scammers Just Knew the Right Buttons to Push

Two consecutive incidents happened recently in Massachusetts subjecting two mothers under terrifying situations allegedly involving their kids.

Theresa, a mother from Revere, received a call in the middle of a snow storm in December. The caller said his cousin has the pistol to her daughter’s head and that they would kill her if she will not cooperate and follow their instructions. “He said, ‘Listen to me carefully, I have your daughter.’ He knew everything about her,” says a Revere mom named Theresa. The caller was asking for $1,000.

Similar incident happened to Laura while she was at work Monday last week in Lynnfield. She received a call informing her that her 14-year old son damaged his car in an accident and that he would be shot unless she transfers $2,000.

In both situations, the scam artists knew about the victims’ family details, like names, the kids’ school, outfit and physical apperance of the “alleged” kidnapped son and daughter.

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What You Need to Know: A Review of the FCC Rules

Let’s try to review the facts and take a look at some important guidelines set by the Federal Communications Commission on telemarketing and autodialers.

1. Telemarketers are REQUIRED to give his or her name, company, telephone number or address where he or she can be contacted. You should expect these details on the initial part of the call.

In the tellows Call Guideline, you are given a script with a set of questions which you can use to verify information about the telemarketer.

2. No phone solicitation/ telemarketing is allowed before 8 am or after 9 pm.

3. As soon as you ask the telemarketer to include you in the do-not-call list, they should comply and you shouldn’t be receiving any more calls from them! At least for the next 5 years (read below).

4. The telemarketer must honor your do-not-call request for five years and you must repeat your request once you get the same call after the period.

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Our weekly Top 3 plus more info on where to Report a Scam

Before we give you our Most Annoying Numbers for the week, here’s a list of institutions that can help you deal with a scam:

1. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has consumer advisories on international and text message scams.

2. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides information on phone scams and spam.

3. The National Fraud Information Center (NFIC) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

4. All major U.S. wireless companies can help you with their spam blocking technologies.

And so this week for our top 3, we have a Spanish autodialer with 11 comments and 2085 search requests; we have a spammer looking for k.smith because her debit card has been locked, and lastly, we have our resident caller telling you to claim your Royal Caribbean or Carnival Cruise prize. Remember guys, don’t fall for it!

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Make your smartphone even Smarter with the tellows Android app!

Receiving a lot of unwanted calls lately? Seems like your DNC isn’t working? Well, we finally have the solution for you!

You can now download the tellows Android app for caller identification. It’s a sure way to a peaceful life! The app will tell you real-time if the call is trustworthy or not. This will save you time since you don’t need to check the number in the internet. On the first ring of your phone, the tellows Score will automatically appear in order to help you decide whether to answer the phone or cancel it – 7 to 9 being the most untrustworthy numbers. Caller identification has never been this easy!

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Don’t be a victim! Our Top 3 scam clichés for the week

I remember this Hollywood film Compliance, I couldn’t sleep after watching it. It’s about this prank caller who phoned the manager of a fast food chain and introduced himself as a police officer. He asked the manager to strip search one of her female employees because she allegedly stole something. The manager believed it and followed everything the caller asked her to do. The scam call ended up as a sexual harassment case. This film is based on a true story and apparently, there were over 70 similar incidents that already occurred in 30 U.S. States.

After seeing this movie, you will never again talk to strangers! Yes, we’ve heard that from our mothers when we were kids, but still, this comes in handy every time we face the dangerous world out there.

Based on true accounts of our tellows users, our top three for the week go like this: 1) caller tells you they found your lost debit card and then will ask you to confirm the number to them, the next thing you knew, they’re already using your debit card number for different transactions; 2) scam call pretending to be a representative of Nova Scotia informing you that you just won a free cruise but they first need your bank account details to make sure that they are talking to the right person; 3) another Caribbean spam caller, this time from Montserrat.

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Caribbean Numbers Continue Phone Scam

tellows is once again receiving several comments regarding Carribean numbers, this time from Montserrat, with code number 664. The scam starts by calling anyone, usually during late hours, so one would think that it is an emergency and would then make a return call. Unfortunately, it is often just a recording generated by a computer system with the purpose of making the victim stay on hold for a longer time. Apparently, it is coming from a „pay-per-call“ line (similar to area code 900 numbers in the US) that charges high fees including international rates.

This scam has been going on since the 90′s and because it is not a US-based number, it is not under US regulations. It would be difficult for those people who were scammed to get assistance and ask for a credit or refund from its local phone carriers since for one, they did make the call, and second, it is already another foreign company in the Carribean that they should be dealing with.

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The Tellows Top 3: Holiday Hangover and Nuisance Calls

Oh well, Christmas rush is over and scammers are back to business. You still have this hangover from the long holiday break and yet these bogus numbers are back and ready to terorrize people again.

Our top 3 hardworking prank callers for the week include the „court action for bank fraud“ number, the computer guy claiming that he is from microsoft, and the boring „not in service“ phoneline.

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