Archive for category general

News from the Caribbean – Grenada’s Haven for Sex Scam Callers

It’s one of those late night calls that you were not able to pick up. You called back early in the morning thinking that it was an emergency. Unfortunately, you heard obscene moaning and realized it’s a scam. Then your phone bill arrives, and there goes an extra $100 charge.

Due to the huge amount of complaints received, police departments across Utah are warning people not to answer and not to call back numbers from the 473 area code. Apparently, some residents in the area who just picked up the phone and did not even return the call were getting a $19.95 charge on their phone bill.

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Pests of the Caribbean – The Tide of Grenadian Nuisance Calls

For some the Caribbean Sea equals paradise, for others, the sole notion of the Grenadian area code 473 forebodes only waking nights and sleepless nightmares. A new phone-fiend has arisen on the small island of Grenada in the Caribbean Sea and pesters unwitting people with dozens of silent calls a day.

Our fellow tellows users complain about an increasing number of automated calls from Grenada. Usually the calls are most numerous in the morning, yet afternoon calls and bellowing phones at night were reported as well. Yet no one actually ever talked to the caller. The tellows user thereby conclude that the callers agenda is primarily aimed at tricking people into calling back.

Danglt reported the number 4735209795:

Seems to be a ping call from grenada. Even without any fees for a service number the reaming fee will be high enough to cost you some dollars

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Update on Facebook Scammers: New Numbers

As we recently reported, scammers have taken to social networking sites. Seeing that more and more numbers appear to be connected to the scam committed on Facebook, we decided to give you an update on the latest telephone numbers:

  • 7145910019 from Santa Ana, Minnesota
  • 3052904905 from Miami, Florida
  • 3479604267 from New York
  • Operating under names very common in the US such as Amanda, Ashley, Jennifer, Jessica, Lisa and Nicole, the scammers attempt to get added to the contact list of Facebook members to then contact them with messages asking them to call or text to a certain number. The procedure is nearly always the same with only few details changed (such as the name and messages that ultimately lead to the request to be conacted by phone) – as demonstrated by comments such as those of tellows user Mr. Firth, who commented on the telephone number 4153668587 from San Francisco, California:

    Some girl called Lisa something contacted me on facebook – or rather sent me a friend request. I didn’t think much of it, so I added her. She then contacted me again saying that she liked my photo and that she now had to logg of but I should give her a call at this number. I’ve heard some similar story from a friend who also added someone unknown at Facebook and then tried him to get to call a certain number. I guess it’s an ongoing scam and people should beware of all Lisas, Ashleys and Jessicas who try to “befriend” them on fb.

    Using what seems to be countless name variations, accounts and phone numbers, some of our users have been contacted not only once but twice by scammers. User Robert, for instance, who had commented on a number related to the scam before, reported 9292234999 from Germany with the following statement:

    Unbelievable! This is yet another facebook scam! I just reported about one of those yesterday, a Jessica contacting me and this time it was a lisa. she asked me to call her at this address. I don’t know what that means with regards to the scammers since I figured they were a group of people – perhaps there is more than just this one group or they lost track of who they already contacted? It certainly isn’t more believable the second time around…

    So stay alert and be careful who you add to your contact list on Facebook or any other social networking site and don’t react prematuraley, especially on urgent requests by a complete stranger. If you have detected a scam, don’t hesitate to share your knowledge on tellows and help raise awareness against scammers.

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    False Friends on Facebook: Beware of the Latest Social Network Scam

    With all those possibilities concerning both your personal and your professional life, who can afford to stay away from the social media? With the highest amount of active users, the social networking site Facebook has become an important part of the social life of more than a billion members world wide. What’s more, instead of limiting their online contact list to the people they actually met in real life, for many “Facebook friends” also include a number of strangers, thus offering scammers and fraudsters a chance to creep into peoples lives without ever having met or talked to them.

    How Scammers Use Facebook
    One of those scams has recently come to the attention of our tellows.com user who reported how they have been approached by strangers on the platform. Often using a rather common name like Amanda, Ashley, Jennifer, Jessica, Lisa or Nicole, the scammer contacts people on Facebook with a friend request, sometimes even sharing a mutual facebook “friend” as in the case of user Gary who wrote on the number 8722130108:

    This actually didn’t just happen to me but some friends of mine as well. A Jennifer/Lisa/Ashley/Amanda or what have you tries to befriend you, sending a friend request, then striking up a conversation only to quickly log off again, asking you to call “her” at number xy. This is not the only number they try to get you to call or text to, but it’s all I’ve got so far. I guess that really teaches you a lesson about “befriending” strangers on facebook.

    Once added, the person contacts again, often asking some random questions or engaging in a little small talk before ending the (mostly one-sided) conversation quickly with the excuse that they supposedly have to log off of facebook and stating that the other person should text or call at a certain number. A lot of different numbers that have been reported in the past few days shared a similar story. User Stan W., who reported the number 7185139068, put what most users thought into words:

    […] It seemed odd to me – who gives out their number to strangers like that? […] I just wonder what they are trying to accomplish by it?

    Why They Want You to Call
    Scammer could want you to call for various reasons:

  • to get your number
  • to verify your number (to be used or sold to call centers, telemarketers etc.)
  • to charge you for the call
  • to forward your call to another number
  • We agree with tellows-user Peter‘s recommendation, who commented on the number 7185139067:

    […]I don’t know how it works and what they have to gain from this, but do not under any circumstance respond to their requests!

    Numbers Associated with the Scam
    The following numbers have been reported in connection to the scam as well:

  • 3233582539 from Los Angeles, California
  • 4155240634 from San Francisco, California
  • 2534444459 from Tacoma, Washington
  • If you have been contacted by a stranger asking you to call an unknown number – especially without giving you a very good and plausible reason why, it is perhaps the most sensible thing not to react and to rather be safe than sorry. If you do suspect a scam or are already aware of a telephone number that is used for scams, do not hesitate to report it on tellows and warn others. Moreover, be careful who you add to your contact list on facebook or any other social networking site.

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    Senior Citizens Frequently Targeted by Con Artists

    Targeting senior citizens, one of the oldest and most frequently committed scams is still going strong. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) advises all seniors to use caution when answering phone calls from unknown numbers, especially when the caller claims to be a relative asking for money.

    This particular scam method is a rather simple one: playing on grandparent’s heartstrings, the con artists call elderly people, posing as their grandchild and claiming to be in trouble that could be solved with a money donation by their supposed grandparent. Unfortunately, some of our users have already made some experiences with these scam methods. As user Harry commented on the number 4389894013:

    Unbelievable scam! My dear mother received a call last week from a young man who claimed to be her grandson. He said he got into “all kinds of trouble”, was arrested on vacation and now needs some money for a lawyer and bail. You can imagine how upset she was when she called us to check in. Fortunately, she hadn’t done anything yet and was just happy to hear that her grandson is well – but the nerve that some people have!

    Other recently reported numbers include:

  • 5145685650 from Pierreville, Canada
  • 4387653430 from Quebec in Canada
  • 8888912113 from an unknown location
  • Reasons for Targeting Seniors

    There are several reasons why seniors in particular are targeted by scammers. Generally speaking, most seniors tend to have excellent credit and often saved up extra money for emergencies. Additionally, they grew up in different times with a different mind set, tending to be well-mannered, trusting, giving and caring, and are thus more vulnerable to scams. Oftentimes, seniors fail to report these crimes for reasons of false pride – embarrassed by the thought of what relatives or others might think if they’d admit to being scammed. A lot of con artists also bank on a less detailed memory and forgetfulness that tends to increase with age. In some cases it might take a while before the victim realizes he or she has been duped which makes it even harder to track down the scammers and retrieve the money.

    With the number of elderly people continuously rising, senior citizens make up a large portion of the US population – more and more of which make use of advancing technology, becoming more accessible to con artists (regardless of their actual physical distance). Many scammers operate outside the US which raises even more difficulties to catch and stop them.

    Common Methods and Red Flags

    Over time, some scams have become even more elaborate with some, for instance, researching social media sites to obtain personal details about the grandchildren that they can use to gain people’s trust. Sometimes even a third person is involved, posing as a police officer or lawyer and supposedly validating the grandchild’s claim to need money. However, there are some patterns of behavior that should raise immediate suspicion. These red flags are:

    • the caller doesn’t identify by name or only after you already suggested it
    • the caller insists that his/her parents should not get involved
    • the caller urges you to wire money through Western Union or Moneygram (most commonly used by scammers in the US) or to immediately and secretly send money
    • the call originates from outside the US or overseas
    • the caller won’t and/or can’t answer questions your actual relative would know
    • the caller doesn’t sound like the person he/she is claiming to be but makes excuses for it (e.g. bad cold)

    How to Recognize Scam Calls

    In order to quickly identify scam calls, you should refrain from suggesting a person’s first name: for example, if someone says “It’s your grandson” ask for their actual name and if necessary for further information that only you the person in question would know. The following tips might also be helpful to avoid scams and money trips:

    • check in with your relatives (e.g. the grandchild concerned or his/her parents) to confirm the story with a phone number you know to be trustworthy
    • refuse to send money via wire transfer if you are uncertain who’s on the receiving end
    • make notes as to who requested money, when and to which location
    • if you do wire money, add a security question only the person you think will receive the money would know
    • if you have already wired money without security question and it hasn’t been picked up, call the wire transfer service to cancel

    Moreover, the FBI strongly advises to resist the pressure and refrain from hasty action. If you have been scammed it is important to report the crime immediately to law enforcement officials and to file a fraud report. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that you will regain your money but it will certainly make it easier for law enforcement agencies and the FBI to track down active con artists and prosecute them.

    You may also talk to your parents or grandparents about the dangers of unknown and/or possible scam callers. Furthermore, if scam numbers have been brought to your attention, don’t hesitate to share the information on tellows so that other people can benefit from your knowledge.

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    Stop Wasting Our Time! – The Top Three Most Annoying Spammers Don’t Quit so Easily Though…

    This week was a bit different than usually. The most annoying callers seem to have changed their strategies.
    Let’s see what they did this week..

    1. 2407871342 from Brandywine with a tellows score of 8
    2. 3015953840 form Beltsville with a tellows score of 9
    3. 3526883689 from Brooksville with a tellows score of 5

    The number one spammer has been calling people more than 10 times a day, he’s also calling a newborn’s mother late at night, taking away valuable minutes from both of them.

    The second however is creepy.. doing nothing but breathing is frightening one of our users.

    The third is a typical telemarketer trying to take some of your money somehow.

    mike reported:

    i have been getting calls from this number for the last 2 day i got 22 calls in 2 days when you pick up there is nobody there then i hang up and i get anew number 201-477-1729 its nuts

    Whereas newmommy said:

    Getting calls all the time, also at night when my newborn should sleep… I call back and get a hang up. The calls are chewing up my minutes and my nerves!

    Stay tuned for next week and have a nice spam free weekend hopefully!!

    Tellows team.

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    The Tellows Score – What is it and what does it do?

    Essentially tellows percieves itself as a voice for the victims of spam and scam calls. Not only does tellows provide a platform where users can exchange their experience and knowledge but also tellows offers the opportunity to rate the telephone numbers in order to mark dubious numbers so their fraudulent ways will become obvious for everyone. A tellows score of 1 indicates a reliable number whereas a rating of 9 implies a most dubious number. The more negative comments, the higher the numbers rating.

    If you have knowledge of a dangerous number we implore you to share it with your fellows who suffer the same unnerving calls. After all, it is knowledge that prevents the scammers’ and fraudsters’ success!

    Take care!

    Regards

    Your Tellows Team!

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    tellows Heatmap – Which Regions Suffer the Most Persistent Spam/Scam Calls?

    What’s the tellows Heatmap?

    It shows the regions which are constantly called by the respective phone number.

    Where does the information come from?

    Thanks to your help and the number of your search requests we are able to create a daily heatmap of the locations suffering most heavily from spam and scam calls. On this map you can see the hotspots this number is focusing on. Moreover, you can make out if there are other people around you recieving the same unnerving calls.

    Apart from the details on the individual phone numbers there’s overview on numbers activity in the last 24 hours. For the UK heatmap click here; the US heatmap you can find here.

    Feel free to express your thoughts on our services. Submit suggestions and feedback via a comment.

    Take care!

    Regards
    Your Tellows Team!

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    Check out the number statistics on tellows

    Good News Everyone!

    Another new feature has been implemented on tellows – statistics on search requests!

    You’ll find this feature on the detail page of the respective number as soon as sufficient search requests have been placed. Just click on the button “Search requests for this phone number” to open a chart containing additional information on the number.The period under observation may be changed from one day to 3 month in order to provide an overview on the number’s activity.

    As example serves the UK number 01613128082.
    Its 1803 search requests contribute enough data to allow a valid statement regarding its acitvity. As we can see its activity is slightly receding.

    If you have questions or suggestions regarding this feature then feel free to contact us.

    Take care!

    Regards
    Your Tellows Team!

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    How-to: Email Feature on Tellows

    Hello tellows friends!

    You are interested in staying up to date? No problem! Check out our email feature. It provides news on unknown telephone numbers as soon as new information is available.

    That’s how it works:

    1. Go to the comment form of the respective number and check:

    []I’d like to be notified if there’s news regarding this number.

    2. Enter your email address as well as the desired frequency of reception.

    3. Submit comment.

    From now on you’ll be notified once additional information on this number is available.

    Have fun and take care!

    Regards
    Your Tellows Team!

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