Archive for category knowledge
The topic for this weeks blog entry arose when we came across the comment of rosee and other users on number 9712179508 stating things like this:
he said he was calling from windows and that my computer was beeing hacked and wanted me to follow the steps on my computer he was asking, of course I said no way and hung up
What we found there is much more than just some scattered instances of unsolicited phone calls, it leads us to a huge scamming business that bothers people not only in the US but in all English-speaking countries. We already reported on this scam method last year in our UK Blog. The calls we are talking about are mostly having the same goal. Callers, pretending to be working for e.g. Microsoft or Windows technical support, are giving aggressive warnings that your computer is infected with numerous malware, viruses and other infected files and malicious traffic. The only help is apparently the caller itself who can rightaway fix all problems on your PC and delete the infections, which he will show you, is very urgent and necessary.
What sounds like a nice support offer for inexperienced users is in fact highly developed deceptive business practice. Because the result will not be the removal of anyway non-existent dangerous malicious activity but much more the removal of the consumers money. While the consumers think that the support team will fix the allegedly detected problems they allow them to remotely access their computer and what is equally worse, charge tremendous sums of money for this “support” and additional software.
The obviously profitable random cold calls are being made by numerous companies, such as Pecon Software, Finmaestros LLC, Zeal IT Solutions or Virtual PC Solutions, mostly located in India. While this scamming has been going on for years now, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last year finally reported a huge crackdown on these telemarketing boiler room enterprises that where scamming consumers in large amounts. Nevertheless, as noticable in the worldwide Tellows community, the calls are still being made and as a matter of fact, the FTC is not as successful in hindering the scammers as they wished for, since US laws don’t apply to Indian companies adequately.
One of the solutions for however not becoming a victim of tech support scamming is obviously being leery of incoming calls. Microsoft itself offers some necessary hints. In addition, platforms like www.tellows.com provide their users with fruitful information about suspicious phone numbers. The huge database of untrustworthy callers on tellows makes it easier to decide which calls to take and which ones to ignore completely. The tellows community has been warning and informing consumers about fraudulent phone numbers in about 20 countries and has encouraged users worlwide to share information about criminal phone spam methods. We found some examples of numbers that most probably belong to the group of tech support scammers, such as:
As the list is not anywhere near complete, you are more than welcome to extend it by evaluating phone numbers and commenting on scammers on tellows!
Have a good week!
your tellows team
Tellows is back again to bring you the latest news on a spam or even fraud method circulating in the US. Self-declared preachers are calling individuals who apparently are on their “prayers’ list”, claiming to know about the hardships they were going through and that they should join their so-called “prayer’s closet” to be saved. It might sound ridiculous in the first place, but not everybody is aware that this is an obvious rip-off attempt.
We are talking namely about the following numbers:
If you know about other numbers – report them here!
The caller introduces himself as preacher or prophet or other religious leader. In some cases reported by users, one of these spammers’ name is “prophet Manasseh Jordan” of “Manasseh Jordan Ministry”. The calls have the following structure: first the caller says that God urged him to call you. He claims to know that the person on the other end was going through difficult times. In the end he wants the called person to press a key and give him detailed personal information.
Here is a transcript of such a call:
God urged me and spoke to me about praying for you, being a prayer partner,
being someone that’s standing on the sidelines praying that every day your needs will be met.
If you’re ready to join my prayer closet where I pray over thousands and you are the only one that’s missing.
I want you to press 0 so you can transfer, so I can transfer this call to the Prayer Closet
and so this way I can have your information so I can begin to start praying for you non-stop.
If you’re really ready press 0 right now because I know that your miracle is right around the corner.
Your struggle will be over. Press 0 now to be transferred to the Prayer Closet.
View the video on source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaB1so4nJBc
Phone calls of this kind have not only been reported to Tellows, but also to other blogs and websites dealing with this problem. However, the fake messiah seems to be operating only in the US so far.
You do not have to be a genius to notice that this is a scam call. Still, here are some advices:
* Never ever tell anybody your credit card details during a such a call, nor give any other personal information like your name or address.
* Ask the caller where he/she got your number from.
* Ask the caller for her/his name, job title, company and telephone number.
* Write down the telephone number and report it to Tellows
* Keep in mind that legitimate companies do contracts in a written way and never ask for personal details and financial matters on the phone
Nuisance Calls – The UK’s Approach
In general, all forms of nuisance calls are unsolicited. Whereas telesales calls employ a vehement form of aggressive advertisment, silent calls are meant to identify valid phone numbers from a pool of randomly generated numbers. Furthermore, automated diallers are often used when the call centre is short on agents. To identitfy silent calls, call centres are required to display a Calling Line Identification number on your phone in order to allow you to aquire the caller’s phone number by dialling 1471. Once the number is obtianed, it is advised to forward this number to Ofcom (use Silent Calls Complaint Form). With sufficient complaints Ofcom will find it easier to counteract the dubious schemes of callcenters and other suspicoius companies. Additionally, it is recommended to contact your provider which might help to identify the caller as well. Moreover, your provider may offer a ‘anonymous call rejection’ (check if this service is charged) to prevent a vast bulk of unsolicited calls in the future.
As far as telesales calls are concerned, a registration with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) bears the advantage of having the legal upper hand against call centres since the TPS makes unsolicited calls to you unlawful within the 28 days after you registration. Not only will the TPS will contact the company involved but also it will relay your complaint to the ICO which, in return, can enforce adequate regulations. If you experience unsolicited faxes you can register with the Facsimile Preference Service. Unfortunately, neither Ofcom nor the TPS have authority outside the UK’s borders. Hence, telesales calls from abroad cannot be stopped.
Furthermore, if you think the call centre obtained your personal information illegally the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) gladly provides detailed guidelines on the protection of your privacy in electronic communications. Additionally, complaints about nuisance calls, spam fax and mail may be filed directly with ICO. In all these cases you should share as much information with Ofcom, your provider an tellows on the caller as you can. Yet