Hello everyone! Today we would like to remind you about the gift card scam. The holiday season has just passed and there are more and more reports regarding gift card scams, which raise concern. Therefore tellows would like to provides some details about it.
The number of phone scams has been soaring in the recent years and scammers have been taking advantages of technology to perform endless phone frauds. As stated by the Federal Communications Commission, half of the calls made in the US in 2019 will be spam calls. Revenue lost due to phone frauds in US peaked $83M in the first quarter of 2019, more then 140K reports received in 4 months according to Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Phone scam is the most common type of frauds referring to FTC and the median of reported fraud loss is $1000.
Robocalls are the most notorious spam calls nowadays. We have little control for this particular type of phone fraud, as it is generated by computers that dial high volume of random phone numbers in a short period of time. But what about other types of spam calls, like Wangiri scam, IRS scam, telemarketing calls, sweepstakes calls……? Why do these scammers call you and where is the leak? There is always something we can do to lower the chances of receiving spam calls! Lets start with protecting our personal information on the internet!
Dear tellows fellows,
Today we want to tell you about the Wangiri scam. This fraud displays no sign of dying and it’s widespread in many countries like Italy, Indonesia and Spain. It is related to the missed calls we receive from foreign numbers. In fact, many scammers abroad use the Wangiri method to deceive us.
What is it? Let’s have a look!
Most of us now are glued to our mobile phones. Kids can be playing in the other room but by golly our phones are always within arms length or even closer. Have you ever asked yourself how you ended up with missed calls on your phone? Surely, you would have it heard it ring. And then we sight this phone number we’ve never seen before. Once upon a time we would just simply hit the call back button but we live in different times now, a time where we need to move with caution and implicate security measures with almost everything we do. We have another reason why.
Tax season is here and opportunists are again determined as ever to victimize wage earners, steal their identities and much-anticipated tax refunds.
Your Social security number, name and date of birth – that’s all a scammer needs – as easy and as low risk as that. Once they have a Social Security number in hand, the scammers can file a phony tax return in the victim’s name, claim a large refund and have it sent to a false address.
Last year, the IRS caught more than 1.8 million fake tax returns and prevented more than $12 billion in fraudulent refunds. It is estimated that about $21 billion in fraudulent tax refunds over the next five years can even be issued to scammers.
With the tellows app, you can now identify unknown callers!
The app will tell you real-time if the call is trustworthy or not. On the first ring of your phone, the tellows score will appear in order to help you decide whether to answer the phone or cancel it – 7 to 9 being the most untrustworthy numbers. The app also allows you to read the comments of users about this number. Post your own complaints through this app so you can also warn others. The service is free of charge.
The only requirement is of course, aside from internet access, is an Android Smartphone or an iPhone.
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.
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!
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.
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.