Author Archives: Lokhei

How to know if the call is a Tax Scam?

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Dear tellows’ friends,

The IRS scam is frustrating, but we would like to inform you about the tax scam season again. It is back, and the scammers are continuously trying new methods. In 2019 the total loss of tax preparers reported to FTC is amounted to $7.3M with a median loss of $518, and the top contact method by scammers is by phone. How do we protect ourselves from the scammers?


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Smishing – the SMS Spam Message

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Dear tellows friends,

We hope you had a wonderful start of 2020! As it is almost February, tellows would like to inform you about the latest phone fraud. Smishing, which is also known as SMS scam, has been raising concern in the US, as many reported that scammers sent endless text messages to trick them. Therefore, tellows also added a new caller type for you to choose from when reporting a spam call – the SMS Spam.


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Robocalls alert!

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It has been a long time! tellows hopes you enjoyed the summer. This time we would like to present the latest statistics about phone scams from the past two months. As a reminder, a bill ‘TRACED ACT’ was passed in July and it aims to lower the number of robocalls. However, according to Forbes, robocalls are still prevailing and the number of robocalls in the second quarter this year was 38% higher than last year; the number of imposter phone scams was also 28% higher.


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Spoofing USCIS to scam immigrants and visa applicants

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

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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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Make your smartphone even Smarter with the tellows Android app!

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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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