8554116569: Confusion about Obamacare led to more Scams and Nuisance Calls

Based on reports from consumers and federal agencies, the Better Business Bureau identified Obamacare as the most used scam method for 2013.

The complexity behind the newly approved Affordable Care Act brought a lot of confusion among Americans, which in turn, opened a lot of doors to scammers and fraudsters as a way to fool citizens into sharing their personal information, and stealing their money.

Scammers would:

  • Claim that they are connected with federal government
  • Inform the target victim that he needs a new insurance card for the Obamacare
  • Ask for personal information like bank account number, credit card number, social security, medicare ID
  • Charge fees as high as $100 to help people understand the new policies
  • Target older people, or those above 65 years old, by falsely claiming that they need to buy a supplemental coverage

tellows also received reports related to this matter.

Liz on the number 8554116569:

I don’t know how to place this number, but I just received a call from it and a pre-recorded message said that they were from America’s Next Generation and then they went on to talk about Obamacare. I don’t know exactly what their agenda is, but I didn’t wait to figure it out. After a minute or so I hung up because whatever they were trying to sell me (literally or metaphorically) I wasn’t going to buy!

Lois on the same number said:

Recently received a call from this number. It was a political call, although I’m not quite sure what kind of political movement or group they belong to. An automated message identified the caller as America’s Next Generarion (even though I never heard of the group nor am I aware of what I ever did to “deserve” these kind of calls). They just kept talking about Obama care.

BBB provided the following tips and advice on protecting yourself from con artists:

  • Never pay upfront fees. If someone asks for money to help you shop for insurance, it’s a sure sign they’re not legitimate. Real navigators provide information about the ACA for free.
  • Hang up the phone. Don’t press any buttons or return any voicemails, period.
  • Never click any links provided in e-mails. Even if it appears to be a legitimate link from a trustworthy source, type in the URL yourself.
  • Be suspicious of anyone claiming to represent the government. Government agencies typically communicate only by mail.
  • Don’t provide personal information such as your Social Security or bank account numbers. If you do give out such information, immediately inform your banks and credit card providers.
  • Don’t trust caller ID. Phone numbers and organization names can be faked.
  • Go to www.healthcare.gov. It’s the official shopping place for qualified health plans.
  • Report scams or suspicious activity. You can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.
  • If you think your identity’s been stolen, visit www.ftc.gov/idtheft or call 1-877-ID-THEFT.

Source:

www.bbb.org

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.

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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Our weekly top 3: Fake Debt Collectors Threatening Victims with Lawsuits & Arrests

You received a call at 9 in the evening. It sounded official. Caller said he’s working with the power of an attorney and is affiliated with a credit bureau. He went on to saying that you are committing a crime by not paying the debt and threatened you with lawsuits and arrests.

Now he starts to harass you and calls even at work, giving complete information about you and your family!

Yes, it’s just a bluff. These scammers don’t have any power over you. You are just one of the many targets, just like our fellow tellows users below who also experienced the same thing.

But before we give you our top 3, here are some tips on how you can protect yourself against debt collection scams:

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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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