In these days we have to pay more attention to the victims of phone frauds, which includes the vulnerable seniors. Last week an elderly robocall victim committed suicide after phone scammers have stolen her life-savings.
It is already mid July! tellows hopes that you have a good start of the summer. In the last article, tellows shared information about the Bill of ‘Traced Act’ being passed in the Senate. Although we are now getting more and more help in preventing spam calls, caller ID and call blocking apps continue to be important!
In the US, half of the phone calls people received are considered to be spam calls. According to FTC, in 2019, 78% of frauds are conducted by phone and the total reported loss is 83M USD. Till July this year, there are already 143K reports of phone frauds. However, compared to last year with a total loss of phone frauds estimated to be 442M USD, we can already see that the measures adopted are helpful and it is promising that one day we will no longer have to deal with spam calls!
According to First Orion, also sited by Federal Communications Commission report,almost half of the calls received in the US will be a spam in 2019. According to a caller ID and blocking company in the US, it stated that there were 26.3 billion robocalls made in 2018. All these figures point to a skyrocketed trends of spam calls and especially for robocalls, that bothering almost half of the residents in the US. We have all received spam calls more or less before, but what are these Robocalls and how do they get so popular?
What are Robocalls?
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.
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.
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.
Dear friends of tellows,
at the end of the month we present you another 3 numbers which have stirred your suspicions. These nuisance callers won’t take a breake and you really can’t expect any sympathy from them. This week we have some familiar techniques for you, which you will recognise for sure. All the Jennifers, Ashley, Nicoles and Jennys are back on facebook. Maybe they weren’ t gone in the first place. It doesn’t matter if you’re a girl or a boy, they still send you messages like you’re long lost friends and try to make you call or text them. We also have a rather dangerous number, which can swindle your money from you before you really understand what’s going on. The frauds use Skype calls to reach the people and they pretend to offer you help with your computer or something else. Be aware that as soon as you give them access to your computer or your data, you can be in deep trouble.
The first two numbers, 3059210411 and 2817128367 , have the same history and the same tactic. Although one is from Canada an the other from Miami, it really doesn’t make any difference if you’re on facebook. We already reported on this topic of Social Network Scam and it seems that this method is getting more popular and the phone numbers increase. Even girls are used as targets as Jennifer confirms:
Funny, I heard of this before but I thought that was a guys-only problem. But just a few days ago I got a friends request on facebook from another “Jennifer”, saying that we shared a friend – which we didn’t, at least not on facebook but that kind of made it appear more trustworthy to me since I have quite a few friends who don’t use facebook anymore and I figured real life-friends beat facebook friends. After I added her, she contacted me again, we wrote back and forth for like a minute before she said she’d had to log off but I should text her to 281-712-8367. That’s when it finally dawned on me that we didn’t have any mutual friends – neither on fb nor in real life. Such a scam!
The third number 6617480240 belogs to frauds, which are after your money and they do this in a rather exceptional way. Sometimes they use your computer as an excuse to gain access to your data and in others they try to make you to tell them the information they need. Some of the calls are made through skype to make it more difficult to call them back. Some of their methods were dicussed in another article of our blog
One technique which is new was discovered by the user Leger:
Got a call from this number. The person on the other line said that he was Jack Turner and that he was calling from Best Mortgage COnsultants. He also said that the company was in Florida, but as I now see that was just another one of his lies. He tried to offer fee loan modification services and wouldn’t say where he got my number from.
If you’ve also been a target of scam calls, don’t hesitate to share it with our tellows community. By sharing your own expirience, you can help those who get terrorised by these calls. Take care and have a nice weekend!
Your tellows team