Tag Archives: telephone scam

Bill ‘TRACED Act’ passed by Senate to prevent Robocalls

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Robocalls have been bothering us a long time and it is becoming more and more unbearable in the recent time. Last year the number of robocalls reached 26 billion – a 46% increase comparing to the estimated robocalls in 2017. A bill regarding to nuisance calls is passed by the US Senate with 97 to 1 vote in the later of May. The bill, named TRACED (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence) Act, will lift the fine to $10,000 per robocall and extend the statute of limitations on robocalls from two to three years.

According to CNN politics, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed that

“There’s very little more annoying to New Yorkers than being woken up in the dead of night by automated calls trying to scam them out of their hard-earned money,”

“The TRACED Act is just what we need to hang up on these nonstop robocalls, and the House should follow the Senate’s lead and pass it ASAP.”

Telecom companies are happy with the result. With this new regulation established, carriers will be able to implement robocall blocking technologies for customers automatically.


Screenshot from TransNexus
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the NEW IRS Scam – Social Security Association Imposter Scam

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If you still remember, the US government is doing something to stop the skyrocketing robocalls, there are bills in Congress waiting to be voted next month. In the US, we receive billions of robocalls per month, and monthly money loss amount to 128M last year. Of course, it is promising if the bill passes in the summer, however, we should also pay attention to the latest information about phone scam in the mean time!


Picture from FTC
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Cyber security, Personal information and Phone scams

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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!

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March – Most searched unknown numbers

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Dear friends of tellows in the US,

After the first report in January of the most searched phone numbers, tellows wants to show you some insights of the most searched phone numbers in March. Recently we are alarmed by the soaring trend of spam calls in the US, especially the notorious robocalls! Therefore tellows is also preparing an article about it and it’s coming soon! So stay tuned! But now let us go through the details of the most searched numbers in March!

The top spot on our list of the most searched numbers belongs to 18009452000.
It has a tellows score of 7, which is an untrustworthy rating, and the search requests cumulatively numbered over 14k, there are also 11 reports by our users that the call is from a company called Chase Bank. Some of the users reported that the scammers disguised themselves as Chase Bank, asked if the receivers want to lower their interest rate and tried to attain credit card information.

The second place goes to this number +1400491098.
Our tellows community reported that the number belongs to a company called Airtel, with a tellows score 7 and over 16k search requests . Most of the users reported that they received numerous calls per day.

The third one is 2105206400.
Our users suggested that it is also a company claimed to be Chase Bank with over 42k search requests on our site. It has a tellows score 7 and most of our users reported that the caller tried to get their personal information including bank details or claiming that their payment is due and therefore their bank details have to be reviewed.
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Most Searched Phone Numbers in January

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Dear friends of tellows,

Hi there! The first month of January already passed and tellows hope you had a wonderful beginning of the year. We thank you for choosing tellows as your resources of phone scam protection, as in January we received over 100K page views and we joyfully invite you to stick with us through 2019. This time we will go through the January top 3 searched numbers in the tellows U.S website, and also share some of its details for your information, such as the type of callers and the name of companies.

The first mostly searched number is +1400491098.
It has a tellows score of 6, which is a mildly trust worthy rating, yet the search request cumulatively numbered over 10k.

The second frequently searched number is +442038076172.
Our tellows community reported that the number belongs to a company called CFD Global, which its country code revealed it is a British phone number. With a tellows score 8 and also a nature to be a telemarketer.

The third one is 8002927508.
Our users suggested that it is a debt collection company named Synchrony Financial or CareCredit and its cumulatively search requests over 20k. It has a tellows score 6 and most of the users have opinion that once they paid the loan the call stopped.
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“Was that my phone?” Beware of less than exotic calls from the Carribean

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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.

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

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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

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

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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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Our weekly Top 3 plus more info on where to Report a Scam

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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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