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Telephone / Internet Scams

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DMB16/02/2019 22:20:19
884 forum posts

If someone phones you, emails, texts, dodgy letterbox mail, door knockers, they want something from you, your money, loads of it!

A very tempting offer? Just think, "what's in it for me v. what's in it for them?"

Just turn the lot away and go direct to the company of interest to you. Careful use of Google or others should get you to the genuine website of that company and not a spoofed one.

Certainly don't click links in emails. The scum are getting craftier, so look and think before you open an email; doing so could automatically load malware.

You have to be in it to win it, so if you haven't taken part in some strange named lottery, how on earth could you possibly be a winner? I have personally known an acquaintance who fell for that one. I also knew of someone renewing their annual Kaspersky subs where a screen popped up claiming to be part of K in Australia, giving instructions to send the money there. That mistake cost the victim £150.


Chris Trice16/02/2019 22:38:39
1360 forum posts
9 photos

I will frequently tell a salesman I don't want to do something and when he asks why, I say because you want me to. It's never about for your benefit. It's for the seller.

John Olsen17/02/2019 03:31:24
961 forum posts
86 photos
1 articles

Maybe a little explanation about what a VPN is would not go amiss.

It stands for virtual private network. It is a technique where you can set up a link between two machines so that traffic between them is encrypted. So nobody in between can read the traffic. (Except maybe the NSA, GCSB and the like)

There are a couple of common situations where they may be used. One typical one is when you want to access your employers network from at home or while travelling. By setting up a secure link from your machine to the work network you can access all the things you would usually get to from your desk at work, without anyone in the public network being able to eavesdrop. This is the sort of thing Neil was referring to above, he can access company fileservers and so on without any fear of anyone being able to read it.

The other common situation where they are used is by people who are worried about the fact that their ISP can see everything that they are doing, in much the same way that the telephone company can easily listen to your phone calls. So various private companies will provide a service where all your Internet traffic goes via a VPN to their server. This means that you ISP cannot see what you are doing. Sounds very tempting if you are doing something dodgy...except that now, instead of your ISP knowing everything you are doing, the VPN provider knows everything that you are doing. Who are you going to trust? Who is the VPN provider and where are they based?

Also, using a VPN like that is pretty much the same as calling your ISP and saying "I am doing dodgy stuff." You might well attract just the kind of attention that you didn't want.

It can also potentially be used to make it look as if you are in a different country, which may make it possible to access movies that are not available in your own. eg netflix might have something available in the USA but nowhere else, so if you set up a VPN tunnel that has its far end in the USA you might be able to access it. That of course assumes that Netflix are not onto that trick, they can easily block the VPN provider if they wish.

Obviously this is only a light introduction to the topic.


pgk pgk18/02/2019 05:52:53
1309 forum posts
278 photos

As a simple point of interest the Opera browser includes a built-in VPN option


Ian Parkin18/02/2019 07:59:43
612 forum posts
167 photos

I had a call the other day re stopping unwanted calls.

the Indian sounding woman was most insistent that I was responsible for the landline bill and I was a homeowner and younger than 85.

i responded with well I’m 87

call ended immediately

whats the method in only targeting under 85 year Olds?

pgk pgk18/02/2019 09:33:10
1309 forum posts
278 photos

Perhaps they have a morality limit to their scam... or the tick box doesn't go high enough

(or they have a special scam for the 85+ group hoping they're demented and gullible)

JimmieS18/02/2019 09:33:27
245 forum posts
1 photos

An elderly friend plays along when he receives a scam call.. When asked to switch on his pc he explains it is another room and it will take a little time as he uses a walking stick. He then walks away from the phone, drops a biscuit tin and shouts as in pain for the caller to call an ambulance as he thinks he has broken his hip.

Without exception the line goes dead.

Harry Wilkes18/02/2019 10:34:09
669 forum posts
59 photos

One of the worst through the letter box is the Sun Life over 50 insurance ! I must get at least 1 sometimes 2 per month I return them all with 'not known at this address' to no avail Oh I hope I never bump into 'Parkie'


Nigel Graham 231/03/2019 23:53:42
186 forum posts

Some of those telephone calls telling you "... press 1 now." are not directly from people but are recorded messages, complete with background sounds to suggest a call-centre.

It's easy to establish that: just talk to it. A human will respond, a recorder won't.

My usual response to the "... from the Windows Corporation " or some other dubiously-named organisation is to tell the caller, "No you are not, Windows is a Microsoft trade-mark, and oh, by the way, I work in IT Security. Goodbye", and then it's a race to see who hangs up first.

The alarming ones are not those, but the silent calls probably from some automatic ring-round system, because you can never know their origins and purposes.

There's a grain of truth in my "IT Security" claim... A very small grain, from my last couple of years at work. You'd be surprised how many examples of cardboard origami and polystyrene packing the IT people can accumulate in their security-locked server room; for me as a "lift-and-shift" gang member given appropriate access, to remove for proper disposal!

Nigel Graham 201/04/2019 00:19:10
186 forum posts

re Ian Parkin's caller being selective.

One of the oddest I've received was selective by sex rather than age:

I had answered the call itself as I usually do: just "Hello?"

"Is that Mrs. Graham?" a man with a British accent asked.

"No, I'm Mr. Gra.." Click! He rang off so fast I barely finished my name. Err, do I sound female on the phone?

Goodness why he wanted my wife not me, or what he wanted to ask / sell. Still, he'd proved he didn't know my marital status.

(A status at least making the Domestic Management's permission to bake a 4"-scale steam-wagon's steel tyres at Regulo 9 for 30 minutes to shrink-fit them, readily obtainable!)

I turned the tables once on a YL with an Asian accent, trying to sell me a 'phone contract. The initial caller had been male, but clearly unable to convince me a monthly £8 contract was cheaper than my £5 max / month PAYG rate, had transferred to her, hoping she'd sweet-talk me into complying.

I soon moved the conversation away from phone contracts, and "Angel" and I enjoyed not just that first but two more very pleasurable, social conversations, one a week, all at her firms' expense. Then it stopped. I hope they'd not twigged our game and had fired her.

Plasma01/04/2019 08:45:56
238 forum posts
33 photos

I hope there is a special place in hell for those who engage in such scams, a nice hot one preferably.

I've post count of the varied and devious ways people have tried to separate me and my friends or family from our cash.

Its easy to say that anyone who falls for these scams is gullible etc. But my mum received a letter saying she was sole heir to a distant relatives estate and all she needed to do to claim her inheritance was fill in her details. You know its a scam, mum knew it was a scam, I knew it was a scam! But when you see a promise of 14 million squiddlies your mind does back flips unless you take a good grip of your senses and bin the letter.

What gets me is most of these scams are well known but nothing seems to shut them down. Maybe the web has become too powerful and needs resetting.

Danny M2Z01/04/2019 09:27:54
731 forum posts
278 photos

Had a nice (pathetic) email yesterday,

"Your mailbox is full, please click here to fix the problem"

Traced the IP to an Eastern European server so obviously not on Australia.

* Danny M *

Paul M01/04/2019 09:38:34
18 forum posts

I have watched a few videos on YouTube by a chap called Jim Browning (Tech Support Scams). He gains access to scammers computers and strings them along eventually exposing them for what they are. It is alarming to see how much money these scammers make in a week which seems to suggest there are many gullible people about. Although it mainly centres around support calls for Windows computers he does touch on other scams.

So far all the scammers have originated in India and it seems to be a very sophisticated set up to fool people into thinking they are contacting genuine support. As far as shutting the companies down, it seems that there is so much money involved even the authorities (for some reason) don't act very often when informed.

If you have 40 minutes to spare take a look at one of his videos.

Ian McVickers01/04/2019 10:13:08
114 forum posts
69 photos

I've been getting messages left on my mobile by a company called Lowells. UK debt collections mob. Net is full of complaints about them. They leave messages with a made up name, ref no and says they need to speak to you urgently, yeah right. I thought I had blocked all of their numbers but got a text yesterday with the same crap from them. Another number blocked now. If you get any calls from these people block their numbers and don't give them any info.

steamdave01/04/2019 11:41:12
408 forum posts
34 photos

Probably an old one for the Brits, but here in Ireland the phone rings. I answer it. No one speaks. Hang up phone. The caller is obviously hoping I will call him back and be charged some exorbitant rate for the privilege. Get wife to call the house phone from her mobile thereby ensuring the phone line is not open.

Another recent one is a scam call coming from a local number. (My local land line number is only 5 digits) On answering it, the Indian sounding voice goes into his repertoire. How can they get hold of a local number from (presumably) India? The phone provider does not appear to give a damn because calling their help line nobody answers! The gards and local radio station have been informed.

The Emerald Isle

Andrew Johnston01/04/2019 11:56:29
4630 forum posts
522 photos

I've been getting a lot of calls recently from people with a US accent claiming that they're BT and my internet is about to be cancelled. Sometimes I have fun with them, like telling them that my router light is orange say, not blue or green. Then I tell them I have FTTP and obviously they don't know what that is. So I tell they must know, and can I speak to a supervisor.

Last Friday I had a new one, same style, but claimed they were HMRC and I was about to be arrested. When I spoke to the guy he asked what I wanted so I told him he must know as they rang me. He claimed I rang them, so I said if I had which HMRC office was he based in, obviously he didn't know. So I told him to stop bull sitting. That totally confused him and he kept asking about a cow. Then he got fed up and hung up.


Tony Pratt 101/04/2019 12:22:35
854 forum posts
2 photos

Can one of you tecc savvy people tell me why these premium rate numbers are allowed to exist?? Seems they are only useful to rip people off.


SillyOldDuffer01/04/2019 14:40:28
4268 forum posts
880 photos
Posted by Tony Pratt 1 on 01/04/2019 12:22:35:

Can one of you tecc savvy people tell me why these premium rate numbers are allowed to exist?? Seems they are only useful to rip people off.


You got the answer yourself, Tony. 'They are only useful to rip people off.'

Mostly, anyway. I suppose there must be examples where ringing the number buys valuable advice, perhaps an accurate local weather forecast at harvest time. I'm hard put to think of another example though!

Fake calls from 'HMRC', 'Microsoft', and 'British Telecom' etc. are more worrying. Pretty sure it was mentioned on the radio last week that the type of fraud in the UK cost £93M last year.

Usually, fake calls are easy to spot. But it pays to be wide-awake suspicious at all times. If you get a call from 'HMRC' when your tax affairs coincidently happen to be a little confused, then you might well fall for it. Or 'Microsoft', 'British Telecom' or 'TalkTalk' when by chance your computer or network is acting up. Or your 'bank' rings urgently wanting to move your account when you are already worried about the last statement. You don't have to be stupid to fall for con-tricks, more likely they hope to catch you at a time when their story seems to make sense.


Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 01/04/2019 14:41:15

Simon Williams 301/04/2019 15:21:56
384 forum posts
65 photos

Has anyone else noticed that about 20 minutes after making an outgoing phone call I get a nuisance call?

Has all sorts of implications for how the concept of subscriber privacy is perceived by the telephone provider.

Rgds Simon

Maurice01/04/2019 17:48:16
432 forum posts
50 photos

Some time ago I had a call from a very nice sounding gentleman with a pronounced foreign accent. The call went thus:- " Hello; Mr.Cox"? "Yes". "I work for Microsoft and I need to speak to you about your computer". " work for Microsoft?" "Yes". " My computer is an Apple. What has that got to do with Microsoft?" Long pause.......

"Mister Cox; you are a BAD man!!!"

I think he was the bad man.


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