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phone scams

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


RolloTheRed Report 5 Apr 2013 15:51

I have just been sorting out a rellie's monster phone bill caused by ppi scammers.
Their latest delight is silent reverse calls @ 20p minute which can seriously rack up charges.

There is a free app for iphone and android users called "MrNumber" which makes it very easy to block scammers, unwanted people etc.

Unfortunately it cannot reverse damage done. IMHO it is 3, EE, O2 and so on who should be liable for heavy fines. They have the means to block these scams but don't 'cos they are "nice little earners".


PollyinBrum Report 5 Apr 2013 16:25

Thank you for the link Rollo.


Kuros Report 5 Apr 2013 17:59

Do you mean reversed charge calls? I thought the recipient had to agree to accept these.


CupCakes Report 5 Apr 2013 18:06

Am I correct in saying is that when somebody calls and there is nobody on the line or you are out when the call comes through. After doing 1471 you ring back and wait but nobody comes on the phone.


RolloTheRed Report 5 Apr 2013 18:53

You may think so but there are several different ways of scamming 0843 and other premium rate numbers resulting in large and nasty surprise bills for the hapless victim.

The telcos say "the phone (not the person) was present" and thus the bill must be paid. They don't care where the owner of the phone may have been or what he/she was doing.

The T&C emphasis this tho' imho they are in breach of fair contract law in the UK. The telcos are fully aware of the scams and have the ability either to block the scammers ( which they claim would be illegal ) or offer something like MrNumber to their customers which they do not do. Most users have not got the foggiest idea what is going on when they answer a scammer call still less how to block it.

Ofcom are "looking into" the matter with their usual vigor.

In any case by the time the number is deactivated the thieves have long since gone, setting up a new scam.

All I can say is if you don't know the number or caller id withheld ignore the call. Yes, I know that many social workers, DWP etc withhold numbers. They shouldn't.
Foreign caller ID is removed when using classic land lines but is retained with mobile numbers.

The only real defense is to block all these numbers working from the prefix eg 8843. I assume that by now that nobody has pins such as 0000, 1234, birth year erc for their voice mail.

fwiw my own opinion is that monthly contract phones with DD payment are a bad idea. A new smart phone can be bought for around £ 200 and even a flashy Samsung for no more than twice that. Used half that. An out of contract phone can easily be converted to PAYG. With PAYG max potential loss is the phone + whatever credit is stored.

A PAYG phone does wifi stuff just as well as a contract phone without the possible downer of surprise bills created by hackers. Surfing on 3G is rubbish anyway. A SIM only contract has all the same drawbacks as a contract phone.

Many of the same scams also work fine in land line numbers. There are programmable gadgets which can be installed between land line phone socket and the phone costing a few pounds.

While I am on the scam topic here is a nice one. You may be aware that many smart phones can be set up as "hot spots" allowing any nearby phone to use the connection. What may not be so obvious is that by using a script it is possible for a scammer to impersonate (say) Loud and handle the connection. In the process all of the internet traffic can be logged. Kits for carrying out these "man in the middle" attacks are now far more popular than ATM scanners which are "so" 2010. Some spooks and

There is no such thing as a secure system depending on passwords or Barclays type key machines. The security in these consumer systems is designed to protect the agent bank, not the end user. Biometric e.g. fingerprint would work but is considered too expensive.

While working in a middle eastern state one of my tasks was to implement access control based on fingerprints.

The client wondered what could be done with a chopped off finger. Being the Middle East no problemo so a range of prisoners were offered reductions in sentence or freedom in exchange for a digit or so. ( No, not that they are no good for ID. )

Fresh fingers worked fine, they carried on working for a week or so if kept in the fridge ... think about that if and when banks bring in fingerprint ID as a widespread security measure.