Telephone Scams: it’s not all about PC support
Recently, I’ve been conference about and receiving phone calls from people with Indian accents about something a small opposite from a classical ‘your PC is virus-infected yet we can compensate me to get it fixed’ support scam. Craig Johnston, a crony (and former co-worker during ESET) who was one of my co-presenters during Virus Bulletin this year (yes, it was a paper about support scams) recently perceived a call from someone claiming to be from something called a Australian Refund Agency, and that Craig was entitled to a reinstate of fees and taxes to a value of 5,349.27Australian dollars. All he had to do was write down a anxiety series and hit a scammer’s administrator on a internal phone number, and a administrator would classify a refund. Being a confidence man from approach back, Craig wasn’t about to tumble for that one, even if he hadn’t met with a accurate fraud before. A discerning Google hunt found him an Australian web site that described unequivocally identical scams. He still hasn’t called that supervisor, even yet he keeps removing calls propelling him to do so.
The calls I’ve been removing have been somewhat opposite (apart from a fact that we live in a UK, not Australia, of course). Most of them have started off by seeking me to attend in a forged survey, yet I’ve also been removing calls that offer me refunds on a debt we don’t have, or a approach to save income by induction for a consumer group. In a small some-more detail:
- Offers of products and services benefiting from a feign supervision grant. I’ve had several of these, trimming from debt offers to grants for building work. I’m sincerely certain a cash-strapped supervision is not giving divided income for kitchen extensions and conservatories.
- Refunds for overpaid tax, bank fees, debt refunds and so on. I’m perplexing to remember when we final got a taxation refund: substantially in a 1970s… Perhaps people unequivocally do get such refunds spasmodic even in a benefaction meridian of “We shouldn’t have taken your income yet we can’t means to give it back”, yet I’m flattering certain that agencies and institutions don’t spend a lot of time and income telephoning people who competence be entitled to restitution, still reduction profitable Indian call centres to make such calls.
Since we don’t unequivocally wish to spend a whole of my operative day in impotent discussions with scammers, I’ve taken to simply indicating out that my phone series is purebred with a Telephone Preference Service (the UK’s Do Not Call list) to get them off a line. (Though we have in a past had exhilarated – if brief – discussions with scammers who denied a existence of such a list or argued that it didn’t request to them, whereupon I’ve done brief pointy references to UK law and European Community directives before putting a phone down.) However, there have been scams that indeed try to feat Do Not Call lists. (Some of these indeed predate a stream spate of Indian call-centre scams by several years.)
The many common movement is to offer to register your phone number: for a fee, of course. In fact, such lists are customarily free, so if we give your credit label sum in response to such a phone call, we not usually rubbish your income and display your credit label to serve misuse, a chances are that we still won’t be sealed adult to anything. In fact, a readers in a US should note that a Federal Trade Commission doesn’t concede third parties to register write numbers for a National Do Not Call Registry. Unfortunately, we can’t pledge that this relates to all such lists, or that registration is giveaway on all such lists and always will be. However, US readers competence wish to check a National Do Not Call Registry’s page rather than compensate courtesy to pointless phone calls. That page also creates an surreptitious anxiety to a fraud movement suggesting that we have to re-register your series (for a fee), and assures subscribers that their registration does not expire.
Meanwhile, let me be a initial to wish we a Merry Christmas. Oh. Too late. I’ve only perceived (un)seasonal spam from a association charity ‘very good’ prices on laptops, TVs, and iGadgets. we don’t consider I’ll be checking out that sold offer.
David Harley CITP FBCS CISSP
ESET Senior Research Fellow