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Yet another scam thread - council tax this time

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Yet another scam thread - council tax this time

Old 9th Aug 2020, 15:38
  #1 (permalink)  

(a bear of little brain)
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Yet another scam thread - council tax this time

Just had a scam e-mail (or, to be more exact, Madsmum has just had a scam e-mail) that we hadn't seen before, so as a warning.

Purports to be from Gov:.uk (not and is about our council tax reduction and tells us we will get the reduction (380 quid or so in our case) as soon as we have sent details of our credit or debit cards. (They did also need details of our council tax band and how much our local authority charges for the band. One suspects they should).

It is, however, well written and could get some replies. Does read like government stuff.

Anyway, please be careful.
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Old 9th Aug 2020, 15:54
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I had the fake phone call about my tax refund. I immediately knew it was another scam attempt. The woman wanted my credit card details. I told her I didnít have one and asked her to send me a cheque. I then asked how she had got my mobile phone number because Iíve never given it to the Inland revenue. She swore at me and hung up.
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Old 9th Aug 2020, 16:26
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
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Had a call last week telling me that the breakdown insurance on our washing machine was due for renewal. All sounded very plausible as we do have additional cover. When I asked for details of the make of the appliance to confirm that the caller was genuine, the woman very coolly and professionally told me that, “We don’t hold that information. We are just the admin department dealing with payments.” She then requested my debt/credit card details so cover could continue. I told her that was odd as the renewal had always been automatic, paid by direct debit and an annual letter sent to inform me of the cost.

Click went the phone.

Nice try.
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Old 9th Aug 2020, 17:59
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My dad had a call to his mobile last week from a well-spoken, English accented bloke claiming to be from Barclaycard Fraud dept following up on a 1600 dollar suspect withdrawal made in the US. He put it on speaker so I could listen in too
My dad said he didn't believe a word of it, so the geezer followed up with "Check the number I'm calling from". This number matched the genuine Barclaycard phone number on his credit card. Knowing about number spoofing this did not convince
Dad asked about the transaction and the guy told him which company (a crypto currency broker).
The guy then sent a text from "Barclaycard" asking if the transaction was recognised by my dad, but - and this was where it all became obvious - he tried to convince my dad to answer "Y" instead of "N".
"I'll hang up and phone Barclaycard myself" says dad. The bloke tries to convince him he won't get his money back if he disconnects the call. Big alarm bells ringing now. Dad hangs up. Immediately the guy tries to call back, repeatedly, presumably to prevent him calling the genuine provider.
Eventually he stops.

I assume, if dad had answered "Y", he would have acknowledged the transaction was his.

Not sure if the bloke was a dodgy Barclaycard employee making the purchase himself, or an independent scammer doing something with the texts.
We also realised afterwards that the bloke hadn't asked any account security questions, which would have flagged it to us much sooner. But the call was out of the blue, and this is what they rely on.

Good job dad was on the ball, it could easily have convinced someone else.

As a follow-up, when we tried to contact Barclaycard security team to report the attempt, from his mobile, there was no answer for over an hour, then he was cut off. This I thought was appalling.

Online information from Barclaycard does state they will never phone to inform cardholders of suspicious transactions (they text questions instead) and they will also never call to tell you how to answer texted questions, of course.
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Old 9th Aug 2020, 18:28
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Some of these scammers are getting significantly better at being able to fool people now. Last scam call I had convinced me that it was real, it was only good fortune, in that the scammers automated system screwed up, that probably prevented us getting stung. That was from Amazon, who apparently never call customers on the phone about their accounts.

I can easily see a lot of people getting taken in by the better scammers. It's a great shame that the technology doesn't exist to stop number spoofing, as if that could be tackled it would at least allow scammers numbers to be blacklisted. Right now, they can just use the fact that it's effectively impossible to block spoofed numbers to continue their "business".
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Old 9th Aug 2020, 21:45
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My method now is to believe absolutely no-one and call the bank (or whoever) myself on their official number.
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Old 9th Aug 2020, 22:54
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Dr WB627's fiancť had a call from 'Citizens Advice Bureau' a few months ago stating she was in lots of debt. The guy kicked up a fuss when she said she'd call them back.
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Old 9th Aug 2020, 23:57
  #8 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Blues&twos View Post
My dad had a call to his mobile last week from a well-spoken, English accented bloke claiming to be from Barclaycard Fraud dept following up on a 1600 dollar suspect withdrawal made in the US. He put it on speaker so I could listen in too
My dad said he didn't believe a word of it, so the geezer followed up with "Check the number I'm calling from". This number matched the genuine Barclaycard phone number on his credit card. Knowing about number spoofing this did not convince
Dad asked about the transaction and the guy told him which company (a crypto currency broker).
The guy then sent a text from "Barclaycard" asking if the transaction was recognised by my dad, but - and this was where it all became obvious - he tried to convince my dad to answer "Y" instead of "N".
"I'll hang up and phone Barclaycard myself" says dad. The bloke tries to convince him he won't get his money back if he disconnects the call. Big alarm bells ringing now. Dad hangs up. Immediately the guy tries to call back, repeatedly, presumably to prevent him calling the genuine provider.
Eventually he stops.

I assume, if dad had answered "Y", he would have acknowledged the transaction was his.

Not sure if the bloke was a dodgy Barclaycard employee making the purchase himself, or an independent scammer doing something with the texts.
We also realised afterwards that the bloke hadn't asked any account security questions, which would have flagged it to us much sooner. But the call was out of the blue, and this is what they rely on.

Good job dad was on the ball, it could easily have convinced someone else.

As a follow-up, when we tried to contact Barclaycard security team to report the attempt, from his mobile, there was no answer for over an hour, then he was cut off. This I thought was appalling.

Online information from Barclaycard does state they will never phone to inform cardholders of suspicious transactions (they text questions instead) and they will also never call to tell you how to answer texted questions, of course.
I disagree. I have had recorded calls from them asking me to phone them back to check on what they view to be suspicious transactions on about 3 occasions.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 05:22
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They don’t help themselves by calling and demanding answers to security questions. If they called, asked you to call them back on a published number and provided a reference to use, that would work better. I always refuse to answer questions from anyone who calls me if they are not expected or known.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 06:54
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Me too, ff. The idea that they call me and require me to verify to them my security details is a red alert.
In general I never give any confirmation of anything to cold callers.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 07:27
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Originally Posted by Blues&twos View Post
My method now is to believe absolutely no-one and call the bank (or whoever) myself on their official number.
I have, fortunately never received a scam call alleging to be from my bank; I have however received a few calls from the bank asking to verify payments I have tried to make on my card. On each occasion I turn the tables on them by asking them questions about my password or items or details on my account. They say they can't for security reasons, and I then tell them that if they won't answer my security questions I won't speak to them. I would be immediately alarmed if the did answer my "security questions" since, without establishing my identity they should never be disclosing information.

I terminate the call and phone them from another phone and having established the calls are genuine, proceed to deal with them. The calls are normally to toll free numbers, so it costs me nothing, other than my time, to be secure.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 07:52
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I’ve had my bank genuinely ring me to confirm that slightly unusual transactions were legit - which I do appreciate incidentally. However, they then start the security questions and on occasion I’ve said, “But, you rang me and now you’re asking me to identify myself?!”
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 08:18
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Yes, a few years ago in connection with a car write-off the company phoned me to discuss payment etc and was most put out when I said, in answer to his asking security questions, that since he had phoned me, he knew it was me - but I didn't know it was him so would not answer his questions.

They couldn't get round their procedures ("I can't talk to you until I've done this") so continued the discussion by email.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 10:05
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I guess this is why track & trace doesn’t really work. Many people do not answer unknown numbers due these scams.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 12:45
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Originally Posted by IcePack View Post
I guess this is why track & trace doesnít really work. Many people do not answer unknown numbers due these scams.
I'm sure that's why it doesn't work. I am perhaps unusual since I tend to deal a lot with unknown numbers, and therefore have little choice to pick them up, but until I started working on the project I am now, I certainly wouldn't have picked up a call from anyone I didn't know; unless of course I was expecting a call from a service supplier.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 15:36
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I’m not so sure about mobiles, but do know that there is a landline issue where the line isn’t dropped once you hang up on an incoming call. So when you call the number on the back of your credit card to ‘confirm the call is genuine​​​​​’, you are still talking to the original caller.

If you do get such a call, best to verify using a different phone.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 15:46
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Does anyone know why it isn't technically possible to just ban number spoofing?

It seems to me that pretty much all these phone scammers are relying, at least in part, on being able to make their call appear to come from somewhere within the UK, when in reality the scammers are almost certainly somewhere well outside UK jurisdiction. Just being able to stop number spoofing would allow a database of scammers numbers to be built up, with the possibility that calls from scammers could then be blocked or blacklisted. For example, last year we had a call appearing to be from Bournemouth. We've dealt with a handful of companies from there, so when that area code came up on the caller display it didn't look suspicious. Had the caller display given a clear indication that the call was from India (which I'm pretty sure it was that time) then I'd have not bothered to answer. Surely there has to be a way to stop these scammers from pretending to call from somewhere thousands of miles away from their true location?
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 17:13
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In the UK, for my landline, I just use of of the BT phones that does not let any call get through, unless the number is in the memory, or we authorise the caller for each call.

The only downside is that our local GP practice uses a variety of numbers that seem to change with the weather.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 17:28
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I had a call from Air Miles about a change to a flight booking but I would not give them my pass phrases. They would not accept this. Eventually I sent them an authentication routine and they were most put out but were able to find it on file when they next rang.

One password I set up for to authenticate me was NO EYE DEER on the grounds that I could often never remember.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 17:33
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
One password I set up for to authenticate me was NO EYE DEER on the grounds that I could often never remember.
Brilliant!

I find that maintaining an ever growing list of passwords, ranging from trivial ones that might only get used once, if all goes to plan, as part of an online purchase, to the most secure ones I can dream up for things like online banking. I've been tempted to start using a password manager of some sort, but would need something that works on Windows, Linux and a Mac. I've been using an old school system in a carefully hidden notebook, but it's getting to the point where I often spend more time trying to find a password than I do actually doing whatever it is I need the password for.
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