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Author Topic: Telephone Scam  (Read 5472 times)

tony52

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Telephone Scam
« on: September 09, 2009, 06:26:40 PM »

Has anyone else heard about this?


The new telephone 'scam' has arrived in Medway.

I received a call from a 'representative' of BT, informing me that he was dis-connecting me because of an unpaid bill. He
demanded payment immediately of 31.00 , or it would be 118.00 to re-connect at a later date.

The guy wasn't even fazed when I told him I was with Virgin Media, allegedly VM have to pay BT a percentage for line rental!

I asked the guy's name - the very 'English' John Peacock with a very 'African' accent - & phone number - 0800 0800 152.

Obviously the fella realized I wasn't believing his story, so offered to demonstrate that he was from BT. I asked how & he
told me to hang up & try phoning someone - he would dis-connect my phone to prevent this.

AND HE DID !! My phone was dead - no engaged tone, nothing - until he phoned me again.

Very pleased with himself, he asked if that was enough proof that he was with BT. I asked how the payment was to be made & he
said credit card, there & then.

I said that I didn't know how he'd done it, but I had absolutely no intention of paying him , I didn't believe his name or that
he worked for BT.

He hung up.

Did 1471 & phoned his fictitious 0800 number - not recognised.


I phoned the police to let them know , I wasn't the first! It's only just started apparently but it is escalating.


*/_Their advice was to let as many people know by word of mouth of this scam. The fact that the phone does go off would probably
convince some people it's real, so please let as many friends & family aware of this._/*
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2009, 07:45:00 PM »

If you google on this you find exactly the same words being 'chain lettered' around the net.

Regardless of whether it is true or not, spreading unsubstantiated stories is vey bad practice, and should be discouraged.

I will have a little search later, if I can be bothered. Snopes is your friend here. However, if there is any truth in this and it's not just a wild rumour, I should point out that, with the UK system, the person who dials the call controls the line. If I phone you and then send my own recorded dial signal, engaged signal or blank tone, you will think that it is your line that is dialing, engaged or dead. Until I put my phone down and disconnect the call.....
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stallspeed

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2009, 08:25:07 PM »

A friend phones you but at the end of the call,you hang up but they leave it off the hook.

Now try calling out while they still have the phone off the hook.
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Colin H

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2009, 10:40:05 PM »

Hardly unsubstantiated it happened to Tony.


Colin H.
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BarryM

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2009, 10:48:25 PM »

Except that others are reporting this in exactly the same words as tony 52........curious....

Barry M
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pk1

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2009, 11:24:24 PM »

phone lines aren't switched off from a call centre, they can only be done from the exchange or the operations control centre, so they must obviously be keeping their phone connected to you and putting you on hold so you can't here them, then putting the phone down and re dialing you, don't be conned i worked in an exchange for 20 years
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2009, 11:57:00 PM »

phone lines aren't switched off from a call centre, they can only be done from the exchange or the operations control centre, so they must obviously be keeping their phone connected to you and putting you on hold so you can't here them, then putting the phone down and re dialing you, don't be conned i worked in an exchange for 20 years

True. In fact, it's most probable that no one is scaming anybody. This reads like a classic unsubstantiated urban myth, all the way down to the last line where you are asked to warn everybody you know. What seems to happen is that someone suggests that an attack might happen in some particular way - perhaps a woman being raped by someone who stops her to ask for directions, and in no time at all people are telling their friends that this might happen - be on your guard - it happened to a woman in Jersey - all the usual guff.

Humans will mostly react without thinking when it comes to this kind of thing - what they should do is check it out themselves - it's easy to google a bit, or check with snopes.com. Then they should tell the person who sent them the story that it's a lie, and that they should contact all the people they sent it to and apologise. But I can't ever see that happening.... 
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sheerline

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2009, 08:17:45 AM »

I had the telephone scam the other day, a American bloke rang up claiming he was from a company called 'Fun to Orlando' and stated I had been selected by Mastercard for a free holiday in the States. There was a very faint hint of Asian accent in his speech and he was offering so much with this holiday that it was too good to be true (as usual), this made me more convinced he was a lying bas***d. He then put me on to 'another departmental rep', again with a slightly stronger Asian tinge to his Amercan accent who proceeded to bul***t me further. I waited for the scam to kick in and finally it came after five minutes of listening to this garbage.... he wanted the expiry date from my card (which I don't own as it happens) and as soon as I told him to contact me in writing, he put the phone down.
If any company has a sreious offer or wishes to verify account numbers or change anything to do with your accounts... they will send you a letter with references and phone numbers which you can cross reference to your account before contacting them, they will NEVER do this stuff over the phone.
It's all crap and if you detect any kind of rubbish offering you the world or asking personal information over the phone, just put the phone down on them, they are all devious crooks and should be lightly killed.
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funtimefrankie

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2009, 08:42:36 AM »

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andygh

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2009, 08:44:45 AM »

Quote
Hardly unsubstantiated it happened to Tony.


Colin H.

Don't think so


Anyone who phones me and asks for my date of birth and address details (for security reasons) gives me the hump. I tell them I'd be happy to if they'll give me their details first and when they reply "no" I tell them to do one. If it's a genuine caller they'll put anything important in writing
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artisan100

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2009, 08:56:33 AM »

The scam mentioned in the OP does seem to be genuine, and has been mentioned on various BBC investigative programmes. The system works as described by pk1, in that they phone you, then tell you to hang up, which you do and think that you have disconnected, but in fact you're still connected to the original caller becasue they put you on hold and didn't disconnect. You can't make a call and so assume your line is dead. The scammer then disconnects and phones you back, and asks for the money.

Easliy demonstarted by using Stallspeed's method with a friend phong you and using the same method.

Geoff
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2009, 09:56:08 AM »

The scam mentioned in the OP does seem to be genuine, and has been mentioned on various BBC investigative programmes....
Geoff


Label me cynical, but I gave up believing 'BBC investigative programs' a long time ago. Their researchers are after a good story, not a balanced and tested set of facts.

The technique, and others derived from it, would certainly work - in the 80s you could fool the 'dial-back security modems' the same way. So it is a theoretical possibility. It may have happened to someone, somewhere. But everything we hear is long on 'I knew of a man in Birmingham...' and 'The authorities have said...', without one actual verifiable person we can actually talk to who said it happened to him.

When these urban legends go round, occasionally the police and other organisations like schools are also fooled, and embarrassingly produce their own warnings. It seems to be a common failing of the human mind.  Read Snopes and see how commonly stories which have never happened become widely believed....
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andygh

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2009, 10:16:29 AM »

Quote
Label me cynical, but I gave up believing 'BBC investigative programs' a long time ago.


Absolutely bang on the money  :-))
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artisan100

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2009, 11:30:26 AM »

"Absolutely bang on the money  "

I'm with you there, but on the particular programme I heard they had a Det Insp recounting the investigations they had made. Can't remember his name though. :embarrassed:

They wouldn't make that up, would they?  :((

Next thing we know, they'd make up the voting for the name of the cat on Blue Peter. %)

Geoff
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The long Build

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2009, 01:05:28 PM »

Hardly unsubstantiated it happened to Tony.


Colin H.


Looking at the post again , Tony does not actually state it happened to him , just "has any body heard about this scam" then quotes the text which is on forums and websites all over word for word.  :-))
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Colin H

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2009, 04:37:34 PM »

The words `I received` seem to me to indicate that it happened to him.

Colin H.
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Martin [Admin]

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dodgy geezer

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2009, 09:17:26 PM »

Martin's quotes show all the classic signs of people passing an untrue story around...

"THIS ONE ACTUALLY IS TRUE..NOT AN URBAN LEGEND LIKE MOST, I GOOGLED IT AND TOOK ME TO A LINK ON A POLICE WEBSITE" - but funily enough we don't get the url of the website. Invariably these stories claim 'this has been validated by the CIA' or some such, and then conveniently leave out enough information to make it impossible to check. Sometimes they are 'validated' by saying 'Detective Dickson of the Tallahasee police says..', and it takes a few hours for you to find out that no one in the Tallahassee Police Department has ever heard of a Detective Dickson....

"I phoned the police to let them know , I wasn't the first! It's only just started apparently but it is escalating. Their advice was to let as many people know by word of mouth of this scam." - No! A thousand times No! Authoritative warnings are NOT spread around by asking people to talk to 'as many people as possible'. The potential for misinformation and panic is far too great. Authoritative warnings come from a single secured source. Random scare stories, however, DO come with the exhortation to 'tell all your friends'...

"Got this from a friend... " - of course you did.....

Amazingly, when this sort of thing goes round, you can sometimes actually find people who claim it happened to them. They are the same sort of people who turn up at police stations when there has been a horrific murder claiming that they did it. Humans will do anything to attract attention.... 
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Marks Model Bits

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2009, 09:43:03 PM »

Well it must be true, I had a call this morning claiming to be from BT and it was exactly the same number.............I told them that I (the billpayer) wasn't home and asked what the call was about, they said they would call back later............... Guess what? They didn't!!!!!

Another thing to watch is calls from your bank, we had a call supposedly from HSBC they asked the usual security question your date of birth, I told them my brothers birthday and for some reason it matched what was on their computer........ I hung up!!!!!

Basically don't give out any personal info and if you are in anydoubt of the callers validity, call them back on a number you have for the company/bank.


Mark.
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DickyD

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2009, 09:51:23 PM »

Hardly unsubstantiated it happened to Tony.


Colin H.
 
Since when has Medway been in Manchester ?
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tony52

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2009, 12:59:28 PM »

Richard,

Well spotted! This came to me from a colleague. Just wanted to make good people aware of this.

I guess I will keep postings to the tales of woe with my model boats in future.

Thanks,
Tony.
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The long Build

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2009, 01:01:59 PM »

False scam or not , it keeps you on your toes as they do happen.

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HS93 (RIP)

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2009, 03:28:06 AM »

Bt are warning customers now


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8263637.stm

Peter
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2009, 10:57:07 AM »

Bt are warning customers now


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8263637.stm

Peter

Why am I still cynical?

I have watched the BBC provide a lot of badly researched misinformation recently.  This is a strange story. The headline says that 'BT is warning customers...' but then provides no reference or spokesman from BT, just an anodyne comment that you should not give out credit card information to cold callers. It seems to be the BBC creating a story, and extracting 'warnings' from whatever spokesman they can find...

The piece repeats the 'chain letter' warning, and then goes on to say "Andrew West nearly fell foul of the scammers' latest ploy..." There is no reference, so you have to google to find that AW is a blogger whose twitter output the BBC journalists apparently read. He says it happened to him - the Beeb are making a big thing of it and have filmed an interview....Oddly, though they claim that 'Last weekend a number of elderly people in Suffolk fell victim to the scam; there have also been cases in the past year all over England and Wales....' there are no interviews with anyone who has actually lost any money or fallen for the scam. And the only authoritative reference in the piece - "Graham Preston, the lead officer for scams at Trading Standards" provides another generalised warning without specifying any known instance where anyone has actually been scammed. Thereis no reference to any official BT warning, in spite of the headline.

Do you remember the 'Good Times virus'? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodtimes_virus That was a non-existent virus scare which spread round the world, in spite of efforts by the virus researchers to quash it. After a while virus writers started writing viruses they called 'Good Times' to cash in on the scare. I wonder if people might be starting to do the same thing here - I note that in the only (vaguely) documented case we have seen (Andrew West) there is no indication that any bank details were asked for (though we have little information about what happened, and the caller apparently did not come back...). Evelyn Waugh's 'Scoop' provides the obvious example of life imitating art in this way.

I stick to my line that warnings of this type should be first researched and then given authoritatively, rather than passed around as a 'human interest' story. And any that any story that does not come authoritatively should be subject to considerable cynicism...

 
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Telephone Scam
« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2009, 11:46:00 AM »

In other news, why I believe it is too early to confirm that the Earth is round yet..... :-)
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