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Author Topic: Fascinating Scam  (Read 510 times)

plastic

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Fascinating Scam
« on: February 22, 2021, 10:11:10 am »

Got a call just now from a 'Energy Advisor' telling me my old fibreglass loft insulation is causing damp and mould and will need to be replaced  - blah, blah.   so I thought, ok, let's dance....

 
It all sounded like a real person on the line - so I was getting comfy for the long haul - until I asked some random (confusing) questions and it reset to a different point in it's presentation and exactly repeated a couple of it's previous lines - it was clearly a semi-intelligent AI system based on snippet recordings done by a real person assembled into plausible sounding conversation - so it is an 'automated con-man'.   


 I'm impressed!     Turing test 2/10 - fail.    The number that comes up is 0113 509 7141


I wonder how many people get signed up for a new insulation scam....? 
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SailorGreg

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Re: Fascinating Scam
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2021, 12:29:02 pm »

It might not be as sophisticated as you suspect.  The people making these scam calls usually have a script they have to follow and if confused by your unexpected questions they may simply revert to a part of the script they think is relevant.  (I recall many years ago a friend started a marketing job for an entirely reputable pharmaceutical company and she had to memorise a pitch and was told not to deviate from it.)  I doubt the sweatshop call centres that often originate these sorts of calls can invest in sophisticated AI.

But then again, with the profusion of cheap software from the far east, maybe they do! Either way, do people really fall for these calls?  I guess they must or they wouldn't continue.   :((

Greg

spearfish99

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Re: Fascinating Scam
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2021, 01:30:12 pm »

It might not be as sophisticated as you suspect.  The people making these scam calls usually have a script they have to follow


 Some while ago, we had a young lady call at the door selling  "heat conservation"  . She explained to my wife who answered the door that she had just started the job , and the wife feeling sorry for her, invited her in.


  As you say, she had a script, the questions of which were so slanted to give a particular answer , it wasn't real.  Anyway we gave the only obvious answers  and got to the end of the questions.  She then said something along the lines of " given these replies, you will want one of our salesmen to call to discuss buying x,,y &Z, won't you ?"    Having had enough of this, I answered "no we don't want to see a salesman"    at which point our young lady burst into tears.   Took quite a bit to calm her down and see her on her way.   Not sure that she was really suited to that type of work, poor thing.   


Never again, cold callers get a firm "not interested" and stay on the doorstep
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ChrisF

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Re: Fascinating Scam
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2021, 04:18:36 pm »

Yeah, depending on what mood I'm in I'm either blunt or have a bit of fun! I've had the energy adviser one and window replacement companies etc. and question them being a former building surveyor and energy assessor. I know they are only doing a job but they annoy us by repeatly calling so tough!

Chris
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plastic

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Re: Fascinating Scam
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2021, 04:22:26 pm »

Yeah, depending on what mood I'm in I'm either blunt or have a bit of fun! I've had the energy adviser one and window replacement companies etc. and question them being a former building surveyor and energy assessor. I know they are only doing a job but they annoy us by repeatly calling so tough!

Chris
I was looking forward to messing with they guy but it was a machine - I'm impressed with the way it tried to have a 'conversation' with me and it was clever enough to have fairly good answers to my predicted responses - it's only when I recognised the repeated phrases when challenged that I was sure it was A.I.        That's a lot of cleverness for a scam system.
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spearfish99

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Re: Fascinating Scam
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2021, 05:24:13 pm »

Yeah, depending on what mood I'm in I'm either blunt or have a bit of fun! I've had the energy adviser one and window replacement companies etc. and question them being a former building surveyor and energy assessor.


  Know what you mean. I have twice had calls, alledgedly from a police officer re transactions been done on my card and having the people in custody, " so could you just check with your card provider"   It is known as the Paddington Green scam , since invariably that is the police station where they say they are calling from.   You are supposed to hang up then call your bank but the scammers don't hang up so when you dial out you still end up speaking to them. That's when they ask for details  as the "bank" so they get access details to your account.


Problem is that I spent 15 years working for the local police force as a civvie and , despite themselves, most policeman do talk about crime in a particular  way which after a few seconds , you realise that Inspector Bloggs from Paddingtom Green isn't using.  I did have fun on the first occassion going along with it and winding them up.  On the last occassion , I invited him to perform the physically impossible!.    Having been aware of the scam beforehand helped.  It is particularly nasty since it is nearly always perpertrated on the elderly who probably have an old fashioned respect for the police and really don't think to question if it actually is an officer.
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Mike S

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Re: Fascinating Scam
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2021, 07:55:07 pm »

Hi Spearfish99,

Had the same sort of thing, only it was a 'Detective Constable from Hammersmith Police Station', and they would helpfully send a courier round to collect my bank cards! It all sounded very realistic until you realise that these days the Metropolitan Police spend less and less time actually chasing criminals.

These scammers really are the lowest of the low.


Mike 
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spearfish99

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Re: Fascinating Scam
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2021, 08:06:10 pm »

Hi Spearfish99,

Had the same sort of thing, only it was a 'Detective Constable from Hammersmith Police Station', and they would helpfully send a courier round to collect my bank cards! It all sounded very realistic until you realise that these days the Metropolitan Police spend less and less time actually chasing criminals.

These scammers really are the lowest of the low.


Mike


 Yes, the collecting cards is a variation of the scam, even worse in my mind, than getting the details via the phone.   I also agree with your view of the scammers.




    If anyone gets such a call, don't call your bank. Put the phone down for about 15 minutes (or use another line/mobile) and then report it to your local police via the 101 number.


Before you ring try dialling 1471 and note the number that rang you. It can be helpful. You can also report it via the Action fraud Uk website [size=78%]Action Fraud[/size]
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Fascinating Scam
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2021, 08:45:54 pm »

I simply don't answer calls from unknown sources. If they have anything useful to say then they will leave a message. Nearly all the calls we get on our landline are scams of one sort or another and BT just let them though although they could easily filter them. Never, ever, get into conversation with people you don't know.

I rarely give out my mobile number and I block any unknown calls.

I use a subsidiary email adress when ordering stuff off the internet and it is amazing how often your email address is passed on to scammers when you use a a new site which I do as infrequently as possible.

It's a jungle out there really and they are definitely out there to get you if you are not really careful.

Colin
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plastic

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Re: Fascinating Scam
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2021, 08:50:31 pm »

I simply don't answer calls from unknown sources.
I'm very careful too - we rarely get spam or nuisance calls so I accidentally answered this one (I've got different agencies contacting me over my cancer) - I'm just so impressed that they were using an AI to create the conversation - but I broke it.   :D
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BrianB6

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Re: Fascinating Scam
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2021, 10:07:05 pm »

Down here it's calls from Amazon and people trying to install LED lights.  Thank goodness for our answering system.  %%
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Baldrick

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Re: Fascinating Scam
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2021, 09:08:16 am »

Got three scammers trying it on yesterday . Two e-mails , one purporting to be from PayPal another the BBC both of which I forwarded without opening to report@phishing.gov.uk and another on the phone who did not last for more than a few seconds.  Getting to approach epidemic proportions at the moment.
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Tug Fanatic

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Re: Fascinating Scam
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2021, 09:17:35 am »

Got three scammers trying it on yesterday . Two e-mails , one purporting to be from PayPal another the BBC both of which I forwarded without opening to report@phishing.gov.uk and another on the phone who did not last for more than a few seconds.  Getting to approach epidemic proportions at the moment.

I do wonder if that website has any purpose other than to stop you taking up the authorities time reporting it in some other way.
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malcolmfrary

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Re: Fascinating Scam
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2021, 09:34:15 am »


  Know what you mean. I have twice had calls, alledgedly from a police officer re transactions been done on my card and having the people in custody, " so could you just check with your card provider"   It is known as the Paddington Green scam , since invariably that is the police station where they say they are calling from.   You are supposed to hang up then call your bank but the scammers don't hang up so when you dial out you still end up speaking to them. That's when they ask for details  as the "bank" so they get access details to your account.

Before dialling on any land line, its always a good idea to check that you have dial tone.  And in a case like this, dial 1471.
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Tug Fanatic

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Re: Fascinating Scam
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2021, 10:31:44 am »

It is very easy to play a recording of a dial tone down the line. Better to call a friend to make sure the line is clear in one of these call back situations - if you are prepared to call back - which I am not.
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grendel

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Re: Fascinating Scam
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2021, 12:39:10 pm »

the one i received by email was from royal ltd mail, saying i would need to pay to have a parcel redelivered, needless to say, it has been ignored. but when you consider how many people are having to deal with online ordering and deliveries now, it makes you think
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SailorGreg

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Re: Fascinating Scam
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2021, 01:07:42 pm »

One thing to bear in mind (and to pass on to those who might be vulnerable to this sort of scam) is that any recorded message is a con.  No government agency, bank, or any other reputable organisation will play you a recorded message requiring you to "Press 1" or call them back.  If they have a genuine reason to speak to you they will either call in person or write a letter.  (I had a recording 20 minutes ago, the one about my national insurance number being compromised. The annoying thing about recordings is you can't string them along!  ;) )

Greg

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Re: Fascinating Scam
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2021, 03:09:22 pm »

many years ago i had a call from my bank, I can verify now that it was a genuine call as they followed up with  a letter.
basically i had gone overdrawn and they phoned me and wanted to take a payment into the account from another card, the first thing they asked was what was my security question, my response to this was, how do i know you are from my bank, you might be trying to scam me and get money from me, before i answer any questions that might compromise my account prove who you are, or send me a letter, they chose the letter. this as i say was years ago, just as the phone scams were starting, and banks expected to be able to call you and conduct business over the phone, of course nowadays they would do no such thing.
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NoNuFink

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Re: Fascinating Scam
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2021, 08:32:47 pm »

I recently had a landline call which was instantly recognizable as a scam by the few seconds delay while a computer their end looked for someone to start the scam.
I immediately looked at the caller ID and it was a mobile so probably fake. (I don't think the computerized scammers work with mobiles but I could be wrong).  Then a female with a very oriental voice (not recorded) introduced herself as "Agent Emily Brown from HMRC"
Now that really would be a novelty.  <*<
I'm afraid I used a lot of very rude words.  I wonder if I'm in the cack with the revenue.  Oh dear. How sad. Never mind.  {-)
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