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Some of the scams listed below are from several years back but, unfortunately, some are still relevant today or at least something very similar so they are worth checking out.
In this day and age there appears to be an abundance of scams and con artists around, here are some of the most popular - to be avoided at all costs!
These sort of warnings often turn out to be hoaxes and it can be difficult to ascertain just how genuine they are but, having carried out initial checks to weed out the obvious hoaxes, they are featured here in good faith in the hope that, should they be authenticate, it will prevent some people falling into their traps.
August 2009 - Received from Jack Clarke
PLEASE PASS ON TO YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY.
The new telephone 'scam' has arrived in Medway. (although it has been reported across the UK)
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.
February 2008 - received from Cat Sheppard
"I have recently been contacted by a “charity” called Life – telling me that one of the directors of the company had agreed to pledge £199 to an under-privileged school to give them new books. I asked the directors who said they hadn’t even heard of the charity. Life phoned me back today to ask how we would pay and I told them we didn’t know who they were and we hadn’t agreed to anything and they just put the phone down without another word. The telephone number was withheld. Please can you post this on your site as I don’t want other people to fall prey to this thieving."
After receiving this message from Cat I contacted the charity "Life" and received the following response from their Chief Executive -
"Thank you for your email. The call most definitely did not originate from our charity and we would not fundraise in such a manner. This is the second such incident we have been made aware of this week."
Viccy Hall has sent this timely reminder of a recent scam. It is my understanding that this was stopped a couple of years ago, however, they may well have resurrected it and, in my view, it is better to be forewarned -
More information on the history and latest situation regarding this particular scam can be found at http://www.snopes.com/fraud/telephone/pds.asp
In most instances Governments/Organisations do not accept email petitions as they consider that Petitions need to contain the full address and be signed by each petitioner.
Most emails asking you to add your name and forward to as many people as you can are similar to the "chain letters" which were circulated years ago.
Their object is to get names and "cookie" tracking info for telemarketers and spammers to validate active e-mail accounts for their own purposes.
Any time you see an e-mail that says forward this on to "10" of your friends, it probably means that is has an email programme attached that tracks the cookies of all the recipients or the host sender is receiving a copy.
Each time it gets forwarded, it get lists of "active" e-mails to use in spam e-mails, or sell to others that do.
Reminder received from David Lubran. This is not a new scam but one worth remembering -
One of our employees was called on Wednesday from "VISA", and I was called on Thursday from "MasterCard". Note, the callers do not ask for your Card number; they already have it.
The scam works like this: Person calling says, "This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card that was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for £249.99 from a Marketing company based in (name of any town or city)?"
When you say "No" the caller continues with, "Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from £150 to £249, just under the £250 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?"
Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works. The caller then says, "I need to verify you are in possession of your card". He'll ask you to "turn your card over and look for some numbers". There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the security Numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him.
After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, "That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?" After you say No. the caller then thanks you and states, "Don't hesitate to all back; if you do", and hangs up. You actually say very little, and
They never ask for or tell you the Card number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question. Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of £249.99 was charged to our card.
What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don't give it to them.
Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or Master card directly for verification of their conversation. The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card!
If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN you think you're receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then it's almost to late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.
Warning received from Libby White -
Young men approach people, usually in car parks, commenting on their perfume and asking if they would like to sample some fabulous scent they had at very reasonable prices. When you sniff the so called perfume on offer you pass out, at which time they steal your possessions.
I have been contact by Ms. Margaret Campbell who advises -
I must point you to this article regarding the perfume thing you have mentioned on one page - http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/perfume.asp
Snopes is good for letting you know if something is fake or not so I recommend that you check it out any time you get information like that.
I have recently received a cautionary tale from a regular contributor -
Remember, if something seems to good to be true - it probably is. You rarely get something for nothing.
If you are fed up with receiving unsolicited junk mail, Rusty may have the answer - she writes on the original "Please remove my name from your mailing list" and returns is to sender in their Postage Paid envelope.
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