Scammers use Phones 

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Recorded messages are increasingly being used as a scammer's opening gambit to deprive you of money.

Scams come in a variety of forms whether delivered via email, phone (either mobile or landline) plus any other method of communication that you might receive.  You need to be aware that these types of attacks, for that is what they are, on your personal details and financial information are combated and blocked by whatever means possible that are available to you.  Let me tell you a true story.

Recently, during conversations with my sisters, they told me about having received a series of phone calls, often arriving between the hours of 8.00 and 9.00 in the morning.  These phone calls, delivered at irregular intervals, were of the pre-recorded type which does tend to discourage the recipient from indulging in releasing tension with an outburst of bad language directed at the disembodied voice of the caller, who, in this case either has a female UK or female US accent.  For some reason it was the message delivered by the American accent which seemed to annoy my sisters the most.  As far as I know my sisters do not have an anti-American bias.  They are anti-Australian but only during the cricket season, but they have nothing against Americans apart from their dislike of American spelling.

During the recoded message, which was delivered from different phone numbers, an occasional mention was made of BT as if to add a degree of legitimacy and authenticity to the call, plus an offer to press a couple of numbers to access additional information regarding a so-called problem with the recipient’s Internet connection which was due to be disconnected in the near future because of this problem.  Anybody pressing either of the mentioned two buttons would, presumably, link the recipient to the scammer who would take the user’s details regarding a bank account in return for fixing the “problem” affecting the Internet problem and its connection.

My sisters did not press either button.  Instead they added the number used, to deliver the call, to their free BT Call Protect account.  Numbers blocks by this account are intercepted and sent direct to a dead message folder where they will not bother you.  As the scammers responsible for this message were using different numbers, this did mean my sisters needed to add each number to their blocked account as they recognised when a new number was being used. 

With this particular scam, my sisters did have one big advantage over the scammers and I am not referring to the relationship they had with their brother, obviously showing the scatter-gun approach being used by the scammers, those involved with this scam had no idea that my sisters, strange as it may seem, did not have Internet access due to the fact that they did not have or want a Broadband facility.  I did consider suggesting to my sisters that they might consider being willing to take up the scammers’ time and energy by responding and, maybe, saving an innocent victim from the scammer’s attention but decided against it.  Instead I will offer some suggestions from our friends at Kaspersky as to how to deal with scammers and their wiles to defraud you of your money.

Criminals (a term which definitely sounds more anti-social than “scammers”) will use deception to gain access to the information required to defraud you.  This information can consist of the user’s credit card credentials, such as password, credit card details and other important financial details.  Kaspersky offers various advice tips to help keep users safe from unwanted scam attempts. 

While emoticons, attached to emails, are often loveable and enchanting, they can beguile the recipient and persuade them to accept a message for what it isn’t thus making a decision they might regret.  The presence of an emoticon should be regarded as a possible warning signal rather than a guarantee of a message’s legitimacy.  You should pay close attention to what is on offer, such as fixing a feature you do not have, like in the case of my sisters.  If, for any reason, you do need to deal with those making an offer, too good to refuse, and needing payment, then a specially prepared card can be used.  This card could be ring-fenced with just a small, even minute, spending limited amount of money.  Finally you could install a suitable solution supplied by a company such as Kaspersky.

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