It is something that I have blogged about for over a decade, but more recently I have been made aware of a SERIOUS increase in scams originating from India and similar countries, targeting mostly elderly people or people that they have scammed before (they share and sell info between each other)
DONT BE FOOLED if they seem to have your details and seem legit – there are ways and means of getting this data. Don’t confirm anything with them as this simply validates their data, of which they resell to other scammers.
There are a couple of different types of scam, here are some examples;
- The scammers claim they are from a tech company (usually anti virus related) and claim you signed up and bought something 2 years ago that is now renewing for something like $179 or £70 and unless you call them, it will automatically be debited from your account. The scam is that they make it look like you’ve been given £1790 or £7000 as a refund and they “need the money back or they will lose their job etc”
- The scammers claim your computer/network has been hacked and the hackers are stealing your data etc. They connect to your PC and show you loads of stuff that is totally normal but looks scary. They then make you buy anti virus that you dont need (and that doesn’t exist)
- The scammers claim your national insurance number is on the national crime database and there is a warrant out of your arrest. If this was true, you wouldn’t be hearing it for the first time via a voicemail. They try and get you to pay a kind of “bail” to stop you from going to prison.
- The scammers claim you have won a HUGE prize or have been awarded some kind of grant. You will be asked to make a payment towards the shipping costs they incur when they send you a crate of money. Obviously there is no prize or grant, you are simply giving them money and they vanish once you’ve covered the “costs”.
I wont go into their methods or their techniques – I simply want to state a few FACTS that if we share far and wide enough, should stop a few people getting scammed.
- No legitimate company will want to CONNECT TO YOUR PC to SHOW YOU that they have given you money back
- No legitimate company will want you to send them refunds in the form of GIFT CARDS
- No legitimate bank will EVER ask you to click links in emails and log into your account to do *something* – they would simply say “visit your online banking” and never directly link you to it.
- Amazon, Microsoft, The Tech Guys, Norton Anti Virus, MacAfee Anti Virus – none of these companies have joint support services and none of them work together.
- If you get a voicemail or text message that says something is being renewed that you know nothing of, ring your BANK and talk to them about it. They’ll inform you its a scam. NEVER PRESS ONE or ring the number they give you.
- ALWAYS search for phone numbers they ask you to ring – as they’ll never take you to their official company website.
- The police or national crime agency wont leave you automated voicemails to let you know you are in trouble
I will keep nipping back to this post and add more examples of the scams they run. If you encounter one or are unsure then please forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.
Together, we can squash these bastards.