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Author Topic: Phone scammers calling incessantly...well they were.  (Read 604 times)

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BadMouth

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Phone scammers calling incessantly...well they were.
« on: April 28, 2017, 02:41:43 pm »
I haven't been able to lock down where the scammers got my name and phone number from.
Maybe I should not have given my name on my voicemail message.

Starting at 4am the day before yesterday, I started getting spam texts calling me by name, then robo-calls every few hours.
The texts are easily blocked until the scammers switch to a new number, so they aren't that much of a bother.

I ignored the robo calls for a day, then decided maybe they'd leave me alone if I made it clear they weren't going to get anything out of me.
The robo-calls will drop if I don't say anything and will ring in to an Indian sounding operator if I say hello.
The guy asks if I am <insert real name here> to which I never respond "yes" because some of these scams are just trying to get a recording of you saying "yes". (as in I am agreeing to these charges)
It's no fun.  The guy hangs up immediately if I don't participate in his script.

Answering was a mistake, as the frequency of the calls increased to every half hour after that.  So I installed a call blocker app.  After rotating through about 10 phone numbers, they seem to have run out of numbers to call from, but it's still going to voicemail and leaving a two second blank voicemail.  Yesterday evening, they started coming every 10 or 15 minutes.
It's absurd to me that anyone thinks that a scam is more likely to work if they call every 10 minutes.

I will probably change numbers, but I'm too annoyed that their process is automated and takes no effort on their part.
The best thing I've come up with was to change my voicemail message to say "Hello" which will trigger their automated system to transfer to a live operator.
Then the message says hello again, followed by me repeatedly asking them to speak louder and pausing for their reply.
Hopefully this automates the process of me wasting their time with no effort on my part.

I was hoping to get the satisfaction of an Indian guy swearing in a voicemail, but the calls seem to have dropped off in the past hour.  :laugh:

So...
Never say "Yes" during a phone call with a scammer.
If you're in the United States and on the do not call list, report unwanted calls here: https://complaints.donotcall.gov/complaint/complaintcheck.aspx
(not that much can be done about people in foreign countries spoofing numbers, but maybe they're working on it)
Forward Spam texts to 7726 (SPAM) or file a complaint here: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/GettingStarted?NextQID=250&Url=%23%26panel1-5#crnt
(maybe they can use the software that's spying on us to do something useful about spam texts)



dkersten

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Re: Phone scammers calling incessantly...well they were.
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2017, 03:39:09 pm »
If they ask if you are <insert name>, respond with "I am."  The old scam of recording you saying "yes" is still around, it started in the days of yellow page ads and has migrated to accepting premium text charges or service charges on your cell bill.

I just hang up on the robo calls.  The calls from local numbers you don't recognize where they don't leave a message are spam where they are spoofing the caller ID.  Call back and it is either a number that will have extra charges on it, or it is just a scam to get you to call the FBI, CIA, or some other 3 letter organization.  My daughter returned a call like that, got the FBI office (the real office) and was told it was just a caller ID spoof.

There is nothing you can do to stop someone who bought your number from an advertiser though.  I had a call from overseas asking if I was interested in marketing my books in Europe.  They knew who I was too, so it wasn't just a random call.  I have NEVER given out my cell in relation to my books.  But in thinking it back, I think I used my work email to purchase some email advertising for a book promotion once, and the signature has my cell phone in it.  So someone who I advertised with sold my info to other marketing agencies.  That one really irritated me.

ark_ader

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Re: Phone scammers calling incessantly...well they were.
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2017, 04:02:27 pm »
I get a lot of calls from clients that want me to install a solution to stop the robo callers.  In reality there are only three solutions, and they range from free to expensive.

In the end, it is a lesson to learn, not to give out your telephone number, email or personal information to an untrusted 3rd party.

Social Engineering is here to stay, and the only deterrent is to accept calls from numbers you know.  Your cell phone can do most of the shielding.  It sucks.  I miss those calls about my computer being  broken, and messing with the operator.  Go have a look at 419 baiter, and see how these guys deal with Nigerian scammers.  You might learn something new.
"I really do feel pity for those who go out of their way to perform a personal slight, than taking the effort in joining the conversation and creating some useful dialogue which would benefit the persons' perusal of this topic.  Yet where would we be without the persistant antagonist?"

BadMouth

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Re: Phone scammers calling incessantly...well they were.
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2017, 09:56:32 pm »
Having a voicemail greeting that tricks them into physically picking up the phone every single time seems to have annoyed them enough to make them stop calling.
I only received one more call after posting yesterday and haven't received any today.  I did receive one scam text this morning which mentioned the town I live in, so they also have my address  :-\ (my phone number is from a different state).

I think the most likely scenario is that they got my info from me booking a hotel room online through booking.com, then cancelling it.
(I'd only dealt with 2 new websites in the past few weeks and I booked the hotel room two days before the scam calls started)
When you book online but plan to pay the hotel directly at the time of the stay, your credit card info is sent to the hotel.  Anyone working the desk has access to it.  If someone wanted to sell info from hotel bookings, using the cancelled ones would make more sense.  It would be much harder for someone to connect the dots than if all the victims were guests. 

...or any of the dozens of websites I've bought stuff from in the past could have been hacked.



Ian

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Re: Phone scammers calling incessantly...well they were.
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2017, 08:07:56 am »
2 things to add....

First if they are calling your cell phone number...download the free app Mr. Number. It's a community based app that people log in the different numbers scammers call from. I was getting on average 4-5 calls a day on my cell phone. Downloaded this app and they are automatically blocked if the number matches one in the database. So now I never have to deal with scammers.


Second:

 
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.

thomas_surles

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Re: Phone scammers calling incessantly...well they were.
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2017, 08:30:57 am »
We constantly get calls at my gas station from people pretending to be from corprate and asking us to activate a gift card and give them the number so they can "make sure everything is working properly" i got signs up for all the employees that say Do not do anything over the phone, its always a scam, but some fall for it anyway. So now nobody but me is allowed to answer the phone.

BadMouth

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Re: Phone scammers calling incessantly...well they were.
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2017, 11:10:13 am »
Here's my favorite, but the Indian scammers would just hang up.


Sent from my Life One X2 using Tapatalk


BadMouth

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Re: Phone scammers calling incessantly...well they were.
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2017, 04:47:46 pm »
They started back up today.  After 2 calls I changed my voicemail to mess with them again.
On voicemail, I got 22 seconds of frustrated huffing, typing sounds, and background noise.
Then I got 4 calls rapid fire (all "private" and all blocked).   :lol

All these are being blocked, so I don't see them until I look at the call blocker app or see the voicemail.

EDIT: Just took a live one and got a frustrated whine as he was hanging up.

Kinda fun, but it's getting old and I can't leave my voicemail greeting like that forever.
I guess it's time for a new phone number and credit card.



RayB

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Re: Phone scammers calling incessantly...well they were.
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2017, 02:44:09 pm »
I keep getting calls claiming I don't have my "free Google Business listing". Always a different caller ID #. If I ignore the calls, their computer just flags it to try again. If I answer, they are too stupid to understand "I AM IN THE WEB BUSINESS!". It's like selling snow to Canadians.

NO MORE!!

Jmoneyphx

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Re: Phone scammers calling incessantly...well they were.
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2017, 03:32:58 pm »
I registered a web domain with GoDaddy...and didn't pay for the whois listing to be private. My phone nearly caught on fire from the onslaught of calls.  :banghead:

danny_galaga

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Re: Phone scammers calling incessantly...well they were.
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2017, 04:24:33 am »
If they ask if you are <insert name>, respond with "I am." 

Why on earth would you confirm anything with these guys. Just say "Didn't YOU call me?"


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