I picked up the phone and a believable voice asked the title of this post.
As there was no number visible on the phone display, I said that I hadn’t cancelled it and said, that I’ll check with my bank, before I put the phone back in its cradle.
It rang immediately, so I picked it up and told the caller to Fuck Off, as no company like BT would react like that, after I’d told them, I would check with my bank.
The phone rang about four more times and I suspect they had control of it, so I didn’t use it, but conteacted my bank on my mobile. The BT Direct Debit was still there.
An hour or so later, I rang a couple of friends to check my phone and the phone appeared to be working fine.
On checking with BT, they told me it was a well known scam.
The strange thing was that the call came on the day before my BT bill was due to be paid.
So as the scammer, had my phone number, name and billing date, it sounds like someone had read my details in a BT database.
One thing though the helpful girl from BT told me, was that if you cancel your Direct Debit to BT for any reason, you’ll get an e-mail.
So if you haven’t received an e-mail saying you’ve cancelled, it would appear that you haven’t cancelled.
This is the title of an article in The Sunday Times.
It talks about an App called Blackshades, that can be bought for three hundred pounds, that enables a thief to seize control of a victim’s computer and steal their passwords.
Hopefully, I’m protected but it’s a frightening concept. My passwords aren’t stored on the computer, but in my Mark 1, 1947-vintage core store, which is the safest place for them.
It also says that infiltrating a smart-phone or tablet can be easier than targetting desktops, saying that many criminals set up malicious hotspots in public places.
For that reason, I only use wi-fi in trusted locations and usually have it switched off on my smart phone. I never use wi-fi that wants my e-mail address as giving it usually ensures, I’ll get marketing e-mails, which I class as spam.
I also check my bank account and credit cards every day or so, so that if I’m robbed, I know it first.
From what I can ascertain, I think that contactless payments are pretty safe, especially in London, where there are billions of transactions because of public transport.
So I use contctless wherever I can locally!
I don’t use taxis much at all.
I did in Blackburn on Saturday, as one was there, when I came out of Ewood Park and as trains to Preston, are fairly infrequent, I felt it might be quicker than finding a bus and I might catch an earlier train. I didn’t!
Other than that since the first of September, I’ve used taxis perhaps twice to come back home after arriving late at night in a rail station, just to save time. I usually get them off the rank at the station.
I use a mini-cab perhaps twice a year, to get to and from my son’s house on Christmas Day, which I book personally at the office around the corner from where I live.
The reason for this low usage is also because I have a dozen or so bus routes within two hundred metres and four of these are all night routes. And as London buses are ideal for parcels and shopping, when coming home with bags, I rarely need a taxi.
I would also put taxis in that category of wasted money, which is better spent on something more enjoyable like a proper lunch, rather than a drink and a banana.
But the main reason, I don’t use Uber is that it’s an app and I don’t want to put any apps on my smart phone, which I use exclusively for the web and to send and receive text messages.
I also don’t like giving my e-mail address and mobile phone number to companies or individuals willy-nilly, as so many companies like to send me unsolicited messages.
I’m certain, that apps will be the next security hole, that will be targeted by fraudsters.
As Uber has created lots of enemies for itself, I would put the Uber app at the top of the list of innocent trojans to get control of your phone, as fraudsters would like an app used by lots of users in insecure places.
People would also be much more careful with a financial app from their bank, financial advisor or credit card.
I think it is true to say, that in London, I am annoyed by traffic congestion which slows the buses and creates more air pollution.
Uber is helping to make this worse, as there are more and more mini-cabs in London.
Last week, I was on a bus that took an hour to get from Upper Street to Monument at ten in the morning, when the timetable says twenty-three minutes.
So I very much back Boris, who wants to limit the number of mini-cabs.
Now that the PPI calls seem to have run their course, Jokeswagen have presented the cold calling merchants with manna from heaven.
How long before they start targeting the owners of Jokeswagen diesels to offer to sue the company at no expense to you for compensation?
They might also decide to phone and contact everybody, as Jokeswagen could surely be considered responsible for all the pollution in our cities and the increaee in asthma.
In all these frauds like MPs expenses, malpractices in the City and now FIFA, I can’t seem to remember a woman ever being involved.
I received this e-mail from FRS Logistics.
We would be glad to say that we are grateful that you count our crew as your future chief. Pay attention that all aspirants are greatly wrathful for our company.
Our international B2B commerce company, peculiarly in EU and Asia.
â�« We started to collaborate in America, we possess a remarkable potential for Administrative
â�« in the United States. Just now, we are looking forward to finding the Sales Assistance .
We would like to remind that, we appreciate every applying candidate, so if you will fill in a questioner to get along with your future career, we would fully acknowledge your choice.
For additional employment information, please properly glance through the vacancy characterization, additional documents or find the information on our site. We also give all the allowed certificates that allow us to work in the United States.
We hope for your beforehand answer.
We are a leading large European global company, and we are going to open launch an American branch in order to provide supply our customers with world-class services. We need a Customer Service Representative who can start begin and handle our business needs for our company in the EU, United States.
What we require need from you:
1. A Computer with reliable internet connection;
2. Skills enough to use computer;
3. Accessibility by phone or e-mail during business time five days a week. Supervisor can contact you at any time;
4. Strong communication skill.
Salary starts at $3,000\month + benefits.
If You are interested in our work, please contact us via e-mail to get further information concerning the position and the company.
Please, reply to this email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours faithfully, Andrius Kubilius Hiring Department Senior Manager
It is an absolute copybook scam, so if you get one, give it a touch of the Delete key.
Some of the English and spelling definitely needs putting out of its misery.
In the article in Friday’s Standard with the front page headline, Force Banks To Fight Web Fraud, you say that the banks must fight web fraud.
I agree that banks must be forced to report all frauds to the Police.
As someone, who has analysed a lot of databases in his time, I know from experience with some of the best consultants in the City, that properly analysed these reports will uncover valuable patterns that will help police locate the perpetrators. The findings should result in sensible advice that would help both the banks and customers.
My worry is that the banks will introduce levels of security, that mean you have to do things like access your bank account with a dongle or install special protection software on your computer. This approach just means that criminals use the new restrictions as new ways to fool clients.
In my view, banks need to think deeply about adding new features to their banking systems for the benefit and protection of customers.
So what would I do?
1. A friend was robbed at a cashpoint and someone took his card and got him to give up his pin at knife-point. I think we should all have an emergency pin, that if typed into a cashpoint, indicates something is wrong. The machine keeps the card and perhaps gives out a minimum amount of money, saying that the client has no funds available.
2. We should be able to set a limit on payments, above which the bank sends us a text message, to say that we’ve just paid £220 to Marks and Spencer. So if say your card details had been stolen, you would at least get an early warning.
3. We should also be able to lock bank accounts. Say you were going away for a month and during that time, you would not be accessing your bank account. You would enter an extra password, which only you would know, that stopped access to your account until it was re-entered.
If banks were to think what customers actually want and not waste their time selling them junk products, we might get a banking system that was fit for purpose and very secure.
Banks should do other things.
1. Some of the work I know was done with my software, allows banks to profile how customers access their accounts. Are they doing enough in this area to fight crime? I doubt it.
2. Banks should also only use systems and programmers based in the UK, as this would mean that those responsible for any serious breaches or problems can have their collar felt.
Personally, I also always access my banking from the same computer, which stays locked in my house and has never left. Those that use apps on their mobile for banking deserve all the trouble they get!
I’ve just had one of those spam e-mails looking for agents, that says it has come from DFS.
It might have come from DFS in somewhere else, but it had all the hallmarks of fraud and may have started its journey in Paraguay.
I have just read this report on the BBC’s web site.
Admittedly it is from May last year, but in a few weeks time, we’ll see whether the Games will be worth the reported $50 million spent.
The Times had a news report yesterday, where Giuan-Franco Kasper, the Head of World Skiing, said that a third of the cost had been lost to fraud.
The 2014 Winter Olympics could be one of the best examples of car crash television for some time. Especially, after reading about the climate on Wikipedia and reading reports that there hasn’t been much snow in the area.
I keep all the scamming e-mails, that I get sent, so I can see any trends. If for instance I were to see a large number attacking the bank I use, it would put me on alert, and I’d be very careful in checking my account.
Over the last few months, RBS and its subsidiary, Natwest have had a series of well-documented computer problems. So as customers of this group now seem to be the target of most of my scam e-mails, could it be that the scammers get a higher chance to fraudulently remove money from a customer of a bank, that has a series of computer problems, as this softens customers up.
So perhaps, if your bank continually annoys you with unavailability of the service and security lapses, you should move to one that is more reliable.
Perhaps, the Financial Conduct Authority, should publish a web site, showing all of the failures of banks, building societies and credit cards. Then we’d all be able to sort the good from the bad.