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Another scam? Sinister this time

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Geoff S31/01/2019 19:40:30
3659 forum posts
26 photos

My wife got a voice mail today which said that she was investigated for some crime and that our address was being watched and warned against ignoring the message. It then gave a phone number starting with 020 ...

My wife's phone (like mine) is a simple PAYG Nokia which she uses mostly for the radio when she's in the garden etc and as an emergency phone when she's out on her bike or in the car etc. Almost no-one knows the number.

First, there's no way our address is connected to the number so it couldn't be being watched. Second, a voice message (with what sounds like a synthesised voice) wouldn't be used by any authority as the first contact in any investigation. And third, she hasn't done anything wrong!

Never the less for someone living alone, particularly elderly or of a nervous disposition it could be quite frightening. Although we're both in our late 70s we're fairly tech savvy and Avice is no fool (as I know to my cost, sometimes!) she was sufficiently unnerved to come to me as soon as she received it.

It's obviously rubbish but I thought I'd mention it.


simon barr31/01/2019 19:47:23
1051 forum posts
16 photos

Have you told the police...?

Geoff S31/01/2019 20:02:02
3659 forum posts
26 photos

No, never thought about it but perhaps we should.


Peter Miller31/01/2019 21:03:15
11078 forum posts
1308 photos
10 articles

Sounds like a variation on the HMRC scam

Nigel R31/01/2019 21:06:18
3894 forum posts
678 photos

Clearly rubbish, report it, something might be done. With luck.

Former Member31/01/2019 21:36:30

[This posting has been removed]

PatMc31/01/2019 22:25:37
4405 forum posts
527 photos
Posted by Percy Verance on 31/01/2019 21:36:30:

Oh, and don't under any circumstances call any number you may be given by whoever called, because that will cost something like £50 a minute, probably with a minimum charge of 5 minutes. The 020 scams have been going round a while now Geoff. The first few lines of your post says it all I think. Demanding you don't ignore the message is a prompt for you to return the call to find out what's going on. Which is where the £50 a minute kicks in........

Calling the number is likely to be 55p a minute max, in any case Geoff & Avice are using PAYG so the limit they can lose is what's left on the phone.
Quote from Ofcom call cost guide :

01 and 02 numbers: geographic numbers

These numbers relate to specific locations in the UK and are used for homes and businesses. For example, Huddersfield is 01484, Bath is 01225, Edinburgh is 0131 and London is 020.

Calls from landlines are typically charged up to 13p per minute.Call costs from mobiles vary according to the calling plan chosen. Typically they cost between 1p and 55p per minute or are included in free call packages.

The call is a phishing scam opener. Try googling the number see if it's already been reported.

Geoff S01/02/2019 01:07:34
3659 forum posts
26 photos

Avice has transcribed the message in shorthand and written it in text so we'll be able to provide the police with the full message.

I think my wife only has about 10p left on her phone right now so it would be a poor return if the scammers were hoping to rake in a little more. Apparently 020 are normally London area but 0203 ... can be bought to charge callers but I don't know if there's a maximum.

We'll contact the police tomorrow. I'm not sure if such activities are actually illegal but they certainly ought to be.


John Privett01/02/2019 01:43:25
6045 forum posts
241 photos
Posted by Geoff Sleath on 01/02/2019 01:07:34:

Apparently 020 are normally London area but 0203 ... can be bought to charge callers but I don't know if there's a maximum.

020 is just the code for London.

Initially all 020 numbers continued with a 7 as the first digit of the rest of the number if it had previously been an 'inner London' 071 number, or an 8 if it had been an 'outer London' 081 number. Now 3 is also allocated as the next digit of some London numbers.

I can't see a way that any 020 number could be charged at a different rate to other 020 numbers.

cymaz01/02/2019 05:48:33
9251 forum posts
1195 photos

We have been affected by bogus emails from TV License, PayPal and HRMC.

Tim Flyer01/02/2019 09:55:53
1287 forum posts
236 photos

I have experienced a spate of unwanted calls and messages . I worked out that the people responsible for leaking my phone number were most probably a well known major uk insurance company. These firms make it hard not to provide a phone number. They claim not to distribute details externally but in practice it often happens. The people who get hold of numbers then market the lists. These companies route marketing calls via overseas companies using uk identifiers on numbers which cannot be called back or traced as they are “marketing” numbers . They use the “overseas” location to flout UK Law . In my experience UK authorities seem to be powerless or not interested in stopping this. Despite TPS telephone preference service registration , the calls go on. The only way to stop it is NEVER to reply or answer unknown callers and use the smartphone call barring function on your mobile for each number they use to call you. I have needed to bar many many numbers . I also strongly resist putting personally identifiable information on line.


Edited By Tim Flyer on 01/02/2019 09:57:13

ken anderson.01/02/2019 10:19:28
8681 forum posts
807 photos

theres a lad in Nigeria sitting on millions ,he cant give away....

ken away dept.

Dave Cunnington01/02/2019 10:23:12
172 forum posts
58 photos

...................only the one lad Ken ?

Edited By Dave Cunnington on 01/02/2019 10:23:27

Keith Lomax01/02/2019 10:33:57
204 forum posts

I previously worked for a vehicle leasing company with a private customer base. We had a spate of calls from customers saying that we had disclosed personal details. On investigation, we narrowed it down to customers who had made insurance claims, so the insurance company's fraud department took over the investigation. They found that the common factor was the national chain of bodyshops that they used for most repairs - at this stage it was found that people (probably the delivery/collection drivers) in individual branches were noting details of customers' names, addresses and phone numbers and selling them on leading to calls along the line of "we are calling about your recent accident".

With the going rate for this level of detail and a definite accident, apparently they were quite lucrative, especially to somebody on minimum wage.

However, calls such a Geoff's wife's are usually just randomly called numbers and they don't usually actually have the name and address. My wife got one yesterday saying that they "were in the area doing soffits and facias for one of our neighbours", but then asked for our postcode!

As an aside, about 25 years ago I was at a friend's home, with a few others when he took a phone call. He played along to what was an obvious salesman, and got to the point of making an appointment for one evening the following week, and gave his address. He then said, when the salesman arrives, he should take the lift to the tenth floor. When the caller queried this, he replied along the lines of "if you are going to waste my time trying to sell me a conservatory, you should check your facts before you call".


Edited By Keith Lomax on 01/02/2019 10:35:25

Geoff S01/02/2019 11:44:26
3659 forum posts
26 photos

After some effort starting with dialling 101 she was recommend by a live person to contact the Fraud agency but that was taking some time on hold. However, there was an email address and she was recommended to supply as many details as possible by that method, which she's done. So we'll see. Probably nothing will come of it but she's made the effort.

I think the most unsettling part is the implied threat which could be very unpleasant (to say the least) for a vulnerable person.


dejampea01/02/2019 12:14:07
4 forum posts

an interesting topic, we get 2/3 of these calls a day. our current approach on the land line is to pick up the phone and say nothing then generally within a few seconds they hang up.

By the way most of these numbers are not traceable they belong to groups of phone numbers not in general use, there are blocks of numbers retained for advertising/ film/ tv uses , normally connected with country capitals , eg London hence the 02---. certain companies hire /loan them out !. its seems that's the current way to overcome the call blocking devices that bt and other offer.

Peter Miller01/02/2019 12:43:37
11078 forum posts
1308 photos
10 articles

I have a bit of fun these days.I answer the call in Spanish. THis also has the advantage that I can swear at them fluently in Spanish.

Well, it amuses me!!!

Dave Hess01/02/2019 12:51:29
303 forum posts
18 photos

Anti-scammers, like Jim Browning, do more to disrupt the them than the police. It might be worth seeing if you can get the details to him. He can infiltrate their computers and systems to see what they're up to. Interestingly, he normally gives everything about them to the police, but they never seem to be interested. In one case, he gave their names, adresses, bank details, photos and everything, butheard nothing back. Here's an example of what he does:

onetenor02/02/2019 02:01:47
1901 forum posts

I often get calls that hang up as soon as I say hello. I think they are checking to see if anyone is home.

Ray Dunn02/02/2019 07:43:10
34 forum posts
25 photos

I'm currently plagued with automated calls says BT will cut off my Internet today.

The voice was initially of the computer generate sort, but the last was an elderly British accented man.

Where applicable, isn't BT the base cause of this, allowing ridiculous phone call rates? What sort of legit. business needs this?

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