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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Telephone Scam

I've probably mentioned the 'silent' telephone calls I receive. How many other people have got them? You are expecting an important call, so every time the telephone rings you rush to pick the thing up. I'm talking about landline phones more than mobiles, although I sometimes get these on my mobile, although, to be honest, it doesn't get used very much. It spends most of it's life on the bedside table, as it's set to alarm and to go off to make sure we don't oversleep in the morning. Anyway, to silent calls. You go to pick the thing up, just to get . . . nothing. No voice asks anything, doesn't attempt to sell you anything. Just  . . . silence. I have had one, though, where you get given a number or a rather snooty female voice (obviously recorded) which says something totally inane such as 'sorry, no answer' or something else equally pointless. What is going on here? Why waste people's time and effort on ringing like this? At last have a human at the other end of the line. If it's a cold-calling telemarketing callcentre or whatever you want to call it, all very well (we all get these from time to time and I'd very good at avading their tactics. I'm good at getting them 'off script.')

With the scam (well, it must be.) you get a call and this gentleman with an oriental accent (sorry, not trying to be racist here) asks how is your computer? They generally get my surname pronounced wrong 'Mr Murdotch' which alerts me to something fishy. They may say something like 'you're having some problems with your computer' or 'this is the Windows customer service department' or something else. I say 'there's absolutely nothing wrong with my computer' and sometimes 'how on earth do you know?' also 'but I don't have a Windows computer. Which alerts me to something fishy about all this.

I did watch the B.B.C  television show 'Watchdog' where they were alerting people to this scam. These calls are to get your email address and then send a virus that infects  by hacking into your computer and this means they can get into your files and even find your bank details, so if you read this and you get these types of calls, don't give out any details. You have been warned.

Frankly, I can't believe people fall for these sorts of scam. Who in their right mind would give personal details over the telephone? I've had endless emails which read something like 'you've been left £10 million in a bank account in Brazil or Nigeria. It was left by your great uncle Cuthbert who worked for Shell Oil and died in a terrible plane crash in the Amazon jungle and all you have to do is send us your bank details by return and we'll transfer the cash over into your account.' And why would my uncle Cuthbert leave me all the cash as I've got other brothers who'd also like to have some of this cash? Oh, and at the end of the email it's bound to say 'and don't tell anyone about this as it's a secret and nobody must know.' Be warned. It's just a way of getting into your account and syphoning off your hard-earned money and will probably be used by terrorist organisations or drug cartels or smugglers of arms for some illicit organisation.
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