More Creative Scams

I had the very ordinary scam call from ‘Border Security’ who had lodged a case against me and I should press 1 to speak to an agent about it. I pressed 1 and a very professional agent answered complete with agency, department, and name, and asked what he could do for me. I told him quite explicitly. :laughing:

A more creative lure was Amazon calling about a suspicious $700 iPhone purchase and to press 1 if it was not me. I didn’t bother.

Honest businesses might be well placed to remove ‘option 1’ from their voice messaging systems so as not to be mistaken for a scammer. :rofl:

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These scammers must be stuck at home with the COVID restrictions so they have more time to send out these messages.

We too have been getting various attempts including the Chinese language version.

I heard on the radio (I think it was yesterday) the announcer saying she received a scam call from her own mobile number that she was answering on. How sophisticated number spoofing is that?

Isn’t it about time the Federal Government turned a much greater effort toward stopping this tidal wave of scams?

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From one scam to another, it seems odd not to be on the list of things to stop.

Our leadership has made a long history of stopping things. New taxes, boats, Covid, listing the GBR as endangered, ……

To be fair though, I can’t help but wonder with a billion plus population how annoying the problem must be in China? :roll_eyes:

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Amazon has been calling me to confirm the delivery details for a recent order, Press 1 to ….
I’ve not bothered to go any further, although there must be a reasonable percentage who have outstanding orders who might feel compelled to go the next step.

The calls seem to come in random batches. Nothing for weeks the several in the same day for up to a week.

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And

This is possibly why…as soon as one successful communication method is blocked, they find another route/method.

The government could stop all calls, texts, emails and electronic messages from known countries where spam/scams are known to originate, but this coulď be problematic as some are sourced from Australia. Even if all but Australia were blocked, assumes everyone is happý to not have inward communication with ither countries, they would just reroute the communication path…eventually Australia would become a hermit state.

Telcos can block international call if one asks. If one is happy to do this, it might stop all those of foreign origin/not routed through Australia.

There are new rules for telcos…

https://www.acma.gov.au/articles/2020-12/new-rules-detect-trace-and-block-scam-calls

But these may be more reactive (triggered from spam/scam attempts) than proactive (blocking the first attempt).

One way to stop scams is not to succumb to them. Succumbing they get financially rewarded so keep on going. If no one succumbed to them, they would dry up quickly was they would stop trying as they would be wasting their time.

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This solution has come up before. As I have no need to make or to take international calls I would jump at it. I have been told that under VOIP it cannot be done.

@phb have you had this done or seen it done? If so how can I get my ISP to implement it?

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The thing is, most of the time the phone numbers which appear to be the originators, are not. They are probably spoofed and could be coming from anywhere. I’ve been getting the mobile numbers which are the same as mine for the first 6 digits, only changing the last 2 of the 8. I no longer use VoIP, and I have my iPhone set to silence unknown callers, and its permanently on DND so I dont have to hear them. If someone really wants to talk to me tey can leave a message. I need to change the voicemail greeting to let people know.

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I’ve been doing that quite a bit lately too, on the tax scam calls where there is someone telling me the police are coming etc. Private calls I’ve pretty much stopped answering, although sometimes when out on a ride and I’m trying to answer the phone in a hurry after digging it out of my saddle bag, and the sun is shining on my screen making it difficult to see, I have answered.
Optus have a system where you can report a number for scam/spam, and that flags the numbers for all, so that filters out quite a few, although the potential scam/spam warning sometimes takes a few seconds to appear.
Otherwise I use reverseau to look up numbers and or report scam and spam.

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I get landline phone calls, but mostly emails. There’s no mobile signal on farm so I get “missed calls” when I get to town and Telstra seems pretty good at marking Spam calls as such.

I lodged 24 Scamwatch reports in one week and just did two today (and still have more but just can’t be bothered). Scamwatch seems like a black hole. There isn’t much incentive given the amount of work you have to do to report a simple “click this link and give us your info” scam. They seem more interested in quantifying losses.

So creative scams. Landline - We get those automated Press 1, Press 2. Eg a suspicious charge has been raised on your account, Press 1 to accept, Press 2 to talk to an investigator. Change that to Customs Charge, Amazon Account or NBN about to be cut off. I did a post here on a very creative recorded message that responded to voice (yes, no) and if it didn’t recognise said things like Oh! I didn’t get that, or could you repeat that please? quite convincing. Then there are solar rebate sales (we are DNC) & fake charities.

I try to google the phone no, but on satellite it can take ages, like today where it is overcast and the signal is cutting in and out and below 1Mbs. We have some regular callers who come up a Private after going to NBN, also the hospital through a PABX and they don’t leave a message to ring back “due to privacy”. So I answer them and get the odd scam.

Email - the ISPs have a role to play here. TPG took months to do anything about persistent emails from their address usually no-reply@tpg.com.au or support@tpg.com.au which made them look much more convincing. Never went to Spam. But they sent all my legitimate mail from any hotmail or gmail address straight to spam on their servers (not accessible from an email client). I have to open Post Office to get to it and redirect it to Inbox.

I dutifully marked all spam and reported them, now months later I am still receiving these same phishing emails from the same web address into my inbox. They have the same title, the same message, only the “entity” changes (Coles, Kogan, etc). Now, if I send messages to hotmail or gmail addresses, half the time, I get a return message about being on a blocked list. I have asked help and got redirected to the TPG Community. Many others have complained or been confused (is the problem me, them or TPG?) so the Moderators trot out the “we apologise, doing all we can etc” and refer you to a 2 -3 year old post that didn’t solve the problem. I still don’t know.

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Not sure it if can be done with VOIP, but with NBN landline.

  • For Telstra, contact their Unwelcome Call Team - we have parents that Telstra did this for.
  • For TPG, ring their TPG Help Desk to see if it can be done
  • Optus - It appears that they don’t offer this service…but is is worth contacting to see if situation has changed and if they can.
  • AussieBB possible. When ringing their call centre, they might say it isn’t possible, but it is…ask them to escalate the issue to higher technical support.
  • others, check with the retailer.

For smart phones, there are apps available which block international calls.

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I used to get that with gmail all the time, unable to send email to my brother and a friend in the US. I think it was a gmail issue, that appears to have been fixed, for me at least.

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Isn’t ‘NBN landline’ all VOIP excepting for those (un)lucky folks on FW and Sat who get to keep real landlines?

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Wow. I don’t know whether I am being ostracised or just discrimminated against as I never receive any scam calls, much to my disappointment as I used to enjoy “talking” to them on the landline at our previous residence.

I suspect that having our mobiles on the Do Not Call Register and the VOIP telephone number on our NBN service unlisted probably helps.

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Makes no difference to me, I’ve been on the DNC register since it appeared, and scammers/spammers clearly do not pay any attention to it!

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Perhaps I have misunderstood but AFAIK all NBN phones are in fact done through VOIP, that is the connection is via the internet which uses Internet Protocol (IP), as the old copper is being disconnected. So where once we had just Telstra we now have many ISPs controlling the gate to our phone service. My ISP says they cannot do it. I would be interested if there was any that says they can.

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Technology is available to do it (Telstra, AussieBB and possibly others) so there shouldn’t be any reason why a RSP doesn’t do it…maybe to save money (? as it would be software rather than hardware) or doesn’t care about the code and requirements to help reduce spam/scam calls.

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From an older Telstra thread this may work.

“ To prevent anyone from overseas calling your home phone dial:

*92# (star 92 hashtag)

You can remove the block at any time by dialling:

#92# (hashtag 92 hashtag)

You’ll hear the dial tone has returned to normal.”

It may no longer work as it is an old archived thread.

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How do you know this?

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This may or may not work if you are a Telstra customer and that may work for VOIP or only relic landlines. It doesn’t work for me as I am neither.

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Optus also use/used it so it may be nearly universal across telcos, sorry that it fails for you.

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