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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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Old 18th August 2017
Ricoh Ricoh is offline
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Mobile SMS message scam

Just received a text message informing me that HMRC have completed my tax review and that I have 268.48 outstanding to be paid back to me. Followed by a very "helpful" link to process the refund:

https://goo.gl/2Xu2Ec

To whom should I report this obvious scam, any idea?
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Old 18th August 2017
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Graham_of_Rainham Graham_of_Rainham is offline
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Re: Mobile SMS message scam

I too have received them. All forwarded to:

phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk
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Old 18th August 2017
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Re: Mobile SMS message scam

Network provider informed me that they're quite common, with similar messages about accidents in the last five years, someone being illegally connected to your wifi, etc etc. I was advised to delete and do the same with similar texts. Although I hadn't clicked the link, the person I spoke to kindly checked for irregular activity on my account, and placed a note on file to record the incident. 10/10
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Old 19th August 2017
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Re: Mobile SMS message scam

Hi the best thing to do is get in touch with the fraud investigation police, who will probably ask you to forward the sms/email to them complete with the link.
They are very helpful, as it will help them track down the culprits and a rest and close their activity down.
Hope this helps you.
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Old 19th August 2017
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Re: Mobile SMS message scam

TBH, I think there is very little you can do about this sort of thing, whether or not you report it. The scammers are always one step ahead.

There was a nasty scam in the news about three months ago, whereby you get a phone call, the person says 'hello', and when you've answered, says, "Can you hear me?" As soon as you say, "Yes", they ring off. A couple of weeks later you receive a letter saying you are going to be sued for non-payment of the sale that you agreed to. When you challenge it, they play the recording of the telephone conversation, into which your "yes" has been dubbed in the appropriate places.

You don't even need a landline to get caught by that one.

Scammers are nothing if not ingenious.
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Old 19th August 2017
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Re: Mobile SMS message scam

Cor blimey, whatever next. Being forewarned is one thing, but it's instinctive to say yes and in a few days or weeks I would say yes, I'm sure. Too many years down the line, it's more or less ingrained in me, hard-wired almost.

Similarly with terrorism, they strike with success, the authorities do something to improve security, eg barriers to cars on tower bridge, but the terrorist are one step ahead. It's the same with bacteria in the natural world in adapting to antibiotics.
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Old 19th August 2017
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Re: Mobile SMS message scam

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Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
TBH, I think there is very little you can do about this sort of thing, whether or not you report it. The scammers are always one step ahead.

There was a nasty scam in the news about three months ago, whereby you get a phone call, the person says 'hello', and when you've answered, says, "Can you hear me?" As soon as you say, "Yes", they ring off. A couple of weeks later you receive a letter saying you are going to be sued for non-payment of the sale that you agreed to. When you challenge it, they play the recording of the telephone conversation, into which your "yes" has been dubbed in the appropriate places.

You don't even need a landline to get caught by that one.

Scammers are nothing if not ingenious.
I suspect the scammers are using the threat of court action to extort money. They might even issue proceedings, but I doubt that they would ever want to go to court as the law is on the consumers side, and a court hearing would expose the individuals concerned, and their nasty little tactics for all to see.

Sadly the law doesn't stop scammers from using scare tactics to obtain money from people who are understandably frightened of being dragged through the courts.

As some here will know, I am having a similar legal battle right now with scammers who sold me a telephone contract by what is known in legal circles as 'Fraudulent Misrepresentation'.

I should add that caller display provides little protection as there are hundreds of mobile phone apps, many free, which allow you to appear to call from any number you like. I cannot believe they are legal in the UK, but their use is widespread amongst scammers and telesales companies.

In my case the scammers called me from 'what appeared to be' a local telephone number, but the number was unknown when I tried to call it.

Interestingly, they waited six months to issue proceedings. Six months is the period that OFCOM requires telesales calls to be retained for. A coincidence perhaps?

One thing I have learnt is that Trading Standards, OFCOM, etc. no longer look into such matters routinely unless they are blatant. In all other cases they wait for the outcome of court hearings before deciding whether to prosecute disreputable companies.

Sadly there is a good chance that the companies concerned will have disappeared or gone bankrupt before they can be brought before the courts.
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Old 20th August 2017
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Re: Mobile SMS message scam

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Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
I suspect the scammers are using the threat of court action to extort money. They might even issue proceedings, but I doubt that they would ever want to go to court as the law is on the consumers side, and a court hearing would expose the individuals concerned, and their nasty little tactics for all to see.

Sadly the law doesn't stop scammers from using scare tactics to obtain money from people who are understandably frightened of being dragged through the courts.
Doesn't work like that,Nigel. I can't remember exactly what the report said now, but the scammers used the victim's details to get money as a loan or mortgage; they agreed the contract online, and got an invoice for payments that they ignored, so the lender then sued the victim. It was the defrauded lender that started the legal action, not the scammers. This scam was reputedly widespread in the States, and was expected here within a month or two. It's a particularly nasty one, and hard for the victim to avoid, because the seller has the victim's "yes" in all the relevant places agreeing to the contract. And the scammers were somehow spoofing the victim's phone number.

How you could counter that one, goodness knows. The scammers never expose themselves to being identified, except via the address; but if I understand it rightly, they were taking out e.g. bank loans or mortgages, so the product was never delivered to a physical location. All they needed was a temporary bank account. So long as the loan was from such as a payday lender, they could get away with it here just as easily, because most payday lenders set up the loan over the phone.
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Old 20th August 2017
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Re: Mobile SMS message scam

I think (and hope) that consumer protections in the UK are such that they would never get away with it here, or in most of Europe.

Apart from anything else, I'm sure you would need to physically sign documents to take out any significant loan here.

Unfortunately in the USA business is king, and the 'little people' are just pawns in the game to keep it going.
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Old 20th August 2017
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Re: Mobile SMS message scam

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Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
I think (and hope) that consumer protections in the UK are such that they would never get away with it here, or in most of Europe.

Apart from anything else, I'm sure you would need to physically sign documents to take out any significant loan here.

Unfortunately in the USA business is king, and the 'little people' are just pawns in the game to keep it going.
Have you watched, for instance, Quick Quid's adverts? They say, effectively, that you can do it over the phone. The amount is limited to 1000, but the scammers could soon accrue quite a lot of money at that rate. I know you're supposed to be able to back out of online transactions for the first 28 days; but if you don't know you've been had, you won't do so, will you? And I think the rules for quick loans are different to online purchases (though I've never had an online loan, and never will, so I am not sure what the rules are.)

The same thing of course can be done with scam purchases. So long as the victim doesn't know it's a scam, the scam works. Incidentally, I know people who have been caught with the phone scams that pretend to be from your bank. However much they are shown on TV and elsewhere, people still get caught by the scammers.
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Old 20th August 2017
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Re: Mobile SMS message scam

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Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
Have you watched, for instance, Quick Quid's adverts? They say, effectively, that you can do it over the phone. The amount is limited to 1000, but the scammers could soon accrue quite a lot of money at that rate. I know you're supposed to be able to back out of online transactions for the first 28 days; but if you don't know you've been had, you won't do so, will you? And I think the rules for quick loans are different to online purchases (though I've never had an online loan, and never will, so I am not sure what the rules are.)

The same thing of course can be done with scam purchases. So long as the victim doesn't know it's a scam, the scam works. Incidentally, I know people who have been caught with the phone scams that pretend to be from your bank. However much they are shown on TV and elsewhere, people still get caught by the scammers.
I am happy to say that I watch very little television, and rarely venture onto the commercial channels.

I can see the scammer's modus operandi, but surely to comply with UK law even Quick Quid would need to post out some form of agreement to the 'customer' within a statutory period? The 'customer' must also be given the opportunity to cancel, even if the money was diverted elsewhere.

If the 'customer' has proceedings issued against them the finance company must have their address to do so.

I still hope and suspect that it would be too difficult to pull this one off in the UK. Anyhow, our scammers seem to keep themselves busy ripping off pensioners lump sum payments.

Illegitimi.
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Old 21st August 2017
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Re: Mobile SMS message scam

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Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
I am happy to say that I watch very little television, and rarely venture onto the commercial channels.

I can see the scammer's modus operandi, but surely to comply with UK law even Quick Quid would need to post out some form of agreement to the 'customer' within a statutory period? The 'customer' must also be given the opportunity to cancel, even if the money was diverted elsewhere.

If the 'customer' has proceedings issued against them the finance company must have their address to do so.

I still hope and suspect that it would be too difficult to pull this one off in the UK. Anyhow, our scammers seem to keep themselves busy ripping off pensioners lump sum payments.

Illegitimi.
It's incredibly simple! The payday lenders all advertise that you can ring them or go online for a loan, and the money is in your bank account (for which read 'scammers' bank account') within an hour of approval (which is virtually instant); some even say within ten minutes or so. Doesn't matter whether paperwork or not; takes days - probably a week or more - and when the victim challenges it, the recording with the victim's "yes" recordings in it is played to them by the loan company. Either the victim must pay the first installment, or return the money - which the scammers have run off with. If the victim refuses to do either, around come the heavies. It's almost impossible for the victim to get out of it: one of the "yes"s will be no doubt an answer to a question, like, "Do you understand and accept that you are agreeing to a legal contract?"

When Adobe's website was hacked in 2013, there were some 10 million customer records stolen; since then more big hacks add up to 85 million customer records now for sale on the dark web. Some contain bank account details, some just names, phone numbers, and addresses. The scam that I described just could not be easier to do.

Incidentally, IIRC, our local police warned of it, too.
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Old 21st August 2017
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Re: Mobile SMS message scam

Well perhaps I should make a point of never saying 'yes' on the telephone.

Come to think of it, answering the phone is becoming a dangerous business all round.
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