Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Telephone Scam ?

Actually I suppose it isn't new, but it is new to me.
It's essentially a different way of presenting an old trick that I nearly fell for it, and I'm blogging it to prevent you falling for it.

Last week I was phoned by a lassie with a very pleasant Scots accent - somewhere in the Central belt, I think, but not Glasgow or Edinburgh.

She said she was conducting a survey on behalf of Genealogy UK magazine to find out about the family historian audience in the UK.

That's believable, though I hadn't heard of the title, there are probably lots of magazines I don't know.

She said she would ask me several questions and she asked me to indicate the answers by pressing numbers on my telephone so that they could be captured automatically and stored in a database.

The first question was "How long have you been researching your family history ?"
0 for not yet started
1 for less than 1 year
2 for 1 to 3 years
3 for 3 to 5 years
4 for 5 to 10 years
5 for more than 10 years

I was just about to press 5, when it occurred to me that whatever number I pressed, I might be connected to a premium rate line, so I just put down the phone.

The BT 1471 service told me "We do not have the caller's number to return", which I think means that the call originated outside the UK.

I wouldn't have blogged this at all, had it not been a genealogical pretence, however, a friend who has not researched their family history, also had a similar call.

I've since discovered that there is no Genealogy UK magazine.

Have you had such a call ?


Janice Sheller said...

Thanks for heads up! It's pretty scary. You can just receive a call and not know if you're getting charged for it. Scammers really have brilliant minds when it comes to stealing.

Got a call like that, though. But it was an automated message which asked me to call back a number and I did. I only got voice prompts and was asked to key in extensions. And I still did. I didn't know how long I stayed on the line pressing on the number buttons until I had to leave for work. The next thing I know, I got a $360 charge on my bill for the call. I had to dispute every cent of it since it was a scam.

Peter Munro said...

In return, thanks for sharing your experience. I got home today and found a voicemail asking me to ring a Birmingham number during working hours but with no other details and no inkling of who they were.

So I think that's suspicious, and I won't ring them back.

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