Thursday, 5 November 2015

Scammers

First of all, welcome to Deborah Riendeau via here.

I caught bits and bobs of a programme on Channel 5 tv last night "Secrets of the scammers" see here and how they get more of your personal information than you realise! If you are able to watch them do so. Yes it can be quite frightening, but forewarned if forearmed.

One story featured a lady in a block of flats where all the new style letter-box types mail boxes were just inside the entrance door. It was shown just how easy it was to slip your hand inside and pull out mail within reach - quite easy as it happens!

Mail such as bank statements, can taken which give the scammers your bank details. They then found out more personal information by looking on line at electoral rolls (easily available), Facebook, Twitter etc. Not just the targets online links, but also those of your  friends and family, gradually building up information as they go. Such a trawl was also repeated on others. Birthdays, pets names, parents names etc.

Before long (and it really was not long), they had filled in bank loan forms to request £8000 I think it was. Luckily, she had realised that something was wrong before that and informed her bank who stopped the application.

The next bank did not and this time, a larger loan was being requested. She was vigilent and lucky but despite being aware and checking her online credit information on a daily basis, she knows that eventually they or those they sell the information onto, will try again.

Others scams were shown such as getting an app for your mobile phone that takes photographs of you, listens to you, building up more information as they go. It can just as easily be your pad, tablet or computer.

DB and myself stuck a little sticker over our camera's many months ago, just in case. We never walk away from our computer leaving it on. At the very least, they get put to sleep.

How easy are your online passwords?. Do you mix and match upper and lower case, numbers and symbols? Do you use a similar password for all your online activity? How often do you change your passwords to be on the safe side?

People today do seem to readily give everything away on their Facebook and Twitter pages. Even members of my own family have their birthdays on there, where they live and work, what they are up to on a routine basis.

Even if they didn't, then chances are, their friends will and before long, their information is being bandied around.

Everyone likes to think it won't happen to them. However, if it does, how would you feel if you needed a loan, a mortgage, even a credit reference for a job to find out the only information the institutions can access, is all negative.

What if someone steals your identity, runs up huge financial debts in your name, declares themselves bankrupt before moving onto the next sucker. You would really be in a pickle, probably for the rest of your life.

WAKE UP and ACT,  before it is TOO LATE!

14 comments:

  1. We're super careful, but not to the point of worrying about stuff.
    Our passwords for everything take ages to type as they're so convoluted, there's no way anyone would ever be able to guess them!
    Friends of ours used to keep a notebook beside their computer with all their log in and password details in. When I mentioned it, they seemed to think I was being neurotic, so I took a sneaky peek, and when I got home, logged into their bank account and transferred ten pounds to myself. I immediately rang and told them what I'd done, and transferred the money back, but it had the desired effect, they now keep passwords hidden. I should point out that these are our oldest friends, we women met on our first day at primary school and have been close ever since. I would not have accessed anyone else's bank details!
    I do wonder sometimes whether my FiL is quite as careful as he should be, we have impressed on him that he should never give any details over the phone, and to always speak to DH or myself about any calls he gets. He's not got dementia or any memory problems, but he has a tendency to not listen properly to what he's told. Eventually we persuaded him to change all his bank accounts to joint ones with DH, and the accounts are set up so that nothing can be paid out from them without DH's authority. I know not everyone would want to do this, but it's a sure fire way of making sure he doesn't get scammed!
    If only more people would check things out, through the CAB or a Solicitor (most of whom will answer a simple query over the phone and without charge), scammers would have a far harder time of it!

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    1. Very true to all of that! You can still get caught out if not careful but probably less so in your case:)

      Discarding paper work properly is another bug bear of mine!

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    2. Our shredder is very well used, anything with any of our details on goes through it. My bugbear is unsolicited mail, application forms for insurance, catalogues etc which are already filled in with my name and address, it's such a waste of paper, and my time having to shred them all.

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  2. Hi, I have just come across your blog and glad I did! You have some great posts on here

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  3. I've had a few calls within the last few weeks claiming to be from my internet provider ( the one who's just been hacked!) telling me that there's a problem with my router and I need to turn my pc on in order for them to fix it! Needless to say I hung up. I tap in a code to bar the number every time but they keep coming back. I've become very wary of online money transactions too. One more thing to worry about!

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    1. We are fed up with phone calls although it varies how many we get from day to day.

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  4. We have an accounts package on our hard drive which separate to all on line accounts and each week we check all payments and balance our accounts That way we are on top of any activities. We have no credit cards or accounts in stores so no information running around! I always worry when people on facebook etc say they are away from home - I wait till we are back before telling anyone! Spending your life guarding yourself or being treated as potential thief by everyone else is so wearing - I can understand why so many people just want to run away to the hills and hide!

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    1. Many years ago out debit card got cloned at an outside cash machine. They emptied our cash account within a few hours. We knew the next morning as we check each day. We did get our money back and although we thought we were quite savvy before that, we are far better now.

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  5. For a dollar we can have our names removed from lists of catalogues and circulars. I have done this and now it is very rare that I receive any junk mail and then it is usually local pizza delivery..it took about two months to get rid of everything.
    I have credit cards and a FB and twitter account. There is always risk of IT but it is quite low and I try to avoid paranoia over it. I have to interact and integrate with the modern world and accept that there is a risk in doing this as with most things. I would nt cover my camera; it may make you feel more in control but wont make much difference in the run. I do try to make sure that if my identity is stolen I have some protection. Find out what your protections are, it can help to put things in perspective. There are companies out there who, for a fee, promise to protect you from this sort of thing....I think they are tapping into fear and would never employ them. I take reasonable precautions and get on with my life.....

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    1. Although you seem to think I appear paranoid, I'm not. I have worked in the data industry for a large part of my life and know just how easy it is to get hold of other peoples information. So it is also easy for scammers to gain control. Despite being on a email,postal and phone block lists, as are lots of people in the UK, it doesn't make any difference here in the UK.

      Tons of scam post gets delivered by the postman as the delivery company is paid by companies to do this. We can occasionally receive up to 3 calls a day by companies phoning from abroad who are not covered by the UK laws banning them from contacting us. Most email does get blocked if you have a good enough blocker but some does still get through. It may well be different in the US but over here, we appear to be 'open for business' so precautions need to be taken.

      Even our banking and other institutions are guilty of dumping sensitive paperwork without first shredding it.

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  6. I heard something somewhere about a man who tried to withdraw his name from everywhere to "disappear" from being online - it was impossible.So much information is just hanging about waiting to be accessed - frightening.
    I suddenly thought as we were driving to Ipswich yesterday that I had announced to all and sundry in Blogworld that we were going to be out, I've been very careful before. All was OK when we got home - Phew!

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    1. It is a bain isn't it, no doubt the chap was very annoyed at not being able to disappear. Once electronic information is gathered, stored off line (or even in some cases) stored in good old writing, it is forever out there.

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  7. You do have to be very aware don't you. xx

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