Ah, where would the world be without slimy, despicable individuals trying to scam poor and unfortunate people out of their money? Almost an accepted part of the social contract, scammers are frequently trying to trick and connive their way ahead using trickery and deception as their tools of the trade. With remorseless vigour, these charlatans can be hard to catch and nearly impossible to detect before they take their first victims.
Telus is warning customers of a new scam in which the crooks call Telus phones claiming to be from the company and claiming to offer thousands of dollars in valuable, exciting travel bucks.
Telus spokesman Shawn Hall says the company has received a number of calls over the last 24 hours about the alleged reward from the phone company.
Apparently the phone rings from a 905 number and a recorded message says “Hello because you’re a valued Telus customer you are going to receive 3000 travel dollars, to accept this press 1.”
Pressing 1 leads to a conversation with an individual that attempts to milk personal information out of the caller in exchange for the travel dollars. Telus says that this isn’t a new scam but that it is the first time that this particular bit of thievery is taking hold in Alberta and British Columbia. The 905 number originates in Ontario.
The scammers are apparently using an auto-dialler to make the calls.
In March of 2009, Telus posted a message on its website warning consumers of what it deemed to be a rise in scams. Among the more common scams were fraudulent emails to Telus.net email customers and the ever-popular credit card limit increase phone scam.
Other popular and common scams include the classic Nigerian prince email scams, called advance-fee fraud, and the overblown but much publicized “809 Caribbean” scam which made customers rack up huge phone bills waiting for “important news” about a relative or some other such thing.
Telus simply advises customers to not give out personal information to those callers that may be fraudulent, suggesting that telemarketers that are legit will “always know your name.” This isn’t necessarily complete advice, however, as many scammers use personal names and other bits of personal information to fool unsuspecting consumers.
The best advice is to never give out any personal information of value, especially credit card numbers or personal banking information, over the telephone. Responsible businesses always collect this information in other ways and have strict policies in place to not request or require telephone transfer of this information.
Scammers often prey on the elderly and other more vulnerable citizens, making the old adage of “use common sense” a tricky one to enforce given the often “professional” nature of today’s crooks. It’s always best to err on the side of caution in all business and personal exchanges of information and to leave nothing to chance. There are always safer, better ways to exchange information than over the telephone.
Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca