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Scam Awareness with the old and vulnerable

Beat the scammers
TalkTalk
Head of Scam Prevention

TalkTalk's Head of Scam Prevention Donna Moor said:

“September has been a busy month, I’ve been out and about to increase awareness of growing threats of scams.”

 

Here's what Donna had to say about her visit to Sheffield:

After seeing a slight increase in the number scammers targeting the elderly in Sheffield, it only felt right to visit the city and offer tips and advise on how to tackle nuisance calls and online scams, which are favored by these criminals. So, I decided to organise an event in partnership with Good Things Foundation and Heeley Development Trust to help tackle the growing threat of scams.


Donna hosting an event in Sheffield about scam preventionDonna hosting an event in Sheffield about scam prevention

The workshop was attended by a large number of people, eager to learn how to better protect themselves from scams. So many of them had already been in contact with the scammers, but thankfully none had fallen victim.

 

One lady approached me after the event, excited to tell me know much she’d learnt from the session. For example, she hadn’t realised that paying for something online using a credit card would offer her more protection compared to a typical debit card transaction.

 

It’s not common knowledge that the Consumer Credit Act under section 75 offers protection of any goods or services you purchase worth £100 to £30,000. So I told them about a friend of mine who is a Financial Advisor for premiership football players and was scammed out of £2,500. As many of us do, he booked and paid for a holiday online.

 

He’d exchanged lots of emails with the operator on the logistics, such as how to collect the keys to his accommodation. All excited, he stood with his children in Ibiza waiting to collect the keys for a villa he’d paid for before he left. After a few hours of waiting, and not being able to contact the person he had made the booking with, it dawned on him that he’d been scammed. Very quickly he had to make alternative arrangements and find a new place to stay. However, as being savvy on payment protection he paid for the accommodation on his credit card and therefore got the full refund. It could have been a very different story if he’d paid by bank transfer, as the scammer originally asked him.

 

It’d you like more information about how to protect yourself from scams, please visit Acton Fraud.

About Donnam

Hey everyone, Donna is the name and Scam prevention is the Game! As the Head of scam prevention, I’m dedicated to putting the scammers out of business.

Check out more blogs from Donnam

7 Comments
Enlightened One

Hi

 

All good stuff ... but TalkTalk really do need look at resourcing the investigation of scam calls and improve the service provided ....

 

I've just looked at the appropriate reporting system and they're currently dealing with reports from mid-November ....

 

If my report comes back with the usual 'Insufficient evidence' reply I'll no be a happy bunny ... the evidence is there. you can check that it's there, so all that's needed is an honest reply that the number is spoofed and that there's nothing the TalkTalk is willing to do about fixing this tide of irritaing calls which literally millions of customers receive ...

 

Yes, the word you read was 'willing' and as such that is the correct term ... the technology is pretty simple to check for spoofed identity at the network access point, it can be built, it can be installed, it can be utilised ... agreed, there's a cost, but isn't that the issue - nothing will happen until the issue hits the corporate bottom line .... maybe the regulator should rule that delivering spoofed calls will result in a compensatory payment to the customer ... I wonder how quickly the issue of spoofing numbers & scam calls would appear on the senior management 'urgent' list if that was the case! ...

 

   

Head of Scam Prevention

HI @zeus_olympios

 

Thanks for your comments.

 

Nothing matters more to us than protecting our customers against scam calls which is why we've just launched a new calling feature CallSafe, which puts a stop to unwanted callers.

 

In relation to your comments about Check & Report, we do review all numbers reported that meet the specific criteria and block them within the hour.  However this is for those that only reach certain criteria making sure we are reviewing numbers that have a high impact on our network, rather than all singleton issues.  This is why you will see some numbers come up from November that has just been reviewed.

 

I am pleased to see the number you recently reported has met the specific criteria and has been blocked, so many thanks for reporting that.

 

As I am sure you're aware we do have considered carefully numbers we are blocking on our network.

 

In terms of blocking scam calls on our network, we are constantly reviewing and monitoring our network to identify scam callers, however, they are getting more sophisticated in removing all tracks and traceability.  As I am sure you're aware many small and large business today make calls from spoofed numbers and therefore cannot put a blanket block on such types of calls.

 

Regards

Donna

Enlightened One

Accepted, but ... Over the past couple of hours I've received two more call from different spoofed numbers ... from what you seem to have admitted, you are unable to cope with the new methodoly or technology & that's unacceptable because you are unable/unwilling to identify spoofing on a proactive basis ...

 

However ...

 

Your network receives traffic from other networks via interconnections. It is amply possible to check for CLID validity at these points, it's just as likely that a call carrying (say) an Aberdeen CLID being received on an international connection carrying traffic from abroad is a spoof attempt as it is if the network entry point is in a tiny exchange in Zennor on Cornwall as Aberdeen calls will not enter at that point .... exactly the same logic can be applied to routing IP packets, therefore it's possible to provide exactly the same provision for VOIP too ...

 

Unable, or unwilling is the real question ...        

Head of Scam Prevention

Number spoofing is an issue which causes a challenge for all of the UK Communications Providers, with whom we collaborate regularly on the issue of nuisance and scam calls.

 

Due to many UK companies operating off-shore offices and contact centres, it is not so simple to block all calls coming from abroad with UK CLIs. As many traditional interconnects with local BT exchanges are moving to consolidated VoIP interconnects, the investment in a system to check whether every call has come from the most relevant and obvious interconnect (or the designated overflow route choices) is unjustifiable – particularly as the scammers would just need to spoof CLIs in the same area code as the dialled number to bypass such a blocking mechanism.

 

TalkTalk as part of the NICC Nuisance Call and CLI working group are investigating STIR which is a system for secure key authentication of UK CLIs and it’s feasibility of adoption in the UK for a more robust answer to stopping number spoofing.

 

Please rest assured that we do take this issue seriously.

 

The best option for stopping these calls today is to sign up for our new CallSafe feature, which will allow you to screen all inbound calls. Most nuisance and scam callers hang up as soon as the call is intercepted, and your phone will not even ring.

First Timer

I sometimes get calls from unknown numbers and when I try to call it back to check the identity of the caller it isn't a valid number. How will CallSafe deal with such a number?

Head of Scam Prevention

Hi @EdmundT

 

Thanks for your post.

 

Callsafe works by screening unknown callers, so if the person who is calling you is not on your approved or blocked list they will be asked to say their name and press #.  This is where scammers usually hang up, so you're phone doesn't even ring.

 

Does that answer your question?

 

Donna

First Timer

Hi Donna

 

Thanks for your swift response and yes, this does answer my question thank you. I had been focussing on how I would add such spoofed numbers to my blocked list but of course that won't apply as you've pointed. I'm going to set up Calls Safe now!