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(Post Link) post #1 of 27 Old 10-06-19 Thread Starter
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Not Happy Exploiting weakness

Over the past week I've had to help my Mam sort out her hacked FB account. While over there, me, Mam and Dad were chatting about the various vulnerabilities that exist - in fairness I was probably delivering a bit of a lecture about online security.


That developed into some Q&A about cold callers, which flagged up something else a bit worrying, that I'm going to have to look into.


That developed into my Dad explaining how he'd been looking to do something online - via .gov - which he had googled. Turns out he used a link that was prominently returned but wasn't .gov, but a service which supported what my Dad wanted to do via .gov. And charged him £70 for what is, if you go via .gov for yourself, a free service.


Is there no end to the nasty, venal, cynical, sly and rotten lengths that individuals and companies will go to to take money off vulnerable people? Apparently not.
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(Post Link) post #2 of 27 Old 10-06-19 Thread Starter
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There is a shed load of reliable advice available - https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information...rnet-security/

Sometimes it feels easy to gasp and shake the head slowly at how old folk opt to use highly predictable passwords, engage in unsolicited 'phone transactions, and somehow, almost inexplicably, locate the only iffy search return from a massive field of reliable, solid items. :doh:
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I find it incredible that nothing can be done about the google search results for those bogus gov.uk sites. You would think that in known cases ,such as these , Google could have an algorithm that filters them at puts a warning up or ensures the search scores are higher for the real gov.uk sites. The could even close the parasites down ?
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Coincidentally my wife received an email “Update your card details for PayPal” telling her that her listed credit card was about to expire. And it’s not about to expire. What if she replies and gives the sender an update?
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Earlier in the year, someone managed to get into my eBay, Amazon, Facebook and email. All of the email addresses they changed to were in the Russian federation. As a result, I now have 2-stage verification on everything that allows it and a separate email address purely for financial things. I admit I tended to use the same or similar passwords so there was a weakness there. They are now all different and I can't remember a single one.

The weird thing is that the only thing anyone appeared to do was leave a load of feedback for stuff I hadn't bought on Amazon.

It's all too easy to get complacent about this stuff. If it isn't particularly your thing and you lack confidence with it, it's even easier to get exploited.

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Quote:
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That developed into my Dad explaining how he'd been looking to do something online - via .gov - which he had googled. Turns out he used a link that was prominently returned but wasn't .gov, but a service which supported what my Dad wanted to do via .gov. And charged him £70 for what is, if you go via .gov for yourself, a free service.

It wasn't an EHIC card was it? one of my lot got stung with that!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cue2 View Post
I find it incredible that nothing can be done about the google search results for those bogus gov.uk sites. You would think that in known cases ,such as these , Google could have an algorithm that filters them at puts a warning up or ensures the search scores are higher for the real gov.uk sites. The could even close the parasites down ?
What real incentive is there for Google to close down a site they are making money out of. It needs a higher authority to impose financial penalties on those hosting these websites as well as on the search engines
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I happened to pop in to see my mother (a while back) to find her sat infrontof her laptop speaking to someone purporting to be from virgin media. The conversation was coming through the speakers. I soon realisedsomethng dodgy was a foot and pulled the plug on everything.



Apparently they were going to compensate her for a fault on the router... that she knew nothing about. They told her they had transfered an amount back into her account, but had made an error. Given her to much and wanted her to send them monies back to rectify their mistake...



She'd even written out a cheque and was about to hop on to a bus into town to get to the bank so that she could pay them...


#theivingscumbags


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Thankfully my elderly parents are quite wise about scams. A few have tried but thankfully got nowhere.

I simply don't play nice. If there is anyone who asks for me by name rather than having the basic courtesy to introduce themselves clearly and in a well spoken manner, I give them the third degree and hang up.
I don't deal with companies who need to cold call.
I never initiate a contract with any legal entity that I do not contact first.
I use different passwords for websites.

So far, it seems to work.
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My mum got duped (So probably the right word) earlier this year by a cold caller.

Since my dad died last year she's having to deal with things like insurances and got a call saying the TV insurance was due for renewal. So took out a policy for £96 over the phone. Immediately realised she may have done something stupid and rang me. I told her the TV was not insured as a separate item as it was my TV which I gave them!!

The bank were helpful, but couldn't cancel the payment as it was a legitimate company and not fraud. she did receive an insurance document. Comments on the internet were not very complimentary about the company which seemed to target the older population.

She has a learnt a lesson never to deal over the phone with people now, unless she has called them. It could have been a lot worse and ultimately has cost £96 and not a clearout of her bank account!

Now her and her friends talk about these things more and pass on any stories they hear about cold calling scams.

Its not just about the money, but it knocked her confidence in dealing with things that dad used to do and she is still trying to get over his death. (Insert words I can't type on here!!!!)

Grubby conmen praying on the old
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I think you should name & shame this legitimate company - I'd be keen to read some of those comments....
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I'll dig out the name. Want to get it right
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That's dodgy as hell. Insurance policies have to have a 14 day cooling off period, so there's no way it shouldn't have been possible to cancel it and get the money back.
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That's dodgy as hell. Insurance policies have to have a 14 day cooling off period, so there's no way it shouldn't have been possible to cancel it and get the money back.
If you purchase online I believe legally there is a 14 day return opt/out. Something along those lines.
Often offered if you purchase in store but not a legal requirement
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From what I discovered, what they do is not illegal. It might be morally wrong, but not a scam.

Yes we probably could have cancelled, I believe, but my mum just wanted to forget all about it (I am tempted to try and claim a new telly just before the policy expires!). They never even asked what telly it was! 55" 8k OLED it was before it fell off the wall and shattered in to a million pieces!

For reference and for those who may want to inform friends and relatives the company is TV Sparks Ltd.

I believe there are similar calls for washing machines and fridge/fridge freezers going about. Beware!

Also she has received a few calls saying that her internet is going to be cut off in 24hrs (Which it is not!). I have had a couple of these too. She has a call blocker for spam calls but some do get through. She knows know just to hang up on these.

Cheers
Julian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jparkin486 View Post
From what I discovered, what they do is not illegal. It might be morally wrong, but not a scam.

Yes we probably could have cancelled, I believe, but my mum just wanted to forget all about it (I am tempted to try and claim a new telly just before the policy expires!). They never even asked what telly it was! 55" 8k OLED it was before it fell off the wall and shattered in to a million pieces!

For reference and for those who may want to inform friends and relatives the company is TV Sparks Ltd.

I believe there are similar calls for washing machines and fridge/fridge freezers going about. Beware!

Also she has received a few calls saying that her internet is going to be cut off in 24hrs (Which it is not!). I have had a couple of these too. She has a call blocker for spam calls but some do get through. She knows know just to hang up on these.

Cheers
Julian
Scum.
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I'd be making sure that TV insurance paid out mind... I could come round and knock it from it's perch if you like - honest to god accident like....
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I'd be making sure that TV insurance paid out mind... I could come round and knock it from it's perch if you like - honest to god accident like....
Bring some kids and a football for the front room kick around!!
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I'd be making sure that TV insurance paid out mind... I could come round and knock it from it's perch if you like - honest to god accident like....
Trouble is (looking at the comments about the company) the paying out bit is the biggest problem, regardless of how they sold the policies.
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Mis-sold policies, and no payouts - then they truly are scum!

Also worth a mention are those ambulance-chasing cold-calling gyets who I receive calls from about a car accident I didn't have - 2 or 3 times a month, despite blocking most of their numbers.

I saw an episode of 'Can't pay - we'll take it away' some time back and the bailiffs were there to collect on an unpaid amount - turns out one of these ambulance chasers tried to cajole this person into exaggerating their claim and claiming for personal injury when there was none - when the claimant refused and they weren't willing to proceed any further, they charged this claimant for about 3 or 4 grand for their services (which was also most probably exaggerated).

Now I'm not generally a spiteful person, but I hope that company's offices went up in flames, along with the berk who made that decision...
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Too many people concerned with nonsense like legal rights etc.
I educated myself so that I do not have to resign myself to operating legally. I worked out law is more important and there is plenty legal stuff which is unlawful.

Point is knowing all that stuff lets people turn the tables and prey on the unethical such as 'debt' collection companies, bailiffs etc. Life becomes easier when all legal entities decide to avoid entanglement with someone who operates solely with regard to the law.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jparkin486 View Post
From what I discovered, what they do is not illegal. It might be morally wrong, but not a scam.

Yes we probably could have cancelled, I believe, but my mum just wanted to forget all about it (I am tempted to try and claim a new telly just before the policy expires!). They never even asked what telly it was! 55" 8k OLED it was before it fell off the wall and shattered in to a million pieces!

For reference and for those who may want to inform friends and relatives the company is TV Sparks Ltd.
Have only just seen this. You might be interested in what other people are saying about them:
https://whocallsme.com/Phone-Number.aspx/03302230284

Even if they are actually providing genuine insurance, they may still be mis-selling, in which case the Financial Ombudsman would be interested. However, it's tricky if your mother doesn't want to pursue it. And the worst of it is, as you say, the impact it has on someone's confidence and independence.
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Now my dad has had to move to a home we’ve gone through all the “share investments “ he made. Not worth the paper they’re written on. He must have been conned out of £30,000 by people selling to people on the lists that obviously exist. Google any of the funds he bought into and it’s junk.
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(Post Link) post #24 of 27 Old 06-07-19 Thread Starter
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Have only just seen this. You might be interested in what other people are saying about them:
https://whocallsme.com/Phone-Number.aspx/03302230284

Even if they are actually providing genuine insurance, they may still be mis-selling, in which case the Financial Ombudsman would be interested. However, it's tricky if your mother doesn't want to pursue it. And the worst of it is, as you say, the impact it has on someone's confidence and independence.
This. They are embarrassed. Formerly tough, independent folk who raised families in tougher times than these, and probably chased away the scamps and robbers of their day, now fleeced easily.
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I have a very simple rule with my mum, who is 88 and still sharp, but not exactly up to speed with modern scamming techniques.

If anyone pretending to be the bank, investment broker, insurance salesman, the police, or anyone else wanting money calls, there is one answer “my son deals with all that, would you like his number?”. They all put the phone down at this point.

She was a bit sceptical about saying that to someone pretending to be the police, until I pointed out that if they really wanted her, they’d come round in a big van labelled police and stick her in a cage in the back.

The more they’ve put the phone down, the more she has realised the level of scamming going on. She has started to torment the Microsoft support scam artists by claiming she can’t remember where she left the computer “because she’s getting old”. She then takes them on a virtual tour of the house looking for it it....

The biggest problem is that the elderly don’t understand the technology at all. My old neighbour in London used to get terribly confused by voice menu systems when dealing with utility companies “they’re speaking to me but they don’t listen”. I caught my dad in the early 90s writing to the Barclaycard ‘Head of New Accounts” in reply to some spam he’d got, and he was politely declining the offer of a Barclaycard. He thought the bloke had written and signed the letter - he had no idea that it was spat out of the back of a printer along with 5 million others. He was no fool in that respect - on the board of a U.K. bank in the early 70s.
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