I've been getting phone calls from 'HMRC'

Zombie Twin

Well-known Member
We get loads of these, and my wife loves when the scammers call personally, rather than just using messages.

The best ones are when they are claiming to be your insurance company, or some other business you deal with. They will ask you for your password, claiming to be accessing the system to get you a special deal, and it's always priceless when you tell them that you have to ask THEM for your password, a security measure which throws them every time. They think you are confused, and talk to you like an idiot ("No, you have give me password") or they panic because they haven't run into this before, and have no protocols to follow. They usually hang up when they realise they've been rumbled.

My wife also likes letting them come out with all of their spiel, stringing them along for as long as possible and getting their hopes up before crushing them at the end. There was one where the scammer tried to con her bank details out of her in a pretty clumsy way, resulting in her asking "Just how stupid do you think I am?". He tried to be smart, but the Missus gave him a right bollocking and he rather humbly apologised and hung up.

I have told her that next time, when they ask for a password, that she gets their hopes up by playing along and tells them: "OK, it's P One Five S [space] Zero F F" and see how long it takes the penny to drop.
 
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Tight Git

Distinguished Member
Unless you have the ability to block numbers, don't forget they can get their own back by ringing you in the middle of the night!
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Unless you have the ability to block numbers, don't forget they can get their own back by ringing you in the middle of the night!
My phone automatically goes silent at night, except for a small whitelist of numbers.
 

Tight Git

Distinguished Member
My phone automatically goes silent at night, except for a small whitelist of numbers.

Same here, but that didn't stop it from ringing at 2am! :eek:

It was my brother-in-law (in Costa Rica) trying to contact his ex-wife (in Malaysia) and getting confused with the time zones.

Sometimes you just can't win... :facepalm:
 

ashenfie

Well-known Member
Ignore if you mark the call in a phone directory as blocked and don't answer them. if you answer them then they know your phone is active
 

Zombie Twin

Well-known Member
Would you believe that the wife just had another scammer call her!

They claimed (again) to be my Sky protection company, and that my current contract was about to expire - they needed my current password to renew at the same rate. Again, she told them that THEY had the password, and needed to give it to me in order to proceed. Oh, and that we are on a rolling contract with them, being renewed automatically.

They persisted that she give them the password. Again, she said it was they who needed to do so. The caller claimed that the company was split into two different departments, and her half didn't have access at that time, so needed the password from the wife.

I heard raised voices from downstairs, and made out:

"Look, 'KAREN', the security protocol is that the company has the password to stop scammers like yourself from accessing my account. Now, either you give me the password or you can hang up the phone".

She repeated this about three more times before the scammer finally gave up and presumably tried to con someone else.

The wife loves a fight when she is in the right! :)
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I've had three calls in total in the last few days off a London number 02032874545. Asian sounding woman with some good news as I have been overcharged income tax for the last three years. Yea yea I know you're trying to scam me, bye bye.

Less than a minute later phone rang again, same number. This is HMRC, we are not trying to scam you, I'm here to help you recover your overpaid tax. OK, what's my National Insurance number? We are not allowed to give that out because of data protection. Right them, my surname would be a good start. Err, wait a minute. At this point I put the phone down.

Third call. Now sir, do you know it's illegal to ignore a call from HMRC. I'm trembling with fear now sod off.

These were all on my mobile they were so close together that I didn't even have time to put them into the blocked calls.
 

stblob

Well-known Member
Trust me, the last time I had one of those call, it was a women trying to scam me. After what I said, I think they've blocked my number. Lol
 

MSW

Suspended
I would really enjoy, like some of the posts above, to string the scammers, frustrate them generally just waste there time. However, I recall once watching a program where the Fraud or IT SME / Consultant said “In the main general common sense / awareness will be enough to protect yourself however, if you are specifically chosen to be hacked etc there is little you do about it”

Hence, I just don’t answer calls / hang up as I don’t want to piss the scammers off to such an extent that they decide to make me a special case for hacking”
 

zantarous

Distinguished Member
Put me in the class where if the number is not in my contacts I don't answer, if they are genuine they will leave a VM (although I can't believe how many don't).

Only have a house phone as every time I talk to virgin about disconnecting TV and phone they reduce my bill.

I do look up some of these number for the odd occasion I do answer the number, I recently had someone who told me the insulation I had installed in the loft last year was faulty and they would send someone over to check it out free of charge. I pointed out I live in a rented flat and there is no loft and then I asked where they got my number and he made up some fake organisation for home owners and I said again I rent and don't own a home. That brought the call to abrupt halt.

If I can be bothered I do fill out a report at the ico site.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
A couple of days ago I missed a call and when I looked at the phone the calling number had been withheld.
Shame, I could have strung them along for a few minutes.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
I've had three calls in total in the last few days off a London number 02032874545. Asian sounding woman with some good news as I have been overcharged income tax for the last three years. Yea yea I know you're trying to scam me, bye bye.
Numbers beginning 0203 are non geographic so there is a good chance it is someone who is outside the UK.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Had another interesting one this afternoon from 01213189515, again on my mobile. Apparently their records show that I have had an accident in the last three years. Again an Asian sounding lady.

How very astute of you. Indeed I have had an accident about two years ago. I was taking part in a farting contest and well, at my age I should have known better and I followed through. One pair of Marks and Spencer Y Fronts ruined. Can I claim.

She put the phone down.

Gibbsy 1. Scammers 0. :thumbsup:
 

Notorious PIG

Well-known Member
My MIL’s house phone in the US rings non stop with scammers. They start early, 9am, and carry on all day. So while we were over there, we’d answer a few of them each day, in between out little trips out, before unplugging the phone. Aim was to keep them on the phone as long as possible and make them angry/upset.

Normally they’d begin with ‘hi! How are you today?’ to which my husband would reply ‘well, I wish I was dead’ to which they’d either say ‘oh, sorry to hear that’ or ‘that’s great’ and then immediately start their rubbish talk and trying to get details for the scamming.

So, we’d feed them a load of false details as time-consumingly as possible, while also telling them to hold on for five mins while we went for a dump/find paperwork/find a pen/etc.

One time my husband spelled out his name letter by letter when the lady asked him to, so he did: ‘p, a, n, and then c, h, o, d’ and the lady got very upset and abusive and was using f-words and all sorts 😂

Immature? Yes. Entertaining? Absolutely!
 

thekilljoy

Active Member
My MIL’s house phone in the US rings non stop with scammers. They start early, 9am, and carry on all day. So while we were over there, we’d answer a few of them each day, in between out little trips out, before unplugging the phone. Aim was to keep them on the phone as long as possible and make them angry/upset.

Normally they’d begin with ‘hi! How are you today?’ to which my husband would reply ‘well, I wish I was dead’ to which they’d either say ‘oh, sorry to hear that’ or ‘that’s great’ and then immediately start their rubbish talk and trying to get details for the scamming.

So, we’d feed them a load of false details as time-consumingly as possible, while also telling them to hold on for five mins while we went for a dump/find paperwork/find a pen/etc.

One time my husband spelled out his name letter by letter when the lady asked him to, so he did: ‘p, a, n, and then c, h, o, d’ and the lady got very upset and abusive and was using f-words and all sorts 😂

Immature? Yes. Entertaining? Absolutely!
P A N C O D ?
 

jurassicmark

Well-known Member
I had a call yesterday with an automated voice telling me that they've suspended my National Insurance Number due to making unethical purchases. They then asked me to press 1 but I hung up instead.

I wonder how many people get taken in by that as what's unethical is open to interpretation and it may worry some people.

The number was 07618191613 which I blocked and reported as spam.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
2-3 weeks back I had a call from a blocked number.
Unfortunately I wasn't near the phone so I could play with them.
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
The HMRC one seems to be back in fashion, I get at least one a week. I love how they always insist on using British sounding names, like John Smith, when they are obviously in India. It’s so unconvincing, and it not like we don’t have people with Asian names in the UK (or deal with Indian based call centres that use their real name).
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
There’s no payment mechanism in the UK where a person can be charged to their bill for a call they’ve not originated by pressing a digit.

There’s drop charge numbers and premium ‘per minute’ numbers but you get charged if you originate the call.

It’s a common misconception.

The reason they ask you to press a digit on these bait calls is to see if there’s any intent from you to find out more.
👍

Actually it’s not an entirely unfounded urban myth. There used to be a mechanism whereby with a bit of trickery they were able to cause a redirect to a different number. There also used to be a service, intended for ‘legit’ companies, where you could charge for services that the scammer exploited. Furthermore, there was briefly a period where one of the services that allows for charging to phone bills (like they use on the PlayStation network) was being exploited. These ‘loopholes’ as far as I am aware have been closed, but they are clever sods. But you are correct, there is virtually no risk of addition phone charges now.

The reason you press a number is simply to connect you to a free scam call handler. They use robo-dialers that auto call numbers. They only have to randomly generate 6 digit numbers (the first 5 digits are already known for uk operators).

I quite enjoy the YouTube channels where they prank them, sometimes very clever. Whatever the scam ‘topic’ (tax refund, Amazon delivery charge etc..) the scammers goal is almost always to get you to go to your PC and log into your online banking after allowing them access to control your PC remotely (failing that, they just try and extract info like passwords for secondary scams.) Some of the YouTubers use virtual machines then successfully reverse the connection and gain complete access to the scammers PC, and sometimes their network (including CCTV).

The best are; Jim Browning, Kitbogo and Scammer Payback.

Some people even used to setup their own premium rate number, get the scammer to call that by leaving it on the internet for number scraping bots to find, and see how long they can keep them on the phone to earn some money.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
Had another call this morning. I had been involved in a traffic accident two years ago. It's now been settled and we have the money to pay into your account. Must have been a bad one, I told the caller, must have banged my head because I can remember sod all about it. Go and try scamming someone else. Guy laughed and put the phone down.

Number was 08704740148.
 

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