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 2022-06-07, 17:38 #430 mart_r     Dec 2008 you know...around... 3·269 Posts Phony calls Speaking about phone calls, "Microsoft" employees are still doing them. Just about four days ago, I had the pleasure for the second time. They even spoke German this time around, well, sort of. Too bad I wasn't really prepared, but I still had some fun talking about all the different PCs and Laptops I have, all of which work fine, but of course, I can't tell, because I'm not "a technical person". I kept asking them which "error messages" they get, and they kept saying "this one", insisting that I should look online - by the way I told them I haven't been online from a PC running Windows for several years, which is not quite true, but who cares... After a minute or two, the woman who first talked to me called for help from her "Jenny", who then spoke in a similar accent and broken German, and tried for maybe another five minutes to explain why my PC was broken, then she gave up. I was hoping they were a little more creative. Edit: What also was funny, I didn't say my name when I answered the call, and repeatedly during the call, they were about to say Mr so-and-so, but they didn't seem to recall my name, so there seemed to be an awkward second of silence after they said "Mister..." Last fiddled with by mart_r on 2022-06-07 at 18:01
 2022-06-14, 13:48 #431 EdH     "Ed Hall" Dec 2009 Adirondack Mtns 113758 Posts Code: I am so sorry to send you this email need an urgent favor. I'm supposed to get an ebay gift card OR Apple iTunes gift card for my friend who is a breast cancer patient, It's her last birthday but i can't do this now because I'm currently traveling and i tried purchasing online but unfortunately no luck with that. Can you get it from any store around you? I'll pay back as soon as i am back. Kindly let me know if you can handle this so i can tell you how much. Blessings! Familiar Name This must be bad. "Familiar Name" is a doctor and normally has much better English than this. He must be upset. I'm lost, though. I don't have any Ebay or Apple stores up here in the mountains. (Walmart is even an hour away.) This must be valid - I've gotten identical emails from more than one friend! But they don't tell me who the mutual friend is.
 2022-06-14, 14:01 #432 Uncwilly 6809 > 6502     """"""""""""""""""" Aug 2003 101×103 Posts 1071710 Posts I got hammered yesterday with about 6 to 8 phone calls claiming to be from Amazon. They were "trying to confirm the purchase of [an expensive phone] using your Amazon account." Press 1 to confirm 2 to cancel.
 2022-06-14, 15:18 #433 EdH     "Ed Hall" Dec 2009 Adirondack Mtns 4,861 Posts I get those now and then, as well. I used to get a nice lady telling me there was nothing wrong with my credit card account. I always thanked her, and I was so relieved to be told this. I haven't heard from her lately. Do you think something might be wrong now?
 2022-07-27, 01:57 #435 Dr Sardonicus     Feb 2017 Nowhere 2·29·103 Posts Here's a new one on me: I got an offer to help me enroll in the student loan forgiveness program. And this was odd, because, you see, I never had a student loan. So, this was obviously a scam. The recorded message said they want to help me fill out an application, so I reckoned they were phishing. Of course, they didn't say who they were. Even odder was the ending of the message, to the effect that if I wasn't in the student loan program, to disregard the message. This, despite the "our records show that..." at the beginning. The other novel aspect of this was, it came as a voice mail to my land line phone. My answering machine alerted me that I had a new voice mail. I almost never get voice mails to that phone, and I've never gotten a scam that way before. And it was from a "mail box" with a long string of digits as an identifier. But they did helpfully give a toll-free number to call. It was 1-800-710-2436. So I googled the number, and guess what. They're phishing.
 2022-08-04, 02:33 #436 Dr Sardonicus     Feb 2017 Nowhere 2·29·103 Posts I got a really weird call to my cell phone on 2 August 2022. Caller ID said "unavailable," which told me right away it was some kind of scam. I let it go to voice mail. And lo and behold, not long after the call ended, my phone signaled that a new voice mail had come in. And then came the weird part. It was some guy claiming he was returning my call, and gave a number to call back - including an extension. Which was weird, since the number the call had actually come from was "unavailable." Besides, I recognized the area code for the call back number, and I knew I hadn't called that area code. So I googled the number they had told me to call back. And it was a legit number - some kind of mountain resort. I struck out on the extension, though. I made some more inquiries. As best I can tell, this is a kind of scam I'd never encountered before. It seems that some scammers are able to "hijack" the numbers of legitimate business - redirect incoming calls to that number somewhere else. In this case that probably was the "unavailable" number they'd called from. My guess is that this type of scam is criminal impersonation - they pose as a legitimate business, get customers' money intended for that business, and disappear.
 2022-08-04, 10:00 #437 LaurV Romulan Interpreter     "name field" Jun 2011 Thailand 10,093 Posts If I have access to your phone box, or to the server in case you use VoIP (like we do in our company), I can easily install a fake extension and redirect it to whenever else in the world. For example, in our company all the extensions (4 digits) start with either 1, 2, or 3, which generally is the floor of the building, but there are also few "strange" numbers, like for external security, or for some of our overseas offices, so if somebody doesn't like to call Germany or Hongkong, they just can dial the Thai number followed by the right extension and talk to our office in HK - which is routed over the IP and it doesn't cost additional money. So, in theory, me, or a bad guy in IT, could install some extension which redirects all calls to you. Still, some customer will only dial the number, and request the extension when our receptionist picks up, and if that happens, the receptionist will be skilled enough in her job to catch the fake extension number and alert somebody.
2022-08-04, 13:44   #438
Uncwilly
6809 > 6502

"""""""""""""""""""
Aug 2003
101×103 Posts

247358 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by LaurV If I have access to your phone box, or to the server in case you use VoIP (like we do in our company), I can easily install a fake extension and redirect it to whenever else in the world. For example, in our company all the extensions (4 digits) start with either 1, 2, or 3, which generally is the floor of the building,
The "how to reset" info for most of the phone systems is easily available online. If passwords have not been reset, there is vulnerability. The one for my work location needs access from a special phone to do it. But, I suspect there is a way in remotely.

2022-08-04, 23:36   #439
wblipp

"William"
May 2003
New Haven

3×7×113 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus I got a really weird call to my cell phone on 2 August 2022. Caller ID said "unavailable," which told me right away it was some kind of scam. I let it go to voice mail. And lo and behold, not long after the call ended, my phone signaled that a new voice mail had come in. And then came the weird part. It was some guy claiming he was returning my call, and gave a number to call back - including an extension.
It is possible the guy that called you was the original target of the spam or scam, and he received it with your phone number spoofed as the caller ID. I get one or two calls a year from people "calling back" like this.

2022-08-05, 00:05   #440
Dr Sardonicus

Feb 2017
Nowhere

2×29×103 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by wblipp It is possible the guy that called you was the original target of the spam or scam, and he received it with your phone number spoofed as the caller ID. I get one or two calls a year from people "calling back" like this.
It's possible, but with the call I got, I think it's very unlikely.

Right off the bat, the number the call came from was "unavailable" to Caller ID. A legitimate business (which the call back number was for) doesn't block its phone number from Caller ID.

When legitimate businesses call, they say who they are. This caller didn't. He said he was from "outreach" but not outreach for who or what. I only found out what outfit the call back number was for by googling the number. And when I added the extension, I struck out. Several extensions showed up in the search, but not the one I was told to call.

I note in this regard, many company phone systems have robotic "receptionists" which prompt the caller with a message like, "If you know the 4-digit extension of the person you are trying to reach, you may enter it now." No smart human receptionist who would recognize the extension as a fake.

Stupid machines!

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