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A scam phone calls and emails discussion.

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RichT54

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6 Jun 2018
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There have been a number of email, text and phone scams involving covid vaccinations. The main objective is to get you to provide your banking details as a means of verification, which of course is something the NHS would never do.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55563748

The scam tells recipients they are "eligible to apply for your vaccine" with a link to a bogus NHS website, trading standards officers have warned.
That, in turn, asks for personal information and - crucially - bank details "for verification".
 

Peter C

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As far as I'm aware, the NHS will only contact you regarding a vaccine via post or a phone call from your GP. I may be wrong though as I've not paid much attention to the specifics.

-Peter
 

DarloRich

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do you think it is a scam? if you think it is it probably is.

Does the wording or sentence structure seem "odd". Do you think the NHS would write to you in such a manner? Would the NHS use an indian website? Do you think the NHS would be sending you an email from a hotmail account?
 

swt_passenger

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do you think it is a scam? if you think it is it probably is.

Does the wording or sentence structure seem "odd". Do you think the NHS would write to you in such a manner? Would the NHS use an indian website? Do you think the NHS would be sending you an email from a hotmail account?
Definitely, just the bit “NHS is performing selections...” gives it away immediately IMHO.
 

eMeS

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For the record I'm over 80; and I was given a telephone number to call regarding my Covid 19 vaccination. After several attempts, I got through, my email address was recorded and the appointment was made. When I put the phone down, I received an email confirmation of the date for the first jab. After having the jab, I received an email confirming the time & date for the second jab. Then it got complicated with several emails confirming/cancelling/postponing the second jab.
 

MarlowDonkey

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As far as I'm aware, the NHS will only contact you regarding a vaccine via post or a phone call from your GP. I may be wrong though as I've not paid much attention to the specifics.

-Peter
This winter's flu vaccination came as a text from the GP practice. I had to activate a print link to get a printed letter to take along. A more recent text told me to be patient and wait to be notified about a COVID vaccination.
 

Peter C

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This winter's flu vaccination came as a text from the GP practice. I had to activate a print link to get a printed letter to take along. A more recent text told me to be patient and wait to be notified about a COVID vaccination.
Ah OK - thanks. :)
Going back to the email specifically, personally I'd stay clear of it. Seems dodgy!

-Peter
 

87 027

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what do they get, is it a ask for a PIN number or something? I haven't gone into the link to find out what happens.
I have heard of a scam whereby on accepting a vaccine “invitation” the applicant is asked to pay an up-front fee which the scammer says the NHS will subsequently refund. I agree with the advice above to steer clear...
 

heart-of-wessex

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Interesting! Yes I was 99% sure it was a scam just by the way it was laid out and an unusual link, just wondered why they would want to scam you, but I see now. Never heard of the paying fee's for a vaccination and getting refund scam, but then I haven't been paying attention to the news or news items recently.

I did get a text from the surgery stating that I would be contacted for a jab, and not to contact the centre for a date.
 

87 027

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Criminals are using the COVID-19 vaccine as a way to target the public by tricking them into handing over cash or financial details.

These resources can be used when communicating with citizens to raise awareness of the scams and to encourage people to be alert.
 

Peter C

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Atomic Shrimp, a YouTube who has made many a video about scam emails, has just uploaded a video about this exact email. I highly recommend everyone watch it:
He's been 'scambaiting' (wasting scammers' time) for many years and is quite knowledgeable on the subject.

-Peter
 

pdeaves

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Funnily enough work sent out a 'beware the scam' communication today on this very subject. A helpful hint in it is that the legit website is www.nhs.uk; anything purporting to be NHS but using nhs . gov . uk is fake.
 

najaB

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Never heard of Coronavirus spam, I mean what is the outcome, what do they get, is it a ask for a PIN number or something?
I suspect it's a multi-step scam. More than likely the people who respond will get an appointment date that 's a few weeks out, then there will be a we've had some cancellations, send us a few £££ to bump them up the queue.

Edit: Hadn't seen the linked video.
 

AnyFile

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As a first step, if you click on the link they would know that your email is an email which is read.
I do not know which page you are offered if you click, but probably you are asked to
fill a form with your personal information.
Such information are very useful and valuable to scammers.
They would be able to send you new scam emails that will appear even more genuine because filled with your personal details.

Never click on link in a message received in a email unless you are really sure it is genuine
and never give out any of your personal details unless you are sure it is a genuine request
 

Jamesrob637

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[Re: the Indian scamming industry]

Not so readily. There are several factors that make India a particularly favourable base for phone scamming.

1) Outside of the West, India has an exceptionally high proportion of good, or at least passable, speakers of English from whom to recruit scam centre agents.

2) India has a large legitimate call centre industry already, and the scam industry is a spin-off. Both my previous phone provider (BT) and ISP had Indian call centres. Many scammers are their ex-employees, and received training for dealing with Western customers that way. Some scammers work at legitimate call centres for a while specifically for this training. I had a conversation with a scammer who claimed to be from BT, and he showed a surprisingly deep knowledge of the UK phone system.

3) A side effect from (2) is that an Indian accent is actually an advantage. When I used to phone BT that my line was down (a regular occurence) I was always answered by their Indian call centre. People might be more suspicious of a Chinese, East European, American, African or even a British accent in these circumstances. I guess that is why African scammers (known in scam-baiting circles as "The Lads from Lagos") tend to use email, at least for first contact.

4) India has a high level of IT expertise. Whereas in the West, such expertise has attracted a stigma of nerdiness and social failure, in India it is an admired accomplishment.

5) The legal situation, as I have mentioned.

It's not even Nigeria anymore. It's Ougadougou or whatever it's called nowadays. Or has even that fallen by the wayside?
 

Master Cutler

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The best thing is never respond to anything that is suspect, especially phone calls.
These scammers are getting better at vocal interactions with their targets and able to adopt the tactics of phoney mediums and fortune tellers by the use of leading questions. All lntended to give the illusion of authenticity and get the target to drop their guard and reveal information.
 

bearhugger

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I've just had an email from "BT" @btsupportmails.com.
Hello Customer,

We’ve renewal issue to your mothly subscription. Please update your account information by Fri, January 29, 2021 to avoid disconnecting of service access.
Imроrtаnt: Failure to complete the correct account information in a period of 3 business days might result in a termination of services. Thank you for making this matter a priority.
Needless to say the sender was blocked and email deleted.

The best thing is never respond to anything that is suspect, especially phone calls.
These scammers are getting better at vocal interactions with their targets and able to adopt the tactics of phoney mediums and fortune tellers by the use of leading questions. All lntended to give the illusion of authenticity and get the target to drop their guard and reveal information.
Most of the phonecalls I get from scammers are "You've been in a car accident recently". It's been several years since I;ve been involved in a accident so they try all sorts of questions when I say no. "Well maybe it was a family member?" results in me saying either "That's a really leading question isn;t it?" or "You're really fishing for information now aren't you?". They never seem to have an anser for that.
 

najaB

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Most of the phonecalls I get from scammers are "You've been in a car accident recently". It's been several years since I;ve been involved in a accident so they try all sorts of questions when I say no. "Well maybe it was a family member?" results in me saying either "That's a really leading question isn;t it?" or "You're really fishing for information now aren't you?". They never seem to have an anser for that.
Unfortunately I've never answered one of those because I've always wanted to say something like "Ah, okay. Well I hit my head so I don't really remember anything about it - can you fill me in?" then see what they say about that. If they persist, let them go on for a bit and then go with "Oh, wait. I just remembered - I don't drive."
 

PeterC

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I had another instance of the fake Parcelforce email yesterday. I opened it as I had ordered something that was being shipped by them.

I wonder if anybody has failed to read to the bit asking for money and phoned their local depot to complain about the driver not ringing the doorbell?

I also ignored a couple of calls yesterday that came from overseas numbers. This morning I didn't have my glasses on and was expecting a call so answered without checking and found myself talking to "Alice from technical support".
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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I had another instance of the fake Parcelforce email yesterday. I opened it as I had ordered something that was being shipped by them.

I wonder if anybody has failed to read to the bit asking for money and phoned their local depot to complain about the driver not ringing the doorbell?

I also ignored a couple of calls yesterday that came from overseas numbers. This morning I didn't have my glasses on and was expecting a call so answered without checking and found myself talking to "Alice from technical support".

With regards to that last item, you should have expressed comisserations about the Alice virus to the female and said you had heard that...."Christopher Robin went down with Alice".... :)
 

BluePenguin

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I also ignored a couple of calls yesterday that came from overseas numbers. This morning I didn't have my glasses on and was expecting a call so answered without checking and found myself talking to "Alice from technical support".
And what sort of technical support did Alice claim you needed? Had your IP address been compromised? Or has your computer been sending some strange and worrying errors and warnings to the Microsoft server? Alice clearly lives in a wonderland of cunning and selfish people



I received one of these calls yesterday afternoon from a mobile number. Michael from the Microsoft Security Department informed me that they had noticed my computer has become infected with a malicious virus worm which it has been sending to other computers on the internet. I was a little bit busy and wasn’t in the mood to play around with them so said that my computer was fine and was about to put the phone down but Michael demanded that I wait as he was seriously worried “into this matter”.

Michael went on to say that I could be responsible for thousands of other people losing a lifetime of their precious files, folders, documents and photos unless we acted quickly to remove the virus. I got very cross at this point and shouted at him not to emotionally guilt trip me this way. Cue loud and exaggerated claims that unless I allowed him onto my computer to “explain me the viruses and fix this one” then my internet connection would be disconnected immediately to prevent the virus from spreading and deleting other peoples personal data. I replied I would turn my computer off and buy another one instead then before hanging up. I think that was the most dramatic scam call I have ever had!
 

Bevan Price

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I had another instance of the fake Parcelforce email yesterday. I opened it as I had ordered something that was being shipped by them.

I wonder if anybody has failed to read to the bit asking for money and phoned their local depot to complain about the driver not ringing the doorbell?

I also ignored a couple of calls yesterday that came from overseas numbers. This morning I didn't have my glasses on and was expecting a call so answered without checking and found myself talking to "Alice from technical support".
I might have been tempted to ask her if she wanted to come and help me "keep warm"............
 

A Challenge

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I've just had a second Email, after one last week, (which I assume itself is genuine and has actually from them) from my Email provider, saying I've had an Email quarantined due to having a banned file extension attached or a virus contained within. As I don't particularly want to risk getting this virus I'm not going to release it to find out what's in it, but given the information it sounds like they are trying to get me to pay some non-existent bill, so I'm not sure why they would put a virus into an Email like that rather than making it something people were more likely to open!

The mail was sent to you from:

* Credit and Collections Dept <[email protected]>

The subject line of the mail received was:

* [-SPAM-] Ocean Freight Payment Notification Of 02_01_2021

The previous Email was similar, but from a different address on the same domain and regarding an overdue invoice.
The mail was sent to you from:

* MSC MEDITERRANEAN SHIPPING COMPANY (USA) INC. <[email protected]>

The subject line of the mail received was:

* [-SPAM-] Ocean Freight overdue invoice Of 01_27_2021

I am unsure if MSC is a real company, it may conduct legitimate shipping activities and is just being used by scammers.
 

Gloster

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Up the creek
MSC is the genuine Mediterranean Shipping Company and msc.com is their address. But, as you say, it could be being used by scammers, so you could try contacting them direct to find out what is going on. They have an office in Ipswich with a local dialling code. If somebody is misusing their address they might like to know.
 

Typhoon

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I've just had a second Email, after one last week, (which I assume itself is genuine and has actually from them) from my Email provider, saying I've had an Email quarantined due to having a banned file extension attached or a virus contained within. As I don't particularly want to risk getting this virus I'm not going to release it to find out what's in it, but given the information it sounds like they are trying to get me to pay some non-existent bill, so I'm not sure why they would put a virus into an Email like that rather than making it something people were more likely to open!
The previous Email was similar, but from a different address on the same domain and regarding an overdue invoice.
I am unsure if MSC is a real company, it may conduct legitimate shipping activities and is just being used by scammers.
MSC exist all right https://www.msc.com/usa?lang=en-gb
I would be suspicious, a large company that is presumably well known particularly in the US but maybe across the world (ideal for a scam). Seem to be shipping containers mainly. If you haven't ordered anything (particularly from the US), why would they know your e-mail address?

I had hoped to find a Heaven Blake (as a senior member of staff, to discount the e-mail). There are stacks of Heaven Blake's out there.
 

najaB

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As I don't particularly want to risk getting this virus I'm not going to release it to find out what's in it...
With most providers you can view email in quarantine without actually releasing the attachments.
 

A Challenge

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With most providers you can view email in quarantine without actually releasing the attachments.
It tells me to reply back to their quarantine address with some lines of text (as provided), to release the Email, sounds like it's a full release at that point, so I don't want to take the risk with it.
 

Typhoon

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It tells me to reply back to their quarantine address with some lines of text (as provided), to release the Email, sounds like it's a full release at that point, so I don't want to take the risk with it.
My gut feel - phone as in #386.
 

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