April 7th, 2020 - Telecom, Identity and Protection
By Lavinia Kennedy, Director of Product Management, TNS
TNS’ data scientists identified the resurgence of a common phishing scam in early 2020. This scam claims the caller will charge $299 from your checking account for a subscription renewal unless you call a provided phone number to cancel the subscription. They often identify themselves as “the accounting department”, Microsoft, or Amazon. They also may ask for a different monetary amount- but $299 is standard for this scheme.
Reports show these scammers are relentless- calling the same person multiple times in a day, or repeatedly for a few days. They will call from various phone numbers, many of which are spoofed. When you block one, they call from another. One of the numbers used was 412-646-8335, but more on that later.
Their intention is to gain remote control access to your computer and steal personal information like credit cards, SSN, and addresses. The scammers use programs like LogMeIn and Team Viewer to gain access to the victim’s computer. Never ever allow remote access to someone you do not know over the phone. If you are unsure, then disconnect and directly call the company on the number they provide on their website.
You get a refund!
A similar but less abrasive scam has also picked up. In this one, someone calls you and claims you are owed a refund for computer software and they just need to confirm your card number to process the transaction. Sweet! Free money, right? Yes, for the scammer who just got your credit card information!
Often these scammers also claim to be Microsoft and other large technology companies. Remember these companies will never call out of the blue to tell you there is a problem with your computer.
We called 412-646-8335 after receiving reports of phishing. “I see here you have made a payment to my company not too long ago”, said the man who answered. I asked him to confirm his so-called company he immediately hung up. If you do decide to answer, one way to identify a scammer is ask them to confirm their business name and give you a web address. If they don’t have an answer, it is very likely not a real company.
Consumers can protect themselves by leveraging telecom provider robocall detection solutions powered by TNS Call Guardian.
TNS analyzes robocall data from more than one billion daily call events across hundreds of telecom providers. Because of this volume of data, TNS extracts insights on emerging robocaller tactics and trends. While it is difficult to predict what the next major robocall scam will be, we do know this: scammers continue to rapidly evolve their tactics and targets to evade detection efforts. This means consumers must remain vigilant when it comes to suspicious incoming calls, and carriers must continue to commit to deploying innovative solutions to protect their subscribers.