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Old 06-23-2019, 08:16 AM   #1
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Be careful.

I updated some information on my computer after a clean install. One was NETFLIX, the popular streaming service.
It asks for a cell phone number in case they need to send you something. I never used it before but I thought, maybe this is handy.
Since I added that number, I've received text messages from two women on my block who want to meet me if I'll just click the link to their picture. Funny, they have area codes far away. Then I can get a free $100 Amazon gift card if I just click on the link to a simple survey!
NETFLIX? Sold my phone information? I can't prove it but it sure is odd timing!
Today I deleted the number.
Beware.
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Old 06-23-2019, 08:30 AM   #2
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Exclamation

Thanks for this heads up.

. . . Caution advised on all Internet highways . . .

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Old 06-23-2019, 08:46 AM   #3
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Be careful.

I received a similar one yesterday but have made no recent changes to any online accounts. Could be related or not, could be Netflix related or just coincidence.

Never click on anything you are not expecting.
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Old 06-23-2019, 09:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
I updated some information on my computer after a clean install. One was NETFLIX, the popular streaming service.
It asks for a cell phone number in case they need to send you something. I never used it before but I thought, maybe this is handy.
Since I added that number, I've received text messages from two women on my block who want to meet me if I'll just click the link to their picture. Funny, they have area codes far away. Then I can get a free $100 Amazon gift card if I just click on the link to a simple survey!
NETFLIX? Sold my phone information? I can't prove it but it sure is odd timing!
Today I deleted the number.
Beware.

I've used Netflix for years, never had a problem. I update my information at the Netflix website but it sounds like you updated the Netflix app on your computer??? Not good, only update stuff at the vendor's website where you have entered the link yourself. Never follow a link in an email.


Just FYI, you can sign up for a free phone number at TextNow. It is supported by ads but you can pay a small fee ($3/mo $30/yr) to eliminate that. You have to be online, like free WiFi or on your home network to make/receive calls but it's a good signal. I resurrected an old Tracfone phone and added the TextNow app, got my free phone number.



I use that number for exactly the reason you stated. Another way is to give them a bogus number. If they need to contact you there is always the US Mail.
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Old 06-23-2019, 09:27 AM   #5
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. . .
Never follow a link in an email.
. . .
. . . especially if you have not cleaned your Internet cache, erased history, etc. recently. Any cookies on your device will track where you go via any link.



Good overall advice, Rich, thanks.

Peter
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Old 06-23-2019, 09:39 AM   #6
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Mollysdad, thanks for the reminder!

I had a similar but slightly different event that again reminds all of us to be vigilant.

The other day I got a call from Apple telling me someone was trying to hack into my account. He asked for some information and I became suspicious. I asked how I know he is calling from Apple. He said I should hang up and he will call me back and I can check the phone number against the Apple website. So I hung up, he called back and indeed it showed the Apple number on my phone. However I was till suspicious so I said I would call Apple directly, which I did.

Sure enough, it was a scam and the scammers can make it look like they are calling from the "official" company number.

The customer service agent from Apple said Apple will never call you directly. Not sure about the other service providers but it pays to be aware!
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Old 06-23-2019, 10:51 AM   #7
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Yeah, I got a similar text (to me and "17 others") deleted and of course did not click on link. Have had plenty of scam calls (never pick up a number not in my contacts list). That was my first scam text though. So think the NETFLIX update was just coincidence. All they need is one careless or ignorant person out of 20,000 to click on a link and become a sucker.
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Old 06-23-2019, 11:03 AM   #8
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Apple won't call you. Microsoft won't call you. The IRS won't call you. The courts or Sherriff won't call you.

Social Security WILL call you, but ONLY if you call them first and set up a telephone appointment for a specific time.

Never click on email links. Some of the scammers are getting pretty good at spoofing legit web sites.

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Old 06-23-2019, 05:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Caffeinated View Post
Apple won't call you. Microsoft won't call you. The IRS won't call you. The courts or Sherriff won't call you.

Social Security WILL call you, but ONLY if you call them first and set up a telephone appointment for a specific time.

Never click on email links. Some of the scammers are getting pretty good at spoofing legit web sites.

Mike


Apple will call you, but only if you request them to from their support web site, which is much better than waiting on hold. But as Caffeinated correct states, they won’t call you unsolicited out of the blue.
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:53 AM   #10
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He said I should hang up and he will call me back and I can check the phone number against the Apple website.

You cannot rely on caller ID anymore, it's too easy for bad folk to spoof a phone number. I used to get calls with my own phone as the caller ID. They also will call you, spoofing numbers in your general area so you'll think it's local but it's really out of the country. We used to get so many of these calls every day that I finally got tired of it ringing and got rid of the land line. Everyone we know would call our cell phones anyway so no need to have it. It's a lot quieter here now.


Even on your cell phone, if you don't recognize the number, just let it go to voicemail.
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caffeinated View Post
Apple won't call you. Microsoft won't call you. The IRS won't call you. The courts or Sherriff won't call you.

Social Security WILL call you, but ONLY if you call them first and set up a telephone appointment for a specific time.

Never click on email links. Some of the scammers are getting pretty good at spoofing legit web sites.

Mike
Good advice. I think I've gotten calls from all those sources. I think a friend who should know better used someone from India to fix his computer online. I'm sure they dowloaded his address book.
So I get texts from people I KNOW telling me about an interesting link.
Unless you're paying attention, it's easy to think "What does John want"? Now, I can tell, because the name is right, but there's no chat, and they don't address me directly. Now I think, "I haven't heard from John in five years and suddenly he wants me to check out a link?" NO!
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:32 AM   #12
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I think a friend who should know better used someone from India to fix his computer online. I'm sure they dowloaded his address book.
You should begin the process of changing your phone number. I know it's a pain to do, but you will never get any peace now.

A local restaurant sent out Christmas gift cards with their phone number on it. Problem was, it was mine, not theirs, 1 digit off. You know how many people call a popular restaurant on a busy day and late at night. I got tired of drunk people calling me to reserve a table or wanting a take out order.

I changed it and called the restaurant. They apologized and mailed me a $300 gift card. Happy camper.
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:49 AM   #13
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Odds are quite high that this is a coincidence. These sleazy robocalling scam operations aren't going to spend any of the money they work so hard to steal actually buying lists of phone numbers. They just run autodialers through blocks of numbers, and often spoof their own number to look like it's coming from the same exchange to get more people to answer. I see evidence of this... I have 2 mobile phones (one is my personal number, the other is a work line) on 2 different exchanges in the same area code, my partner's mobile number is in a different area code. We'll get similar robocall voicemails on different days from supposedly-different numbers. I don't use my work number anywhere, but get most of the same robocalls. I generally no longer answer calls from numbers not in my contacts, real people will leave a message.
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:37 AM   #14
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UPDATE: I learned how to block phone numbers without adding them to the contacts list.
Since I posted this, I must have blocked 20 numbers. Since scammers spoof numbers, they might have an infinite supply, since but blocking the twenty I haven't gotten any new offers this week from 22 yr olds who want to have sex if I just click the link.
Funny, I lived here for 30 years and never considered myself that attractive!
Who knew? "Dear Heidi Klum, I'm available!"
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:39 PM   #15
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You should begin the process of changing your phone number. I know it's a pain to do, but you will never get any peace now.

A local restaurant sent out Christmas gift cards with their phone number on it. Problem was, it was mine, not theirs, 1 digit off. You know how many people call a popular restaurant on a busy day and late at night. I got tired of drunk people calling me to reserve a table or wanting a take out order.

I changed it and called the restaurant. They apologized and mailed me a $300 gift card. Happy camper.


Similar phone # to a popular restaurant, also 1 number different but no advertisement. Always getting calls for reservations, I just started taking them.
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:37 PM   #16
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Very annoying indeed.

First it was our landlines which many of us no longer use or have gotten rid of. Now it's infecting all of our mobile phones also.

As we have older cell phones for now I just add them to my contact called "Ghost Caller don't Answer". I inadvertently answered one on the home phone the other day because it said Chase Bank. Having just been on a trip and used my "Travel Only" Chase card I thought well, maybe. Of course it wasn't Chase but just the health insurance one.

I hope they get some legislation in effect sometime soon that will help. I know for landlines the "do not call registry" did work for a while but there are so many ways around that now. Then again hoping for the legislation to get something done might be silly.

Aside from the many people being taken advantage by these scams and time wasted I wonder what the cost effect or burden is to some industry.
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:42 PM   #17
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Never answer a call unless you know the caller, based on the caller ID. A legitimate caller will leave a voicemail [VM]. For all callers who do not leave a VM, take the time immediately to add that caller to your contacts as "Cold Call" [or some such name as already suggested], and block that caller right away.

When the call center tries to call you again, and the call is blocked, they may try from a different number, which you will have to block again, and again, and again . . .



Eventually they will give up trying, in our experience.

Never pick up a call if you don't know the caller!

Good luck,

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Old 07-25-2019, 07:37 AM   #18
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You cannot rely on caller ID anymore, it's too easy for bad folk to spoof a phone number.
"You can't rely on caller ID..." This is true. There's good news though. The FCC has recently proposed a rule severely restricting use of caller ID and prohibiting telemarketers from spoofing caller ID messages. It won't have any effect on telemarketers--the ones who are going to cheat are going to cheat--but it will effect the telephone service providers who won't provide the service to telemarketers. This is a shocking development, because ... well, it's the FCC doing something vaguely consumer-related. It will take a while to take effect, and after a little while longer there will be new telemarketers' work arounds. But little by little ...

There's bad news, too. Most of you probably haven't heard of "ringless voicemail." That's a newish technology that allows telemarketers to leave a message on your voice mail without it ever ringing your phone. That means the voicemail is delivered before you get a chance to hang up on the call. I've been telling my clients that I believe it violates the relevant laws, but very few courts have ruled on this, and I don't think the FCC has taken a position. If you get one, file a complaint with both FTC and FCC. It feels like you're dropping a complaint into a black hole, but I can tell you from experience that it brings the issue to the agencies' attention ... when there's a sizeable number of complaints. So everyone: if you get a ringless voicemail: COMPLAIN!
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:04 AM   #19
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I maintain my landline just for spammers.

I never answer that phone, and the answering machine is set to pick up on the second ring.

If it’s the rare legitimate call, they leave a message, otherwise the frustration is theirs.

I get a few spam calls on my cell, but not many.

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Old 07-25-2019, 08:22 AM   #20
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Hi

Like it or not, the telephone network (and cell network) make money off of these junk calls. Depending on who's data you believe, the volume of calls that are junk makes up a large or very large fraction of all the calls made. One way or another that is revenue to the telecom providers. It's like junk mail and the post office. As long as it is a significant source of income, they are not going to move aggressively to get rid of it.

Indeed "all the rest of us" are also a source of income to them. As people drop their telephone lines because all they ever get are junk calls, that has an impact as well. It's a balance, but not a lot of people actually *do* disconnect for that reason.

Another wrinkle in all this is that the FCC does not have much jurisdiction outside the US. It should come as no big surprise that there *is* a large volume of calls from outside the US. Toss in the wide range of internet <-> telephone hookups and you have even more of a mess.

Lots of issues ....

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