18th August 2018

At the Mercy of Scammers

Last weeks’ article focused on phone scams that are principally being brought about by our largest telco having off shore support call centres.  The article has drawn a huge response from the readership with many people coming forward to report similar experiences.

In the main what is happening is that Australian’s are calling the technical support number for our largest Telco which sees them patched through to someone in the Philippines.  Regardless of the success or failure of this support call, the same person is then getting another call from the Philippines with a further offer of help.  This is the scam call.

This return call normally occurs within an hour of the original call, from someone with the same foreign accent that is well armed with many of the details of the victim.  They use this unique timing opportunity and the personal information they have at their fingertips as a springboard to immediately gain the victims trust and gain access to their PC and or credit card details.

The above scan is happening way too often to be coincidence & the fact that the scammer already knows about the victims current Internet problems also eliminates any ‘by chance’ scenario.  No, these calls are a direct result of Telco support call employees giving out confidential Australian customer information to their cohorts at ‘local market rates’.

For as many years as I can remember, Australia was always labelled as “the lucky country” because of our climate, our standard of living and our laid-back lifestyle.  Now, depending on which Web site you believe we have largely slipped on our Global quality of life ranking from around the number 2 spot in just 2010 to somewhere around 10th place currently.

If anyone disagrees with this assessment, then just ask yourself – what do we still manufacture in Australia lately?  How many of our industries are now offshore?  What is happening with our unemployment rate and our foreign debt?  What is happening with crime in our cities?  How are we managing with the latest drug problems and how do our pensioners feel about their quality of life?

Telco based phone scams are certainly not the only phone scams going on right now, but they are amongst the more effective.  Nearly all phone scams come from overseas, from large call centres using IP based phones.  This way they can call Internationally without any associated call costs and they can block or cloak their calling number ID.

You can’t really blame the Philippine’s for doing this either!  Their average salespersons wage is just $400 (Aus) per month and many of us spend more than this on phone plans alone.  Also, through technical frustration many of us end up verbally abusing them or being rude toward them.  If you were offered a months’ worth of salary for a single successful phone number, what would you do in their situation?

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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