Author Topic: When is it going to stop?  (Read 1990 times)

BradminOxt19

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When is it going to stop?
« on: January 14, 2020, 03:51:58 AM »
I am so sick and outraged to hear honest people and businesses being scammed out of life savings due to our complete and utter crap communication systems.  Our telephone systems is rife with scams due to the total lack of authentication and security.  Modern email is totally insecure and vulnerable to the world's worst scam artists and criminals.  It's high time that lawmakers stop focusing on privacy, and focus on securing our basic telecommunication systems to ensure people don't get scammed.

Take this story for example: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/help!-grandparents-got-scammed-out-of-all-their-money/   or this story: https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/12/us/texas-school-district-email-scam-trnd/index.html

People are losing billions of dollars to crooks who use our shitty phone systems and email systems to scam our elderly and vulnerable population.  People have lost down payments to their houses by wiring the money to crooks who pretend to be the escrow officer or realtors.  We got baited by crooks who sent us false wiring information because our realtor used yahoo a few years ago and of course all of Yahoo's emails were hacked so scammers had wipe open access to her information to try to scam us.

I'm sick of lawmakers focusing on privacy, when people are losing billions of dollars around the world to insecure phone and email systems.  Privacy is important, but it pales to people getting scammed by the worst crooks in the world.  When will we hold our lawmakers accountable for allowing such sorry state of affairs with our telephone systems and email systems?

Khaetra

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Re: When is it going to stop?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 04:56:10 AM »
Sadly these scams work because those that commit them are very good at convincing/threatening people .  I highly doubt lawmakers will do anything to stop them, but what we really need to do is emphasize to people that:

The IRS will NEVER call or send you email.  Nor will they send anyone out to arrest you over the phone.

Your bank will NEVER call/email you requesting any of your info.

Microsoft/Apple will NEVER call you.  Ever.

No true organization/business/Gov't. agency will ever accept gift cards for payment.  Ever.

If Johnny/Susie calls you saying they are in trouble and need cash now, hang up and call either them or their parents.  Most of the time it's a scammer and they are just fine.

Paper Chaser

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Re: When is it going to stop?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2020, 05:12:06 AM »
And when the telecommunications systems are no longer a viable path for these scammers, then they'll go door to door or some other method. Shutting down one avenue only diverts them to another. The key is to educate people so they can spot scams more quickly/easily.

"A fool and his money are soon parted". There have always been gullible people, and always been people willing to take advantage of that fact. Empowering people to protect themselves, and penalizing those who perpetrate such acts are the only deterrent.

Simpli-Fi

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Re: When is it going to stop?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2020, 05:52:25 AM »
I don't answer phone calls that aren't registered in my phone.  I only call humans back.

I unsubscribe from anything that comes to my inbox that I've visited before...I send to junk, if I don't recognize it

so far I have missed out of zero opportunities



when I RE I would like to start a non-profit that helps elders...I fear for my parents as they age as they still love gadgets and connectivity

WynnDuffy73

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Re: When is it going to stop?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2020, 06:03:37 AM »
Sadly these scams work because those that commit them are very good at convincing/threatening people .  I highly doubt lawmakers will do anything to stop them, but what we really need to do is emphasize to people that:

The IRS will NEVER call or send you email.  Nor will they send anyone out to arrest you over the phone.

Your bank will NEVER call/email you requesting any of your info.

Microsoft/Apple will NEVER call you.  Ever.

No true organization/business/Gov't. agency will ever accept gift cards for payment.  Ever.

If Johnny/Susie calls you saying they are in trouble and need cash now, hang up and call either them or their parents.  Most of the time it's a scammer and they are just fine.

The problem is with the elderly.  My parents are 80 and their minds are deteriorating.  No matter how many times you tell them this information they are no longer capable of retaining it. 

Buffalo Chip

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Re: When is it going to stop?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2020, 09:30:41 AM »
There are tools that can be used. On iPhones there is a function that will allow you to effectively send any calls that are not on your contacts list to voicemail. Your phone wonít ring for the call. Automatically.  Basically your contacts become a white list.

Otherwise, we can expand awareness and watch those who are vulnerable. AARP is doing some stuff along these lines.

Laws seem to be several steps behind the scam, so I donít see much point in spending time chasing that as the fix.

BradminOxt19

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Re: When is it going to stop?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2020, 10:13:31 AM »
There are tools that can be used. On iPhones there is a function that will allow you to effectively send any calls that are not on your contacts list to voicemail. Your phone wonít ring for the call. Automatically.  Basically your contacts become a white list.

Otherwise, we can expand awareness and watch those who are vulnerable. AARP is doing some stuff along these lines.

Laws seem to be several steps behind the scam, so I donít see much point in spending time chasing that as the fix.
what upsets me is the total lack of acknowledgement of this issue by the politicians.  Most politicians in the EU and US are focused on "privacy", as if I give a fuck what Facebook / Google / Amazon does with my data when my family and I are assaulted on a daily basis by scammers via the phone and email.

The solutions are there, and can be adopted if there was even a threat of legal action by lawmakers.

All the lawmakers need to do is require telecommunication companies to offer free whitelist capabilities to all users regardless of device, for free.  My relative's landline on Ooma has such feature but you have to pay $99 per year for the premium features.  I don't consider that a premium feature...I consider it an essential feature.  There is finally the TRACE legislation that allows shaken/STIR authentication finally passing but should have been done a long time ago, and it's only for mobile phone numbers, leaving older people who have landlines vulnerable.

For emails, there needs to be wider acknowledgement of the complete inadequacy of the open, shitty email systems we have today.  Even mortgage / finance professionals don't understand how insecure it is, with many mortgage brokers asking for your confidential data like social security #, paycheck info, etc via email.  I can't count the number of times I've had to explain to those idiots that email is not encrypted, and all content passes through 3rd party servers openly that anyone could gain access to and exploit.  I've had healthcare brokers for small businesses use email systems like yahoo that were hacked and gained access to all employee and their family data.  Electronic faxes is no better, with the confidential fax being converted to plain email and sent to the receiver with zero encryption.

There needs to be legislation to mandate encryption of emails, secure certificates to authenticate senders like banks, credit card companies, finance institutions, government institutions, and even individuals who have the potential to sway financial decisions one way or another.  This is just the tip of the iceberg, but can go a great length to kill off the easy scams that are fooling a lot of people out of money.

We need to make it more costly and harder for crooks to fool our vulnerable population.  Right now our telecommunications and email systems have zero security, and yet people don't fully understand the security implications and are losing billions.  The texas school district lost $2.3m to a phishing scam.  People are losing money wiring wrong funds to the crooks who pretend to be escrow companies / realtors. 

This is not just an elderly problem, this is a fundamental societal problem.  We used to be able to authenticate face to face, or at least with a physical piece of mail that took a lot of work / time for crooks to try to imitate.  Electronic communication system remove this barrier for crooks and our lawmakers and population don't understand this and tackle this head-on.

Seeing the EU and California adopt "consumer privacy" laws is a farce.  They are avoiding the real legislation to help real people losing their life savings and businesses going broke thanks to insecure communication systems. It is a real tragedy and we need people to be more aware and demanding of action.

Just Joe

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Re: When is it going to stop?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2020, 10:21:49 AM »
Yeah towards the end of my grandmother's life she received a call from someone asking leading questions that she identified was me. I needed money, legal troubles, etc. Send money fast. Fortunately she did not fall for it (completely) and called me.

Ever after all my phone calls to her started with a pass phrase that we made up together.

We don't answer any call we can't ID. Fortunately my remaining elders do the same now.

I'm not doing business over the phone with anyone that calls me at home.

I'm not sure enough can said about these schemes in the form of a PSA on TV and radio.

Our local landline telco has started putting phrases saying "likely scammer" or "probable scam" on the caller ID of calls from numbers they can ID as scammers.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 10:23:33 AM by Just Joe »

BTDretire

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Re: When is it going to stop?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2020, 01:06:51 PM »
 Many of these scams come from overseas from a boiler room where you can hear 10 other people talking in the background. I feel a little bad for saying this, but if you get any kind of sales, SS, medicare, bank, car warranty, etc call  and the they have an accent, it's probably a scam.
 I just got a warranty extension call, I pushed 1 to talk, (I always want the to extend the warranty on my 1997 Toyota.) The lady gave her spiel and I just could not understand a large portion of it. So, I ask her to repeat, then the audio actually was garbled during part of it, I told her the audio got garbled, would she repeat one more time, She hung up.
 My wife got a call from a 520 area code, she didn't recognize it, I ask, "aren't you going to call it"?
She said, "no, it's probably a scam".

MilesTeg

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Re: When is it going to stop?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2020, 01:16:22 PM »
What is needed isn't fancy pants authentication. It's a very simple fix:

Go back to a model of all calls being "originator pays". Scammers play the math. They makes thousands of calls per successful call. If, instead of the call receiver paying (using minutes, etc.) the originator was forced to pay, scam calls would die overnight because that math would no longer compute.

For those old enough, remember how when long distance was a thing this was not a problem?

The reason it won't change without major effort is because the telephone companies make a tidy profit off the the massive amount of scam calls.