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Is this a scam

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,929
Thanks: 604
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Is this a scam

I got the following e-mail today.
Is it a Hoax, some sort of scam or is it genuine ?
I Have not clicked on the link shown in the e-mail.
Classification: Unclassified / Not Protectively Marked 
Postal Scam:
Can you circulate this around especially as Xmas is fast approaching - it has been confirmed by Royal Mail. The Trading Standards Office are making people aware of the following scam:
A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 (a Premium rate number).
DO NOT call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize.
If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £315 for the phone call.
If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 020 7239 6655.
For more information, see the Crime Stoppers website:
http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/crime-prevention/helping-prevent-crime/scams/postal-delivery-scam
 
14 REPLIES
198kHz
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 3,217
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Registered: 30-07-2008

Re: Is this a scam

Quote from: gleneagles
If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £315 for the phone call.

Obviously a hoax, as the maximum possible charge per minute is £1·50.
Having said that, there certainly are phishing scams where a card or email informs you about a non-existent parcel or delivery.
Not young enough to know everything
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,929
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Is this a scam

I Think it might be more than £1.50 if you were using a mobile ?
alanf
Aspiring Pro
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Re: Is this a scam

"The chain email refers to a service (operating on 0906 6611911) that was shut down by PhonepayPlus (then ICSTIS) in December 2005."
In the original message £315 used to be £15!
http://www.snopes.com/fraud/telephone/pds.asp
http://www.phonepayplus.org.uk/output/news/Postal-scam-chain-email-PhonepayPlus-statement.aspx
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,929
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Is this a scam

Well I'm looking at the link now and it is the legit crimestoppers website. It was shutdown in 2005 and the owner was fined £10k apparently.
@4C: I think thats wrong as there was one scam a while back which had you ring a 09 number and played you the ringing tone for 5 minutes while telling you that you wern't being charged for queuing...
EDIT: Forgot to say it charged £5 per minute while you listened to the ringing..
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,929
Thanks: 604
Fixes: 8
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Is this a scam

Thanks for checking this out.
If you see any dodgy links in an e-mail is there any way of checking them out without actually clicking on the link which would be foolish ?
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,929
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Is this a scam

Yes..
If it shows the address as a link then you can point to it and look at the statusbar - like this:
http://www.google.com
http://www.google.com
Look at them - both claiming they go to google right? - Now point to them both in turn and look at the bottom of your browser window - it will show you the real address of each link. One of them isn't google...
Thats the first step towards analysing the link. If your still suspicious then you can run it through google to see if it gives you a "this link may harm your computer" warning. Also whois lookup of the domain itself, to see if it is really registered to the organisation.
Ultimately, run a Virtual Machine and visit the link from that. IF its a virus or something you just delete the VM and restore a backup Wink
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
198kHz
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 3,217
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Registered: 30-07-2008

Re: Is this a scam

Quote from: 4C
Quote from: gleneagles
If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £315 for the phone call.

Obviously a hoax, as the maximum possible charge per minute is £1·50.

Quote from: okrzynska
@4C: I think thats wrong as there was one scam a while back which had you ring a 09 number and played you the ringing tone for 5 minutes while telling you that you wern't being charged for queuing...
EDIT: Forgot to say it charged £5 per minute while you listened to the ringing..

The maximum charge per minute is £1·50. Five minutes would be £7·50.
Current price list - http://www.productsandservices.bt.com/consumer/consumerProducts/pdf/SpecialisedNos.pdf
Not young enough to know everything
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,929
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Is this a scam

Must of changed then but mind you this was about 5 years ago!
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,699
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Is this a scam

It's never been possible to charge that amount as far as I know. Certainly that PDS hoax has done the rounds every year, since the original raised its head 5 years ago.  I've now been asked about it 3 times in the last couple of weeks  It was nonsense, it is nonsense, it will remain nonsense (even when you read it again next year).
It's one of those daft ones that has an element of truth (just enough to get you hooked) The cards were delivered.  There was a premium  rate number to call, and they did have a parcel to deliver, although the value of the contents was no-where near the cost of the call you had to make to have it delivered.
It was reported to ICSTIS/Callpayplus/ofcom very quickly and the number was pulled, but that hasn't stopped these on-going emails for the last 5 years.
have a look at hoaxslayer as well
John
Simon_M
Grafter
Posts: 684
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Is this a scam

The price increase from £15 to £315 must have crept in when someone's email client couldn't display a £ sign properly. It usually gets shown as =A3. So somebody has seen =A315 instead of £15 & tried to correct it, but ended up with £315 by mistake.
Quite handy really, because it makes it look less plausible than when it was £15.
It really annoys me when someone sends me one of these with my email address, together with around 30 others, all in the 'To' field. You know that within a couple of days, all those email addresses will then be sent on to several hundred different computers. At least one of them is bound to be already compromised & someone will have just harvested another load of email addresses to send spam too.
It's a shame that the 'Bcc' field is hidden by default in most email clients. The very people who will fall for the 'Send this to everyone you know..' spiel are the same ones who don't even know 'Bcc' exists (much less what it does). It also won't occur to them to remove earlier email addresses from the message before they forward it to all their friends (or former friends - it's quite difficult to keep the response back to them polite!)
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Is this a scam

especially when it is a sister in law, after a year, I think I have managed to get the whip in contact
did a count up once, nearly one hundred in one e-mail
nadger
Rising Star
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Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Is this a scam

I got a copy of this email, last weekend, supposedly originating in South Wales.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Is this a scam

Somebody is really stirring it.
I just received an alert from Neighbourhood Watch and it is all over the internet despite the fact that there is a £1.50 per minute limit http://www.caerphillyobserver.co.uk/news/5010/parcel-delivery-scam-charges-315-for-phone-call/ ;
Quote
Parcel delivery scam charges £315 for phone call
Tuesday November 23rd, 2010
Residents believing they have missed a parcel delivery could end up paying £315 for a bogus phone call.
Gwent Police and Royal Mail are warning people to be vigilant of the scam which is currently in operation throughout Caerphilly County Borough.
Fraudsters post a card through people’s doors claiming to be from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service). The card suggests they were unable to deliver a parcel and that people need to contact them on a 0906 premium rate number.
If the number is called and a recorded message begins to play people are billed £315 for the phone call. It is believed the scam is operated from Belize.
People who receive a card should contact Royal Mail’s fraud line on 020 7239 6655.
Caerphilly’s Labour AM Jeff Cuthbert has urged people to be on their guard against the scam.
He said: “It is important that people are made aware of this scam especially as Christmas is fast approaching.
“I urge people to circulate this message so that as many as possible can be vigilant.”
PhonepayPlus Statement
UPDATE: PhonepayPlus, the phone-paid services regulator, has contacted Caerphilly Observer to clarify that the scam phone number was disconnected in December 2005.
News of the scam however continues to spread through chain emails and messages.
The organisation has issued the following statement:
“PhonepayPlus is aware that a chain email about an alleged postal scam is being circulated on the internet. The email refers to the Royal Mail, Trading Standards and ICSTIS (PhonepayPlus’ former name).
“The chain email refers to a service (operating on 0906 6611911) that was shut down by PhonepayPlus (then ICSTIS) in December 2005.
“PhonepayPlus subsequently fined the company that was operating the service, Studio Telecom (based in Belize), £10,000.
“The service is no longer running and has not been running since December 2005. You do not need to contact PhonepayPlus, or the Royal Mail, about this service.
“If you receive a copy of the email warning you about the alleged scam, please do not forward it to others.”
Residents unsure of the authenticity of a premium rate number can check it with PhonepayPlus on freephone 0800 500 212, (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).
Community Veteran
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Registered: 07-03-2008

Re: Is this a scam

www.hoax-slayer.com is a useful lad in Queensland who diligently researches all odd things about. His service is free but sometimes he asks for donations to help out. A monthly newsletter comes by email updating his current list and is very interesting.
Colin