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Topic # 58983 24-Mar-2010 13:38
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I was just reading some posts made by freitasm in the thread about Vodafone security concerns after someone's phone was stolen.

In this thread, someone phoned the OP claiming to be from Vodafone, and asked security questions. Apparently the Caller ID is a valid Vodafone number so as far as could be ascertained the call genuinely came from Vodafone.

freitasm: If anyone ever calls me and says "I am from [bank|other company]" I ask for a name and call the number *I KNOW* to confirm. I don't use any number they give me as it could easily be themselves just answering and saying "yes, it's from the bank".

Everyone needs to be very careful with identity theft these days.


The other night, I got a cold call from a telemarketer offering me a power company switch. As it happens, I was intending on switching to this new player anyway, but had never gotten around to phoning them to do that. They were offering a promotion for signing up that night, so I did.

I usually hang up promptly on Telemarketers as I'm not interested. I also consider myself pretty highly "secure" when it comes to "best practice" protections against identity crimes. If this call had been from the "bank" instead of a power company, alarm bells would have rung.

Was I caught off-guard by the lure of cheaper power?

Did I do anything wrong in entertaining this telemarketer and switching my power?

During the course of the conversation I provided:

- my electricity usage for the past 12 months
- my current power company
- my home address where power is delivered to
- my phone number (at least I confirmed it)
- my Electricity supply number
- my Date of Birth

No credit card details were asked for, but I did choose CC billing (and was told a form was to be sent out to me authorising this). In hindsight, had I been asked for the CC number to establish an authority - I WOULD HAVE PROVIDED THE DETAILS.

Comments please. As I said, I consider myself pretty careful,  sensible, and knowledgeable on these matters. Did I drop the ball??

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  Reply # 310736 24-Mar-2010 13:45
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I don't think so. If you'd provided CC details then _maybe_. It's one of those things you have to play by ear though. If they were asking for CC details 2 minutes into the call I'd be worried. If the spent 10 minutes talking to you about switching, benefits etc then asked for CC details, I don't think you'd have reason to worry.

Even so, we all make mistakes! I notice myself every now and then making mistakes while driving and thinking "Oh, that could have been BAD!"

As long as you're self aware and at least thinking about these things, you're probably in a better state of mind that others.

Really though, you've asked yourself a question on you can answer :)




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  Reply # 310738 24-Mar-2010 13:48
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ahmad: I was just reading some posts made by freitasm in the thread about Vodafone security concerns after someone's phone was stolen.

In this thread, someone phoned the OP claiming to be from Vodafone, and asked security questions. Apparently the Caller ID is a valid Vodafone number so as far as could be ascertained the call genuinely came from Vodafone.


In that discussion the poster only confirmed the call came from a Vodafone number AFTERWARDS. He didn't know at the time what number was that. So my advice stands. I got a call from my bank other day - it came from a number I've never seen before - we don't know all numbers a bank use do we? I asked for a name and called back on a number *I* know.





 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 310740 24-Mar-2010 13:49
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To be brutally honest I wouldn't have examined this call at all had I not read freitasm's comments in the other thread :)



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  Reply # 310741 24-Mar-2010 13:50
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freitasm:
ahmad: I was just reading some posts made by freitasm in the thread about Vodafone security concerns after someone's phone was stolen.

In this thread, someone phoned the OP claiming to be from Vodafone, and asked security questions. Apparently the Caller ID is a valid Vodafone number so as far as could be ascertained the call genuinely came from Vodafone.


In that discussion the poster only confirmed the call came from a Vodafone number AFTERWARDS. He didn't know at the time what number was that. So my advice stands. I got a call from my bank other day - it came from a number I've never seen before - we don't know all numbers a bank use do we? I asked for a name and called back on a number *I* know.

Does anyone know - do Telemarketers allow you to phone them back on their call centre number? I haven't tried this before because it is the first time in the my life a Telemarketer got more than 30 seconds of my time.

It would have been no good phoning the power company in this instance because I'm sure it would be the same setup as most places - Telemarketers are completely independent of the company they are trying to sell for.

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  Reply # 310742 24-Mar-2010 13:53
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ahmad: Does anyone know - do Telemarketers allow you to phone them back on their call centre number? I haven't tried this before because it is the first time in the my life a Telemarketer got more than 30 seconds of my time.

It would have been no good phoning the power company in this instance because I'm sure it would be the same setup as most places - Telemarketers are completely independent of the company they are trying to sell for.


In that case I wouldn't take the offer. There's no security at all and no guarantee they are who they claim to be.





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  Reply # 310745 24-Mar-2010 14:01
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hmm with your name, phone number, date of birth and address i suppose some could call your phone provider and possibly get hold of your account number, download a copy of your bill.. use that as proof of address to get further id under your name, its all a bit much really. but no i dont think that you gave any information that someone couldnt find out from a phone book/facebook search without going to the effort of calling you

with the credit card details it could have been truly shocking




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  Reply # 310746 24-Mar-2010 14:02
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freitasm:
ahmad: Does anyone know - do Telemarketers allow you to phone them back on their call centre number? I haven't tried this before because it is the first time in the my life a Telemarketer got more than 30 seconds of my time.

It would have been no good phoning the power company in this instance because I'm sure it would be the same setup as most places - Telemarketers are completely independent of the company they are trying to sell for.


In that case I wouldn't take the offer. There's no security at all and no guarantee they are who they claim to be.

About the only "sensitive personal information" I provided would have been a date of birth. So I guess I was lucky if I was scammed.

I can see how normally sensible people might come to drop their guard now - when presented with an good (but not too good to be true) offer I guess human nature is to want to know more.

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  Reply # 310750 24-Mar-2010 14:18
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I have tried to ring back call centres and telemarketers before with no luck. 9 times out of 10 they use a number that feeds all incoming calls to the main switchboard or to a answer machine or even wont answer.





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  Reply # 310752 24-Mar-2010 14:20
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That is if they are even ringing from a call centre - it's not uncommon to find people working from home.



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  Reply # 310754 24-Mar-2010 14:22
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crazed I am not referring to calling back on the Caller ID number.

Would it be usual for a Telemarketer to provide a number that they CAN be called back on if requested? I would have thought not but would be interested to know.

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  Reply # 310797 24-Mar-2010 15:43
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During the course of the conversation I provided:

- my electricity usage for the past 12 months
- my current power company
- my home address where power is delivered to
- my phone number (at least I confirmed it)
- my Electricity supply number
- my Date of Birth
 Did I drop the ball??


In my opinion, I would say yes, sorry. As i posted in the thread the gathering doesn't have to be all at once. With that info I could track down a next-of-kin, and get more personally info.
Also find your address, and start stealing mail, getting account numbers, IRD number etc. A pro would then try and get your PIN / password. The most nefarious being just watch you enter it in an eftpos terminal. 

All of that info could got within a week, and then the fun starts, divert your mail, change passwords/accounts security questions, raise credit limits etc.   

No info to strangers... 



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  Reply # 310798 24-Mar-2010 15:46
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MikeyPI:


During the course of the conversation I provided:

- my electricity usage for the past 12 months
- my current power company
- my home address where power is delivered to
- my phone number (at least I confirmed it)
- my Electricity supply number
- my Date of Birth
 Did I drop the ball??


In my opinion, I would say yes, sorry. As i posted in the thread the gathering doesn't have to be all at once. With that info I could track down a next-of-kin, and get more personally info.
Also find your address, and start stealing mail, getting account numbers, IRD number etc. A pro would then try and get your PIN / password. The most nefarious being just watch you enter it in an eftpos terminal. 

All of that info could got within a week, and then the fun starts, divert your mail, change passwords/accounts security questions, raise credit limits etc.   

No info to strangers... 

Am I absolved of consequences (THIS time) if I phone the power company in question and discover that I am signed up for their services now?

And lucky my mail is secure.

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  Reply # 310803 24-Mar-2010 15:59
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I dont know about that. In the course of my business sometimes we have to build a profile on some people, and its amazing how much info neighbours / friends / family give out that can be used to locate people.
Combine that with information you gave up, plus Facebook etc, its pretty easy to get into peoples lives.

In saying that, its easy to track that person down.. We do it for legal reasons, so its fine, plus we aren't messing with their lives.. (as long as you play ball ;))


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Reply # 310805 24-Mar-2010 16:05
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ahmad: crazed I am not referring to calling back on the Caller ID number.

Would it be usual for a Telemarketer to provide a number that they CAN be called back on if requested? I would have thought not but would be interested to know.


If you ask the telemarketer for a number to call back, then this person, or a partner can simply answer the phone and "yes, it's from the [bank|power company|wathever].

To be safe you should ask for a name, promotion number or something to identify the reason for calling, then call a known number for this company asking to speak to a marketing dept, and then confirm this is a valid promo, etc.

Calling back on a number they provide doesn't make you any safer.








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  Reply # 310807 24-Mar-2010 16:06
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But MikeyPI, what's the difference between a GENUINE telemarketer having that information (collated on behalf of the power company) and the power company having it?

Surely there can be rogues at either call centre?

Have just called the power company and indeed I am signed up for their power now.

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