Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wasting the time of a PPI scammer

There are a number of scams going around today which really demonstrate how mainstream outsourcing has become.  There is the current one around the 'unique' number that proves the scammer is from Microsoft and today I got a new one.  This time it was someone claiming to be from 'iClaims' (another Steve Jobs legacy, 'i' is the new 'e') telling me that I was entitled to a PPI or bank charges refund.  They had my address and phone number but nothing else so after saying that Lloyds TSB was my bank (it isn't) I flicked on the recording on my iPhone and away we went.  The game here is to waste as much of their time as possible while giving them as much incorrect information as possible. The total waste of time was about 20 minutes, but I only managed to record 18 minutes....

What surprised me about this scam was that they get all your Visa/Mastercard details but then want to set up a second call at which they will do advanced fee fraud part of the scam.  Almost 'honest' of them to do it at a second call rather than just ripping your bank account then and there (although as its all fake number I have no evidence that they wouldn't do that as well).  What I find most depressing about this however is that, as with the Microsoft virus scams, the drones in the call centre are just like drones in a call centre providing service support, they genuinely think they are doing a good and valuable job, they are just keeping to the script they've been trained to do.  They don't realise that actually they are part of a criminal act, I've even had one guy beg me not to report me to his supervisor as he'd get fired if they realised I'd played him.

Behind these folks lies true scum, total and utter scum.  People who appear to have access to credit card validation software and have a list of 'valid' numbers for UK accounts.  Its a depressing evolution of the outsourcing model that these days people are outsourcing and industrialising crime via India, and its not as if India doesn't have enough corruption of its own.

Now clearly people reading this blog are smart folks and wouldn't fall for this, and I dare say like me also entertain themselves in moments of boredom by playing along with these scams, but its worth mentioning (probably again) to relatives that this stuff is bollocks and they should hang up.

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