Scams and reminding yourself that you're not too smart to fall for them

I got this email today in the account associated with my energy supplier:



All of the details in it are correct. I checked my bank account and my most recent payment came out fine, so I wanted to phone up and check what was going on.

I called the number in the email (ERROR) and got through to what sounded exactly like Bulb customer support. “Recording for our records” recorded boilerplate message, multiple choice selection menu, the lot. It said “currently receiving a large volume of calls” but put the waiting time at one minute and almost immediately connected, which was when I finally woke up. Checked my must recent Bulb bill and the contact number was not the one I was currently connected too, so hung up immediately. Googled the number and yes, it’s a scam.

Only other things that had made me suspicious where that my phone didn’t immediately recognise it as Bulb (but hey, that thing isn’t perfect, right?) and the threat of a £15 charge if not addressed in 48 hours felt like creating a false sense of urgency.

I called the actual proper Bulb number after to compare and the pre-recorded messages etc are very similar to the scam one.

So… yeah. That’s the first time I’ve seen one of these that wasn’t obviously fake. Shook me up a bit and has reminded me to not be smug and assume this shit only works on elderly folk and people who aren’t good with computers.

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I have no examples but I’ve nearly been scammed recently in actually really obvious ways but my brain has just checked out and gone into granny mode, what’s that dear? you need my bank card and pin number to run a check? ok deary, here you go. Actually, I think the fact I have literally nothing to steal has made me more relaxed about things.

Thanks for sharing this though, I’m with bulb so will be more aware!

I’m naturally very suspicious but definitely easier than people assume to get caught by things like this.

Been trying to arrange a windscreen fix this week, doing it online, and when I got a call from an unknown number claiming to be Autoglass asking for my details, I got weirded out and assumed the worst (it was actually them, I think).

At work we get deliberate phishing emails from corporate security that are very convincing, and if we open too many it starts a disciplinary process, so I’m constantly on edge. Irony is some of the genuine emails from corporate security are so bad that I often flag them as fakes, but I don’t think we can get done for over reporting.

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My bank has a habit of blocking my card for security and then calling me up to tell me they’ve done it and asking me to verify my identity

Always get really irked. You verify your identity, mr bank!!!

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That’s scarily convincing.

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It’s the phone line that’s freaked me out the most, it sounded completely legit.

Got this text at a time when I’d had the shits quite badly, was getting over it and had tested negative for Covid but wasn’t sure whether I should cancel a birthday meal with friends/a visit to parents that day just in case. This made me panic a bit about having to cancel everything even though it had come from a standard mobile number.

Eventually clocked that the link looked weird, clicked it and realised it was a scam site trying to get me to pay them for covid tests.

I’d have never fallen for the payment part but it had me in a proper tizz all morning, the fucking pricks.

TSB did this to me once

sent me a text to confirm a transaction (it was a fairly large card payment so fair enough), then said i had to call to go through some extra security questions.

when i finally got through, the correct answer to one of the questions was “i don’t know”

i no longer bank with TSB

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I nearly fell for one of those redelivery fee texts. I was waiting for a parcel that I think was a bit late, got a text saying my parcel couldn’t be delivered and I’d have to pay a fee for redelivery, and my irritation at what I thought was the courier company overtook my common sense.

Clicked the link, it asked me to confirm my postcode. Put that in, then it was asking me to conform my postcode again and my date of birth? And that’s when I realised it was a scam - why would they need my postcode a second time or my date of birth, which they don’t have?

A lot of scams work by creating and exploiting an emotional response (a sense of urgency or concern) that overrides your critical thinking skills. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’d never fall for one but they’re looking for those moments when your mind is somewhere else - you’re distracted by your bill not bring paid or thinking you owe money and it leaves you momentarily vulnerable.

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Very occasionally get those

Once (before we had laptops/could WFH) got an email saying ‘good news, you can now access your work email from home!’

Thought ‘oh cool that might come in handy’ and clicked on it, only to receive a follow up email telling me off for being a fucking gullible twat.

Very unfair imo

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yeah, scams are scarily good. basically, anytime i get one of these things, i go straight to the account manager i may have and see. latest was a car accident i had late last year and that’s lead to like a million phone calls

I’m with tsb too (not uk though)

Wait…does anyone want any more of my bank details?

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This is disgustingly unethical. Deliberately doing something to trip up your employees and then disciplining them for it? Vile.

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Gave my name, birth date and address to a fake delivery one not that long back :man_facepalming:

Used to work for a bank call centre and had to ask people security questions when they rang up. Would often get people having a go saying “I’m not telling you that, you could be a scammer!” Had to point out that they’re the ones who called me, hard to know what else to say there really.

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The eldest’s pretty much entire friend group all had their insta accounts hacked & taken over yesterday

The scam goes like this:

Somehow (don’t know how) scammer guesses or gets into someones insta

Then scammer DMs all the mutuals pretending to be the owner of the account saying something along the lines of ‘Hey pal, I just got a new phone & I need to authorise it otherwise ig just keeps logging me out. Can you do me a favour? Click this link and DM me the verification code could you?’

The link is of course a password reset for the account that clicks the link/the person being DMed. The scammer resets the password, takes over your account, logs you out & DMs all your mutuals …and so on in a long chain

My eldest avoided being taken in because it was her best pal who apparently DMed and she was like ‘what new phone, you just told me 10 minutes ago you were completely broke?’ and then the person blocked her

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Yeah, and in this case it seemed not unreasonable to me because I don’t currently have a bank card for that joint account that the bill comes out of and I feel guilty that I haven’t sorted that out yet, so there was an immediate emotional response of “I haven’t done an admin task I should have and look: A Consequence”

also low on sleep and having one of those ADHD days where not five minutes ago I poured myself a nice cold pint of sugar free Irn Bru and came back to my desk to find… a nice cold pint of sugar free Irn Bru already sitting there

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only time i’ve been scammed (that i know of) was a dodgy data recovery company after i had a hard drive fail. taking advantage of vulnerable nerds, tsk. i was on the phone to them when the penny dropped and just went ‘well i’d appreciate if you co-… oh you’re scamming me aren’t you for fuck’s sake’ and hung up. definitely didn’t do my due diligence but i was down bad and can only blame myself.

no obvious hard drive/marc almond jokes please

Oh 100% on that, can’t believe that anyone would have a legitimate desire to talk to me in the street that wouldn’t involve scamming me

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Yeah that’s fair enough in that scenario

Certain roles in my current workplace have required me to phone people up to discuss private information despite our organisation heavily advertising ‘beware of scammers - we will never call you to discuss your private information’. Genius move there.

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