Will I be bombarded with telemarketing on my cell phone if I don't join the cell phone do not call list now?: Internet ScamBusters #162
Today we answer three subscriber questions:
- Will I be bombarded with telemarketing on my cell phone if I don't join the cell phone do not call list now?
- How do I get my money back from what now appears to be a scam?
- How to thwart keystroke loggers.
Internet ScamBusters Q&A
Cell Phone Do Not Call List
Question: Is this a scam or do I need to join the cell phone do not call list?
---Begin Scam Email ---
This just takes a minute and is good for 5 (five) years. You
must call the Do Not Call number from your cell phone.
THE FIRST WEEK OF JANUARY, ALL CELL PHONE NUMBERS ARE BEING
RELEASED TO TELEMARKETING COMPANIES AND YOU WILL START TO
RECEIVE SALES CALLS........YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE
To prevent this, call the following number from your cell
phone: [Phone number deleted] or visit this website: [Website
It is the National DO NOT CALL LIST. It will only takes a
minute of your time and will block your number for 5 years.
---End Scam Email ---
Answer: Many bogus emails are going around about the cell phone do not call list right now. It is not a new scam -- in fact, the FTC issued a press release about this question on April 15, 2005.
Here are the facts:
- The US federal government does not maintain a national cell phone do not call list. Cell phone users have always been able to add their personal cell phone numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry, which is for both land lines and cell phones.
You can do this by calling toll-free 1-888-382-1222 from the telephone number you wish to register, or by visiting:
- There is no cut-off date or deadline for registration.
- Business-to-business calls are not covered by the Do Not Call Registry.
- Automated dialers, which are standard in the telemarketing industry, are prohibited from calling cell phone numbers.
- Cell phone numbers are not being released to telemarketing companies on a specific day.
- However, a consortium of wireless providers is planning to create a directory assistance (411) services for cell phone numbers, which many people are afraid will erode some of the privacy of cell phones. Verizon Wireless, US Cellular, Sprint and Alltel will not participate if such a directory is created. That means at least 45% of all US cell phone numbers would not be included in a directory.
Proponents of this directory state that it is to be opt-in only, which means if you do nothing, your cell phone number would not be included.
- Some of these bogus emails have the correct phone number and website address, but others are phishing scams.
Action: It can't hurt to add your cell phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry, but this is not necessary to prevent it from being turned over to telemarketers, especially by a certain date. If you do add your cell phone number, go directly to the Do Not Call Registry site or call from your cell phone number -- do not click on links which could be phishing scams.
Lottery Scam Example
Question: Kindly advise/assist me on how to recover money paid towards Account opening with the following bank in the Netherlands: [bank info deleted]
Amount Transferred: Euro 1,500 (about $1,800+ US), paid thru Western Union Money Transfer.
This money was sent to open a Regular Offshore Account to enable deposit of lottery winnings of Euro two millions, as per [info about Netherlands lottery deleted].
After I realised that the whole thing is a possible scam, I informed both the parties that I am not interested and to refund the Account Opening Deposit paid by me as promised by them. In spite of my several attempts to obtain the refund, I have been unsuccessful, so much so that both have not answered my correspondence.
I would appreciate your kind advice in this matter as soon as possible. Thanks.
Answer: Unfortunately, we believe your chance of getting your money back is close to zero. We have written about this lottery scam extensively.
We know of no instance where people were able to get their money back after they paid as you did. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news -- this is a very expensive scam. Many people get taken for a lot more than you were.
You might want to search our site for "lottery" and subscribe to ScamBusters (it's free) so you don't get taken by the next scam out there (and there are so many).
Tip: This isn't a question, but something I thought your subscribers might find helpful:
One way of thwarting keystroke loggers is storing your account number and password in a secure password protected document that you store in a diskette or memory card.
So instead of typing your account number or user name and password, you just copy and paste them. The keystroke logger can only record your mouse click instead of the keystrokes.
Normally, I use a Microsoft Excel file that is password protected. All my bank accounts and passwords are stored there and I just copy and paste them from Excel.
My password is always a combination of upper and lowercase letters and numbers. And since they are stored in Excel, I only have to remember one password for opening the Excel document.
I also keep the diskette or memory card in a locked place.
Answer: Excellent tip, Alex. Thanks for sharing it.
That's it for today. Have a wonderful -- and safe -- week.