Fake "Telus" Vacation Scammers calling me repeatedly

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adamd1
Helpful Neighbour

Hi.

 

Moments ago I received yet another robocall from vacation scammers who have been calling me repeatedly for the past two years.

 

These scammers are criminals, and they use completely fake phone numbers as the call display number, a process known as "caller display spoofing." Today's number was (416) 898-7795, and belongs to an individual who very recently (yesterday) had to change her phone number for other reasons, and is now receiving a lot of complaints about this scam, which she alleged she has nothing to do with. She is changing her number as a result of this. You can probably ask her more yourself.

 

These criminals are now claiming to be calling on behalf of Telus. The pre-recorded message you get is as follows: "As a special Telus customer, you are eligible for a special offer. Press 1 to accept." If you press 1, you instantly get hold music. After about a minute of waiting I was connected to the least clear phone connection in the history of automated calls. An unnamed woman on the other end said (I think) "You are eligible for a vacation offer. Do you wish to continue?" I asked her three times what she was saying because the connection was so poor that it was very difficult to hear her say the word "vacation" specifically. She hung up on me when I told her I couldn't hear a word she was saying.

 

I read the following article from the Vancouver Province about this exact same scam which dates back to April 26th of 2013:

 

http://www.theprovince.com/news/Beware+fake+vacation+calls+claiming+Telus+connection+scam+personal/8...

 

In it, it says that Telus is working with police to figure out who is behind these calls.

 

So I have to ask:

 

Is there a way for Telus to identify who called me? The call was received at approx. 2:34pm today (June 24th, 2013.) Prior to this they used numerous variations of this scam and used the following fake numbers as their call display:

 

514-392-9122

514-392-9122

313-938-5721

0112813826532

0115143929122

202-407-3261

0011-646-630-0031

 

I am receiving these stupid calls about once every two days now. They don't honor any "do not call" list and they offer no means whatsoever of getting off their stupid lists.

 

When is Telus going to take action against this obviously scumbag, criminal company?


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ScottyJ
Neighbourhood Alum
Neighbourhood Alum

I’m sorry to hear you’ve been getting these calls. We work hard with law enforcement to try to track the source of these calls and prevent them where we can, but we believe the scammers are spoofing their caller ID’s to make it look like they’re local when they’re actually offshore, making tracking down their location difficult.

 

This scam has been around for a number of years, using different company names to try and trick people into handing over personal information or money. If you get a call like this claiming to be from any company, not just TELUS, your best approach is to just hang up.

 

For more info, check out our blog post: http://about.telus.com/community/english/news_centre/news_releases/blog/2013/04/26/telus-warning-cus...

 

If you believe you may have given personal information to a scam artist and/or need assistance securing your TELUS account, drop the TELUS Fraud Management a line at 1-877-567-2062.

 

Cheers,

 

ScottyJ

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xl
CPU Alum
CPU Alum

Yep, I'm getting stuff from WestJet.

 

Then there's the Microsoft guys who claim you have a virus.

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dobes
Coach

I am getting these calls, too, though I am no longer a telus customer. I never pressed 1 to get my "very special surprise", and I wondered why telus thought I was still with them!  Now I wonder how to make them stop. 😞

 

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adamd1
Helpful Neighbour

There is no way to make it stop. They never take you off their lists. Now they're alternating between lying that they're from "Air Miles" or from "Westjet."

 

It's a fake "cruise" based out of Florida. The goal of the cruise is to power-sell you a crappy time-share on a Florida condo for something like 5 hours.

 

So far absolutely nobody is taking any action against these assholes. Continue to post here with results of calls. Right now I'm trying to anticipate their calls and to waste as much time as I can giving them invalid credit card numbers and frustrating them. If you ask ANY QUESTIONS, they hang up immediately. This is the most annoying criminal operation I hear from on a daily basis.

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tsizzle
Ambassador

What would you like Telus to do beyond working with law enforcement? They don't have any authority over other businesses or customers on other networks.

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dobes
Coach

I would like to know if people who have never been Telus customers get these calls. As I said, I'm not now, but I was until just before Christmas. If only current or former Telus customers hear from these scammers, then it's pretty clear that someone inside Telus is supplying the telephone numbers. Their recorded message did address me as a "valued Telus customer". If no one at Telus is involved in any way, how would they know that? Is there another way?

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xray
Guardian
There are services that look up the carrier for a given number. They do a block lookup and use that as their calling list. The TV show Marketplace did a feature on these operations and there isn't a whole lot Canadian carriers can do about companies operating in India.

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adamd1
Helpful Neighbour

What would I like them to do beyond "working with law enforcement"?!

 

After over a year: Anything, really. Their solution currently, from all channels, is that "you should change your phone number".

 

Well guess what: that doesn't work. Because these scumbags use *all* Telus numbers. The only call display numbers I see are always a Telus customer's number. They're all fake.

 

Law enforcement don't appear to be doing a single thing about it. They've posted no warnings about it whatsoever.

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gmemyi
Just Moved In
So, I get these calls all the time. TELUS states that is very difficult to track these people down. THIS TELLS ME THAT IT 's NOT IMPOSSIBLE!!!! START HITTING TELUS IN THE POCKETBOOKPOCKETBOOK!!!! When it starts costing them money and customers by a boycott then see how fast this issue is dealt with!!!!

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xray
Guardian

@gmemyi, Who exactly are you boycotting? This problem exists for all carriers. Are you boycotting the entire telecom sector and giving up all your phone services?

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Nighthawk
Community Power User
Community Power User

@gmemyiThese scam calls can be coming from ANYWHERE on the planet. Literally. All the scammers have to do is spoof the caller ID to show whatever they want. There is nothing law enforcement or Telus can do if the calls originate OUTSIDE OF CANADA. That's why the Do Not Call list is useless. American scammers (usually from Florida because of laws there) call Canadians, spoof Canadian phone numbers and get away with it.

 

How to reduce scam calls:

- Never give your phone number when entering a contest unless the contest is trusted and/or licensed.

- If you speak to a human at any point, tell them you are a business and be polite so they'll actually believe it. That usually reduces the calls but can take a while depending on how many lists your phone number is still being sold on.


If you find a post useful, please give the author a "Like" or mark as an accepted solution if it solves your trouble. 🙂

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ScottyJ
Neighbourhood Alum
Neighbourhood Alum

I’m sorry to hear you’ve been getting these calls. We work hard with law enforcement to try to track the source of these calls and prevent them where we can, but we believe the scammers are spoofing their caller ID’s to make it look like they’re local when they’re actually offshore, making tracking down their location difficult.

 

This scam has been around for a number of years, using different company names to try and trick people into handing over personal information or money. If you get a call like this claiming to be from any company, not just TELUS, your best approach is to just hang up.

 

For more info, check out our blog post: http://about.telus.com/community/english/news_centre/news_releases/blog/2013/04/26/telus-warning-cus...

 

If you believe you may have given personal information to a scam artist and/or need assistance securing your TELUS account, drop the TELUS Fraud Management a line at 1-877-567-2062.

 

Cheers,

 

ScottyJ

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xl
CPU Alum
CPU Alum

Yep, I'm getting stuff from WestJet.

 

Then there's the Microsoft guys who claim you have a virus.

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adamd1
Helpful Neighbour

Now it's 8 months later, the calls are not stopping at all (in fact they haven't even slowed down) and now these assholes are using MY PHONE NUMBER as their call display number!

 

Telus: GET OFF YOUR ASS AND SHUT THIS COMPANY DOWN!

 

Do you not CARE what these people are doing to your reputation? You haven't done ANYTHING to stop this activity at all!

 

Angrily!

 

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dobes
Coach

I am getting these calls, too, though I am no longer a telus customer. I never pressed 1 to get my "very special surprise", and I wondered why telus thought I was still with them!  Now I wonder how to make them stop. 😞

 

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adamd1
Helpful Neighbour

There is no way to make it stop. They never take you off their lists. Now they're alternating between lying that they're from "Air Miles" or from "Westjet."

 

It's a fake "cruise" based out of Florida. The goal of the cruise is to power-sell you a crappy time-share on a Florida condo for something like 5 hours.

 

So far absolutely nobody is taking any action against these assholes. Continue to post here with results of calls. Right now I'm trying to anticipate their calls and to waste as much time as I can giving them invalid credit card numbers and frustrating them. If you ask ANY QUESTIONS, they hang up immediately. This is the most annoying criminal operation I hear from on a daily basis.

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tsizzle
Ambassador

What would you like Telus to do beyond working with law enforcement? They don't have any authority over other businesses or customers on other networks.

View solution in original post

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dobes
Coach

I would like to know if people who have never been Telus customers get these calls. As I said, I'm not now, but I was until just before Christmas. If only current or former Telus customers hear from these scammers, then it's pretty clear that someone inside Telus is supplying the telephone numbers. Their recorded message did address me as a "valued Telus customer". If no one at Telus is involved in any way, how would they know that? Is there another way?

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xray
Guardian
There are services that look up the carrier for a given number. They do a block lookup and use that as their calling list. The TV show Marketplace did a feature on these operations and there isn't a whole lot Canadian carriers can do about companies operating in India.

View solution in original post

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adamd1
Helpful Neighbour

What would I like them to do beyond "working with law enforcement"?!

 

After over a year: Anything, really. Their solution currently, from all channels, is that "you should change your phone number".

 

Well guess what: that doesn't work. Because these scumbags use *all* Telus numbers. The only call display numbers I see are always a Telus customer's number. They're all fake.

 

Law enforcement don't appear to be doing a single thing about it. They've posted no warnings about it whatsoever.

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xray
Guardian
"The only call display numbers I see are always a Telus customer's number."

Of course. They know they are calling a TELUS number so they spoof a TELUS number. When they dial their Rogers call list they spoof a Rogers number. Substitute any carrier name above - it's all the same con game.
dobes
Coach

How do you know it's a Telus number? What gives it away? I kept my number when I moved to Fido before Christmas, and I get these calls.

adamd1
Helpful Neighbour

In my case, what gives it away is that they're all neighbors of my own number. The prefix (first three numbers after the area code) and the first two of the suffix were all Telus numbers starting in around 2003.

adamd1
Helpful Neighbour

Also: I've called some of the numbers directly to ask if they were aware that their numbers were being used as the call display for a cruise scam. They confirmed that they did know this, and in many cases said they had just switched numbers when they switched to Telus. This is a repeatable experiment.

ET
TELUS Employee
TELUS Employee

Hi adam1, I suggest you to read this link. http://about.telus.com/community/english/security I hope it helps.

dobes
Coach

Thanks, that's what I wanted to know. So even though I've brought my number to another carrier, it looks to outsiders like a "Telus number". I just found out that my roommate, who also brought his Telus number to another carrier, is getting these calls too. 

adamd1
Helpful Neighbour

@ET (Moderator) - I'm well aware of the contents of that link. That doesn't help me or Telus investigate these malicious criminals. I trust Telus to keep my data secure. That is not the thrust of my complaint here. Your company has known about this issue for at least a full year now, and your customer base is still subjected to these unwanted, relentless calls. This is not acceptable. I don't *blame* Telus for this. But I would like to think Telus had more to say about it than "we're working with law enforcement" after more than a year.

Hippo
Ambassador

We are indeed working with Police, but the investigation is from the Police. We are unable to comment on existing work being done, but would advise you contact the police for any illegal activity, as this would be the steps needed. With privacy laws, any tracing, tracking, requires Warrants, police, courts.  I agree this in no way is a good thing occurring, but we do need to follow the letter of the Law. Please contact your local police for concerns on illegal activities.

adamd1
Helpful Neighbour

Hippo, if you could contact me privately regarding whom I could contact that is investigating this whole scam, I would like to assist. This forum doesn't allow for private messaging or I would contact you directly.

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gmemyi
Just Moved In
So, I get these calls all the time. TELUS states that is very difficult to track these people down. THIS TELLS ME THAT IT 's NOT IMPOSSIBLE!!!! START HITTING TELUS IN THE POCKETBOOKPOCKETBOOK!!!! When it starts costing them money and customers by a boycott then see how fast this issue is dealt with!!!!

View solution in original post

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xray
Guardian

@gmemyi, Who exactly are you boycotting? This problem exists for all carriers. Are you boycotting the entire telecom sector and giving up all your phone services?

View solution in original post

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Nighthawk
Community Power User
Community Power User

@gmemyiThese scam calls can be coming from ANYWHERE on the planet. Literally. All the scammers have to do is spoof the caller ID to show whatever they want. There is nothing law enforcement or Telus can do if the calls originate OUTSIDE OF CANADA. That's why the Do Not Call list is useless. American scammers (usually from Florida because of laws there) call Canadians, spoof Canadian phone numbers and get away with it.

 

How to reduce scam calls:

- Never give your phone number when entering a contest unless the contest is trusted and/or licensed.

- If you speak to a human at any point, tell them you are a business and be polite so they'll actually believe it. That usually reduces the calls but can take a while depending on how many lists your phone number is still being sold on.


If you find a post useful, please give the author a "Like" or mark as an accepted solution if it solves your trouble. 🙂

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adamd1
Helpful Neighbour

After many months, I finally have some detailed information about where these calls are coming from, and who the company is that benefits from these scam calls.

 

The calls are coming from a call center located in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. There are many such call centers located there, but this one is specifically marketing on behalf of a company called "Mayan Paradise Vacations".

 

Web: http://www.mayanparadisevacations.com/

 

^ This domain was only set up in March of 2013, so it's entirely possible that the purpose of these calls has actually been to promote a variety of these scummy "cheap vacation" scams.

 

Here are some phone numbers for that company:


(Within Mexico / Latin America)
01-800-141-0006
01-800-212-9484

 

USA - 1-866-286-6883
CAN - 1-866-699-5459

 

So this is one place you can call to DEMAND that they stop calling your number.

 

I am continuing to research which call center *specifically* is performing the auto-dialling and phone number spoofing on behalf of this company, but I am more than 70% sure that it's a company called "Maya Vac. Telemarketing Services" located in Playa del Carmen as well. I'll post more information if I get anywhere with that.

 

If anyone wants to try calling these (toll free!!) numbers to complain, I'd be interested to see what your experience was. I am friggin' SICK of hearing from these morons!

 

Thought you all should know. More info as I get it.

 

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Nighthawk
Community Power User
Community Power User

If they are in Mexico, they likely won't care. They won't be governed by the same rules and legislation as in Canada or USA. You also run the risk of letting them know your number is valid and they'll just sell it on their marketing list to other scammers. Wouldn't be the first time that's happened.


If you find a post useful, please give the author a "Like" or mark as an accepted solution if it solves your trouble. 🙂
adamd1
Helpful Neighbour

So be it, but the point is: Telus could sue them, so could WestJet, so could Expedia, so could Canadian Tire for misrepresentation of their brands and damage to their business.

 

Canada and Mexico are both NAFTA partners, and there are guidelines for precisely this kind of international legal issue.

 

It wouldn't stop the calls immediately, but it would do so eventually.

 

But hey guess what: now you can call their TOLL FREE numbers and complain, and you can do so repeatedly until they finally stop calling you. That costs them money (and costs you nothing) and would definitely send that company the message that it is definitely NOT okay to continue this completely unacceptable practice of phone-spamming everybody in Canada with this unwanted, probably completely fake crap.

 

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Nighthawk
Community Power User
Community Power User

Can you name one instance where any company in Canada has actually tried suing an American or Mexican telemarketing company for scam calling Canadians?  I've never heard of a single one. I have heard of companies releasing statements about the scam calls and not to trust them, but nothing further.

 

Calling them will cost them a lot less money than what it'd cost you for your time. They make much less per hour and they won't care because they know any threats (legal or other) made against them are just someone blowing a lot of hot air.


If you find a post useful, please give the author a "Like" or mark as an accepted solution if it solves your trouble. 🙂
xray
Guardian
I think it's naïve to think that anyone in Canada has any influence or recourse against a shady company operating in a foreign country. This is especially true when that foreign country has serious domestic issues to deal with. Canadian travellers get murdered and robbed in Mexico on a regular basis and the Canadian government can do little. What makes you think phone scams would warrant a higher priority?

We all get annoyed with these calls. Deal with it and move on. As @Nighthawk says, our time is worth much more than theirs.
adamd1
Helpful Neighbour

Look: I didn't say it was going to happen overnight, and I am not naive. I'm just trying to provide information about these scumbags that ABSOLUTELY NOBODY OUT THERE HAS BOTHERED TO GO AND FIND OUT!

 

Fine, I get it, we're doomed. The glass is half empty. We just have to consume whatever **bleep** we're sent and be happy about it. Is that your point? I don't believe that's acceptable, nor do I believe it to be useful for our society.

 

The bigger thing here is: those 800 numbers are an opportunity for as many people as find this page to contact that company directly and tell them to stop this stupid bull**bleep** because it's an amateur way to market their resorts. I know many people who travel to Mexico who upon hearing about this particular company have now spread the word to their fellow travellers never to use this particular company or support that particular resort ever again.

 

Again: it's not a groundswell, and I get that, but it's better than nothing, and it's better than saying "oh well I guess we just have to be happy with these annoying, ILLEGAL scam calls we all receive on a friggin' daily basis." I think any solution is better than no solution.

 

Also: there are successful prosecutions of companies in Mexico. They do happen. They are few and far between, but they do happen. They aren't immune. The bigger picture is: this is just bad for business, and it's bad for consumers. I am not going to sit back and take it as you suggest.

xray
Guardian
Actually, I'd like to think my approach is the glass half full view. 🙂 I don't think these calls negatively affect my life and I'll be damned if I'm going to act like it does.