Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

Discussing Internet security in (mostly) plain English

There are more types of spam than just email spam

There are more types of spam than just email spam

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Over the past weekend, I got a mysterious phone call left on my work number.  It went like this: "Hi, my name is Guy Incognito with XGG.  When you have time, please give me a call back at 123-456-7890."  I have changed the name of the firm.

I couldn't recognize the name of the firm, it was initials and sometimes when you pronounce the letters B, D, T, V, etc, they all sound alike.  Anyhow, I looked up the return area code and it was a place in San Jose.

I phoned them up this morning and the guy who phoned me wasn't in but another agent took my call.  It turns out that they were a full service brokerage.  They asked me if I do stock market investment research.  I replied yes.  They then asked me that if they came out with a buy recommendation, would I like to be included on their alerts along with the rest of their clients.

I was quite polite about this.  I said "No, thanks, I do my own research.  You see, I go through my spam folder every day for free stock tips and that service costs nothing, whereas I am sure your service is going to cost me quite a bit of money.  Thanks anyway, though."

I wish I knew how they got my number... no wait, they were probably just randomly dialing phone numbers waiting for a hit.  I'd add them to my phone blacklist if I could.

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  • >> I'd add them to my phone blacklist if I could.<<

    You can:

    https://www.donotcall.gov/

    In theory, and according to the law, this should work.  In my experience, registering with the DNC list does reduce the number of unsolicited phone calls, although not to zero.

  • Japanese phone spammers use robot diallers to dial each number, let it ring once, and hang up.  The victim sees the call-back number and thinks they have a missed call.  Sometimes it's just an ordinary spam where the victim pays phone charges to get the advertisement, but sometimes it's more malicious where the victim gets charged some enormous fee for the call back to the displayed number.

  • Incredible. Next spammers will annoy us with mobile phones.

  • Sure, they get numbers from phone service providers or maybe you left your number somewhere? This seems to happen to a lot of people all the time. See this site with information on phone spam: http://blog.tellows.com. Or you can also enter the number you were writing about on http://www.tellows.com and leave a comment in order to warn other people.

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