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I have returned! Having not posted since 2014, no issues, no debt afaik everything gets paid, tax paid on time, bills utilities etc that kind of thing. But we awoke this morning to find a message on our answerphone from Fredrickson International instructing somebody who they believe lives here, with a VERY dodgy sounding name to contact them with a reference number... They had called, hung up and then called again to leave this automated message. I am totally and utterly confused as to what this is? We have no debt... nothing! Back in 2011 I had a letter from an agency claiming I had a debt with a catalogue at an old address, dating back to 1997 but they never sent me proof of what it was this claim was about? I had no catalogues back then, I lived on my own and never touched the flipping things. This went quiet after I asked for advice here. I worked out whatever it was, it was statute barred anyway. I will assume that whatever this is, it has to be either historic assumed debt but how the hell did they get our landline number? Is this possibly another sold off debt thing and they are trying their luck? What bothers me is the name of the person they are asking for! it ends with "Woodcock" but its very hard to make out? I can say now our family name is not that lol! Can I safely assume this is fleecing/phising? or will one of us be expecting a dodgy letter sometime soon? Thanks in advance for any help
I'm hoping somebody can give me a little advice on this one. I have no idea on where to go with it. The basics are this. We took out a breakdown policy with Green Flag 2 years ago. I'm 90% sure, they sent the renewal through the post last year and i paid it online. This year, renewal time arrives and it slipped my mind to do it. The policy expired at the end of August 2012. (We had forgotten when exactly it expired during the next part). In September my step dad took the van up to Blackpool and whilst there, the wiper motor failed. It was lashing down with rain, so obviously he called Green Flag. They sent a guy out to have a look at it. The guy arrives and diagnosed a failed wiper motor. He says he will have to have the van recovered to the nearest garage and from there we can arrange to have it fixed. My step dad refused this as it would have taken at least 24hrs for the garage to get the part in and requested to be towed back home with the van as we can get it fixed cheaper by the garage next door to us. He was advised that there would be a charge for the trip per mile. He agreed at the side of the road to pay £108.00 to be recovered. My step dad was recovered, we thought nothing more of the matter. I picked up a reminder from Green Flag in October which was dated September, asking for payment or the policy would be cancelled. I immediately called & gave them my apologies for the oversight and offered full payment. I was abruptly told that as we had not responded within 7 days of the letter dated in September that the policy had been cancelled and if i wanted to have a policy i would have to go through to sales and get a new quote. Not particularly happy with how she had spoken to me, i asked her why if we where members did we pay to be recovered from Blackpool and what we where paying for?. She was quite rude again and i told her to forget it and that i will give RAC a call. So i called RAC and took out a new policy for 3 vehicles and paid it in full. Today we have received a letter from Green Flag, demanding £168.00 for this years policy. I called them to explain that we had cancelled the policy due to what had gone on and they have stated that, 2 years ago we took out the policy online and there was a small tick box for auto renewing our policy. We had to remove the tick from the box if we didn't want Green Flag to automatically renew our policy every year (which includes taking payment in full from the bank). We changed banks earlier in the year so the account they tried taking the money from was closed. The lady i spoke to is demanding the money or it will be passed to a debt collector? I really don't want to pay this out of principal. Surely if the policy had expired and they couldn't take the money out of the bank that should be the end of it?. The lady i spoke to when i tried to pay them in October told me that the policy had been cancelled?. I also find it quite underhand that they would have a tick box for you to "opt out" of automatically renewing the policy and that it should be the other way round, you should have to tick the box to "opt in". Can anyone help? Sorry for the massive post Lee
Computers that make calls to check for credit or debit card fraud are infuriating – and they don't even make your money secure. My wife tells me that I make a rather comical sight when I start shouting at the radio. I must have been the picture of sheer hilarity this week as I listened to discussion about automated fraud-checking calls on Radio 4's Money Box and ended up yelling my head off. You know about fraud-checking calls, of course. Whenever you do something unusual with your money, like try and close on a house purchase, transfer funds to a loved one who's lost everything while abroad, or buy a major gift for a very special occasion, the transaction is often followed by a call from your bank, demanding that you verify your identity to them, handing over all sorts of personal information to a total stranger who's rung you up out of the blue. Then they tell you that they've noticed something amiss, and is your card in your possession, and did you really just try and transfer a thousand pounds to Lagos? The banks, bless them, are only trying to prevent fraud, but this is a pretty silly way of going about it. For starters, there's the business of calling up people and asking them to give you all the information necessary to prove that they are indeed a bank customer – all the information that a fraudster needs to impersonate that person at the bank, in other words. The banks have spent decades systematically conditioning us to give our personal information to fraudsters, which is a strange way to prevent fraud. But at least this silliness had one saving grace: a fraudster can only make so many calls per day, and so the scope of losses from such a programme of bad security education is limited by the human frailties of con-artists. Enter the robo-caller. The banks are now outsourcing their fraud prevention to computers that can make dozens of calls all at once, around the clock, fishing (or phishing) for someone who just happened to have made an unusual purchase and is thus willing to spill all his details down the phone to get it approved. Note that most of the categories of purchase that trigger false positives from fraud detection systems are also the sort of thing that customers are anxious to see go off without a hitch. The unusual and the urgent often travel together. MoneyBox took up the question of robo-calls on 22 September, with a series of finance industry executives explaining their position on robo-call anti-fraud systems. As Money Box pointed out, customers don't know what automated fraud prevention calls are supposed to sound like, or which questions are supposed to be asked. They missed that even if this were common knowledge, it would be trivial to make a homemade robo-caller that perfectly mimicked the calls, and set it loose to call around the clock, to many victims at once. Santander's statement was that the system allows it to "reach more customers, more quickly, all at the same time". It didn't mention that it's a lot cheaper than paying humans to make those calls, of course. On the other hand, it invited its customers to opt out of the service. But a customer that doesn't even know the service exists won't opt out of it – and if a customer's first experience with a robo-caller is with a fraudulent one, they won't have had a chance to opt out until it's too late. But Nationwide's answer was even worse: it recommended using the return number that showed up on their phones to verify the call by keying it into the internet. Apparently, no one has told Nationwide that any fraudster running a robo-caller machine can also transmit any return number they like. It got even worse. A spokesman from UK Payments assured the host, Paul Lewis, that the banks' services are secure because they ask you to choose from a list of dates of birth, and "only your bank would have that information about you". Someone needs to tell UK Payments that dates of birth aren't secret – they're matters of public record. What's more, if your date of birth ends up in the hands of an identity thief, you can't change it, making it completely unsuited as a means of authenticating oneself to a bank. Our passwords shouldn't be issued to us at birth, one to a customer, without any means of changing them. Lewis quizzed UK Payments' spokesperson on the efficacy of the bank's fraud prevention systems, and forced him to admit that there isn't any hard data to support the thesis that the banks are good at automatically detecting fraud. In the end, the representative was left insisting that the banks' systems were "quite successful at detecting very unusual transactions". Well, yes. Computers are good at detecting unusual things. And if you block every unusual transaction, you will block almost all the fraudulent ones, too. You'll also produce a service that will strand your customers in emergency after emergency, by forcing them to go through a tedious authentication dance every time they stray from their usual routine, including when the unusual transaction is the result of an unusual circumstance, such as a personal tragedy. When banks had to pay a salaried employee to make each call, they had to limit themselves to making checks on unusual transactions that were also "funny" – a bit off. Now they've automated the systems, they can twiddle the false-positive dial all the way over to "Kafka-esque nightmare" without having to pay a penny more. They've managed to externalise the whole cost of sorting out real unusual transactions from fake ones to their customers. This is a security measure. It secures the banks' profits. But as a means of securing your money, it's a nonsense. Here's another way of designing this protocol, one that won't cost the banks any more to operate. When the bank detects a potential fraud, it calls you, and a robot says, "Look up the lost or stolen card number on your credit card or debit card. If you can't find it, please consult our website. When you get through, please key this case number into your phone." Job done. In order to spoof this system, you'd need to hack the bank's website and/or change the printing on the credit cards already in people's wallets. If the banks cared about preventing fraud – as opposed to minimising the expense that their shareholders bear as a result of fraud – they'd do this or something very like it. Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/sep/27/automated-calls-fraud-banks
I've found a couple of vague references to this happening on Google but it's just wierd. We've had numerous calls on our Orange land-line from an "international" (ie no number) number with an automated message asking if we receive Sky TV through a dish. Press 1 if yes, 2 if no. On the original call I pressed 2, and they hung up. Now 10+ calls later, it's getting annoying. Does anyone know where I might start finding out who these clowns are?! We have a dish that I installed myself in the flowerbed (we're in a conservation area with no terrestrial coverage or cable) and use it to watch Freesat. Never have been a Sky customer.