You might be asking God to give you a financial miracle, or even some things around your relationships and family matters. This is why I’m calling you, because God urged me and spoke to me about praying for you.
Being a prayer partner, being someone that’s standing on the sidelines praying that everyday your needs will be met; if you’re ready to join my prayer closet where I pray over thousand of people and you are the only one missing, I want you to press a zero so I can transfer this call to the prayer closet. And this way, I can have your information so I can begin to start praying for you non-stop.
If you’re really ready, press zero right now because I know your miracle is right around the corner. Your struggle will be over. Press zero now to be transferred to the prayer closet.
DIFFERENT MALE VOICE:
To be removed from this call list, please press “three” now.
failed to provide their name or the name of the person on whose behalf the call was made
did not leave a callback number
making unsolicited calls to mobile phones is prohibited
The TCPA allows individuals to go after violators to pursue civil penalties for breaking the law, up to $500 for each violation. In certain circumstances, the law allows a judge to triple the amount of damages:
A person or entity may, if otherwise permitted by the laws or rules of court of a State, bring in an appropriate court of that State– (A) an action based on a violation of this subsection or the regulations prescribed under this subsection to enjoin such violation, (B) an action to recover for actual monetary loss from such a violation, or to receive $500 in damages for each such violation, whichever is greater, or (C) both such actions.
If the court finds that the defendant willfully or knowingly violated this subsection or the regulations prescribed under this subsection, the court may, in its discretion, increase the amount of the award to an amount equal to not more than 3 times the amount available under subparagraph (B) of this paragraph.
In a followup, we’ll show you how to file a civil complaint in state court so you can pursue damages against individuals/companies you believe have violated the TCPA.
Apple doesn’t recruit product testers via random SMS messages.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Or smartphone.
Like other scams, this offer attempts to get personal information that can be used to a scammer’s advantage. To claim a free iPhone or iPad, you’ll have to text back a code to reply or visit a Web site to “verify” your identity by submitting your date of birth, Social Security number, or credit card info. If you text back to claim your prize, you’ll likely end up subscribed to an expensive service that sends horoscopes, cute cat photos or inspirational quotes (and costs several bucks per message).
Reports of this scam spiked after Apple founder Steve Jobs died in October 2011 and continued to increase during the buildup to the new iPad earlier this month. As two of the most popular products available, iPhone and iPad scams are here to stay; If you really want a cool new device, save your money and buy from a party you know and trust!
Spam report frequency for “Apple,” “iPhone” and “iPad”
The most effective scams tell us what we want to hear: who wouldn’t want a free exotic vacation or a shiny new smartphone to test and keep? Fraudsters play on our hopes and fears, but let’s be honest — we like getting free stuff, and that makes a con artist’s job much easier.
When scammers use the Internet to obtain personal info, it’s called “phishing,” but because these offers arrive via SMS messages, they’re “smishing” attempts. One of the most persistent smishing scams these days is the Walmart Gift Card Scam: a text message informs you that you’ve won a $1000 gift card from America’s largest retailer. To claim your “prize,” just click a link and enter personal details like a social security number or credit card.
Here’s how frequently the phrase “walmart gift card” appeared in comments posted by Mr. Number members who submitted spam reports between June 2010 and March 21, 2012:
The number of complaints exploded in March 2012, so we know these scammers stepped up their game; Walmart issued a statement earlier this month to let customers know about this racket.
Drilling down deeper into our data, many of the most recent reports we received show that gift card scammers are currently targeting people who live in Northern Virginia, where 10 Walmart locations serve about 2 million people (25% of the state’s population).
Protecting yourself from scams like these is relatively easy if you’ll remember one rule: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
If you’re the target of a smishing attempt:
Don’t text back to follow any of their instructions.
Tell someone you know, especially elderly friends and relatives.
Report scams to your mobile provider and on Mr. Number.
If you’ve already responded to one of these offers, contact your state’s Attorney General’s office or the Federal Trade Commission (1-877-FTC-HELP).
The elderly have always been a target for predators, but one con game in particular is making the rounds these days — the “Granny” scam. Here’s how it works:
Aunt Helen is watching “Downton Abbey” on Netflix when her cell phone rings. She pauses the show, puts down her Samsung Galaxy Tab and looks at the Caller ID on her cell phone. The call is coming from TORONTO POLICE DEPT, so Helen quickly forgets all about Masterpiece Theater.
“Mrs. Helen Faraday? This is Sgt. Roger Hawkins with the RCMP in Toronto, Ontario.”
“Yes, ma’am. I’m calling because your nephew William has been arrested for drunk driving.”
Con artists use info gleaned from Twitter and Facebook to pull off the "Granny" scam.
The sergeant explains that Bill’s in jail now, but if Helen will wire a payment of a few thousand dollars, he’ll be released into the custody of his girlfriend, Jennifer Stewart, in one hour. Helen remembers meeting Jennifer at the family reunion last summer; she seemed like she had a good head on her shoulders.
Deciding to take the situation at face value, Helen suggests calling her sister, Bill’s mother. “We tried reaching your sister and brother-in-law,” replies Sgt. Hawkins, “but they’re on a cruise.” Helen glances at a postcard she received from Barbados the week before that’s stuck to her fridge with a banana magnet.
Helen imagines her nephew in a cold, damp cell surrounded by accused criminals and sighs deeply. “Where should I wire the money?” she asks.
This is just one scenario of the popular scam; in other versions, callers may pretend to be a doctor or nurse claiming that someone’s been injured in a car accident or another medical emergency.
As we share more details online about where we are and who we’re with, scams like these are becoming more popular. In the example above, all of the information used to gain Helen’s confidence would be publicly available on sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Many con artists are confident enough to call their victims while impersonating a relative. When asked why they sound different, they might reply that they broke their nose in an auto accident. Some scammers may even include a second person on the call to pose as a doctor or lawyer to support their claims. With easy access to Caller ID spoofing services, these predators can easily fake callback numbers that look authentic; they’ve also been known to call victims back to confirm that their payment was received!
How can you fight these scams?
Ask questions that only a close relative would know the answers to.
Think twice before posting detailed travel plans and other personal info on social networks.
Report scam attempts to wire-transfer services and law-enforcement agencies.
Encourage friends and relatives to use Mr. Number to identify Suspected Spam calls.
Our members flag and report suspected spam thousands of times each day, so odds are good that we have a record of an attempted Granny scammer in our database. If you get a call from a number Mr. Number associates with scammers, we’ll let you know immediately.