W4W Toronto

Club and Event Previews and Reviews

Wise Women Staying Trick Proof

You have heard of the recession, have you?  So prepare yourself and be armed with the following knowledge, and for God’s sake’s ladies stop giving out your telephone number to every retailer out there for their “profile” lists.  We suspect they are selling them to whomever to make a buck.

And what about that “National Do Not Call List “?  Here is the scoop. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission launched the registry in September 2008 to great fanfare, promising that those who registered would see a drop in unwanted calls soliciting goods and service. Millions of Canadians have registered their names, home phone numbers and in some cases their cellphone numbers.

The problem is that the CRTC sells the registry list online.  In Toronto, you can get 600,000 names for $50. Telemarketers are required to subscribe to the list, paying an annual fee that depends on how often they choose to download updates. Those who violate the list by calling registrants may be fined up to $15,000 per call, but really… who is going to be checking for these violations?


The Various Flavors of Phone Scamming

  1. Another phone scam involves calls from “Prize Distribution Centers” that claim that you are the winner in sweepstakes or a lottery. Of course, you are not the only “winner” in the lottery and tens of thousands of people received the same call. The goal of the scheme is to entice you to make a relatively small payment (for example, shipping and handling fee, a sales tax) promising that a much bigger prize will be sent your way. Once the payment is sent, you will most likely not hear from the company again, and there will be no prize.
  2. Offers to Lower Your Interest Rates: The calls begin with a recording that makes a tempting offer to lower your credit-card interest rates. Then you are switched to a live agent who collects from you the credit card number and its expiration, name, address, and blah, blah, blah. The telemarketers have no intention of giving consumers better interest rates on their cards and instead use the information to commit identity theft.

    Again, tracing these scam artists is difficult: they spoof the caller ID information and use numerous VOIP accounts set up using stolen credit cards. The best thing to do is hang up, or buy an answering machine.

  3. Fake Bank Alert Messages: A fake message from a local bank says that your card is being suspended and that you need to call a toll free number to activate it. Of course, the toll free number does not belong to the bank and when you call they ask to verify your account information, which includes your name, date of birth, SSN, address, credit card number, etc. Once they have your personal information, they can use it to commit identity theft charging your existing credit cards, opening new credit card, checking, or savings accounts, writing fraudulent checks, or taking out loans in your name.
  4. Advanced Fee Loan Scams: In this scenario a telemarketer promises a consumer a loan or a credit card on very attractive terms. All the consumer has to do is just send a processing fee, or provide checking account info, and the offer was guaranteed. To make the offer sound even more attractive the scammers might throw in a free laptop, an iPod, or any other ‘hot item’. After the payment is made the company disappears, and the victim is often left with an empty checking account and NSF (Non-sufficient funds) bank fees.
  5. Free Listing at Yellow Pages:  This scam targets businesses. The caller says that he is from Yellow Pages and is calling to update their records. He proceeds by asking to confirm some basic information such as owner’s name, business phone number, address, and company name. Then they start billing the victim and only then the business owner realizes that it’s not a free listing and it was not Yellow Pages directory that called.

    The victims report that when they call to complain, the company plays the recorded conversation with the victim saying ‘Yes’ except that the caller is reading from a completely different script. The scammers replace one side of the conversation, making it sound as if the business owner agreed to a paid listing and a monthly fee.

  6. Bogus Fund-Raising Operations: Getting calls from scam artists posing as a charity and asking for donations. However, the charity is either non-existent or unaware of the solicitation.

    When it comes to donations, it’s best to never make donations over the phone.  Instead get the solicitors name, charity name and number, and call the Charity back if you choose to donate.  Google the Charity if you never heard of it.

  7. International Phone Calls Scam: It’s not always easy to tell if you’re dialing an international telephone number. In most cases, you have to dial 011 to begin a call to a foreign country. However, there are locations outside Canada where telephone numbers may look like domestic long-distance calls, but are actually international calls and international rates will apply.

    For example, 284 (British Virgin Islands), 242(Bahamas), 246(Barbados), 268(Antigua/Barbuda), 345(Cayman Islands), 664(Montserrat), 670 (U.S. commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands), 758(St. Lucia), 787(Puerto Rico), 767(Dominica), 809(Dominican Republic), 869(St. Kitts & Nevis), 868(Trinidad & Tobago), and 876(Jamaica) are all area codes in the Caribbean.

    The scheme: the scammer often leaves a message typically asking consumers to call what appears to be an ordinary long-distance telephone number to confirm a lottery prize, or to get information about a relative who has been injured in an accident. In each case, you are told to call the number right away. Since there are so many new area codes these days, people unknowingly return the calls. Once the number is dialed, the scam artist will try to keep you on the phone as long as possible to increase the charges. Unfortunately, when you get your phone bill, you might find that you’ve been charged $2500 per minute.

    If you are asked to call unknown number, Google the area code to check if it’s local.

  8. Cramming“: When monthly charges pop up on your telephone bill for optional services that you never authorized such as voice mail, paging, or club membership, it’s called “cramming.” You may be asked to return a missed call because it’s ‘Your lucky day’ and you’ve won a trip to Las Vegas. When the call is made, an automated system is activated and you are unknowingly enrolled in a club or program, and the charge is placed on your phone bill. The crammer might not even need to do anything except simply pick your phone number out of the blue and place charges on your bill through your local telephone company, claiming that you agreed to purchase some services.

    Look at your bill closely every month. Charges for optional services should be itemized and show the name of the company providing them and its phone number. If you did not authorize the services, call that number and insist that they be canceled and the charges removed from your bill.

    Also, consider putting a third party block on your phone service. It’s often free and it does not let any third party add charges to your phone bill.

  9. Slamming“: Slamming occurs when customers have their telephone service switched to a new carrier without their permission. You may receive a call from a telemarketer asking you to switch your long distance provider. Although you say you are not interested in switching, your long distance provider is changed anyway.
  10. Caller ID Spoofing: Generally, the scam works like this – you receive a call where total strangers pretend to be someone else and they back up their claims with spoofed Caller ID. The scam artists might then ask for money, demand a payment, request your personal information, addresses, or banking info. People report getting calls from long lost relatives, law firms, IRS, and government officials.
    • For example, in one scheme the caller identified himself as a court official and informed the victim that she is being prosecuted for failing to show up for Jury Duty. When the victim replies that this is the first time she hears that she was summoned for jury duty, the caller suggests that this may be a clerical error in the court system, and he asks for her full legal name, date of birth, and SIN to check the official summons files. The scam artist informs the victim that this data will be kept confidential, but it is required for cancellation of the outstanding arrest warrant.
    • You may receive a message where the caller claims to be from a government agency or some other organization with an official sounding name. The caller might claim that you will qualify to receive a “free grant” to pay for education costs, home repairs, home business expenses, or bills. In any case, the claim is the same: your application for a grant is guaranteed to be accepted, and you’ll never have to pay the money back.
    • Revenue Canada calls: In this scheme people receive phone calls from a caller who impersonates an employee. The caller asks the taxpayer for their SIN and bank account numbers, claiming that the RC needs the information to complete the processing of the tax payer’s payment. In another variation of the scheme, ‘an RC employee’ states that the check issued by RC has not been cashed, and they are calling to verify the individual’s bank account number.

    Hang up, find the official number of the organization and call to report the incident. Also, don’t send money – cash, check or money order – by courier, overnight delivery or wire to anyone who insists on immediate payment.

  11. Call Forwarding Scam: You may receive a call or message where the caller, requests you to dial a 2-digit code preceded or followed by the * or # key (such as *79 or 72#), and then another phone number to claim some prize. This procedure programs your telephone to forward your calls to another number, possibly a toll or long distance number. Scammers can then call your number, be forwarded to the number you dialed and place calls that are billed to your home telephone number.
  12. Telemarketing Travel Fraud: These scams have many variations and often involve travel packages that sound legitimate. You get a phone call and the caller is saying that you have been selected to receive a free trip. They will even leave messages on your answering machine with the sound of a cruise ship blowing its horn.  Skilled salespeople will tell you, to be eligible for the free trip, you must join their travel club. Later, you may find another fee is required to make your reservation. In the end, you may never get your “free” trip because your reservations are never confirmed or you must pay different fees, or comply with hard-to-meet or expensive/restrictive conditions.

    Check out the company with your provincial and local consumer protection office before you buy any product or service. Also, be wary of “great deals” and free offers from anyone. Few legitimate businesses can afford to give away products and services of real value especially now!

  13. Get Rich Quick Schemes: Scam artists lure both would-be entrepreneurs and people looking for home-based work with false promises of big earnings for little effort. The schemes often require an initial investment and involve selling items on Ebay, have your own online travel agency, supplement or vitamin business, making sales calls, and or recruiting you friends and family into your “business”. However, once the payment is sent the companies often disappear or even worse you can clearly see that they are a pyramid scheme and you will NOT make any money.

February 24, 2009 Posted by | Toronto Nightclubs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Back From the Sunny South…

Check out our travels to Cuba and Grand Cayman on our YouTube link (to the right).

A Winter Break...

It was the second time visiting Cuba.  Holguin, five years ago was a nice resort town for the sleep deprived, but this time Varadero and Havana was the spot for the action. Things have changed, the value for the money, the people, and the serious lack of toilet paper in any washroom facility outside of your hotel.  Who ever heard of tipping 1 CUC Peso ($1.20CDN) for two sheets of low-grade fanny wipes?  The people on the streets can seriously hustle you for all kinds of ridiculous things.  But in a land where a doctor makes only $50 Pesos a month, you can’t really knock their hustle.  Read and watch the videos on our YouTube site.

Grand Cayman never disappoints even after the 5th visit.  It truly is paradise for visitors with enough money and friend connections to enjoy the glorious luxuries the island can offer.  Check out the video on YouTube.

Yes, from the choke hold of Communism to the extremes of Capitalism.  The irony of it all isn’t lost on us.

W4WT

February 24, 2009 Posted by | Toronto Nightclubs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment