My Numbers Up, with Pineapple on Top

Written By:
Content Copyright © 2006 Bloor. All Rights Reserved.
Also posted on: Nigel Stanley

I was at home the other day and decided to check my brain out and catch a bit of Corrie. This is one of Mrs S’s favourite soaps, and the latest plot lines do make me giggle, although I do get told off for laughing in the wrong place.

Just as Tracy was getting heavy with that horrible builder bloke my mobile phone rang.

I grabbed the phone and answered it for the line to go dead. The call register showed a number that was a UK based landline and the dial code looked legitimate. At this point my suspicions were aroused as anyone of any importance would have left a message or rang back, as I thought maybe they had been disturbed.

I went upstairs to Stanley IT Central and popped the phone number into Google and lo and behold there were a raft of stories and comments about a certain telecoms company using this technique to cold call customers, and be quite abusive in the process by all accounts.

It’s pretty obvious that if I receive a call that is from an unknown source I will be a bit switched on until I can verify the caller.

But how about this story from the US of A, highlighted in the Reg?

A fraudster will call a telecoms company and tell them that he works at a pizza company and the phone is on the blink. He asks that calls are automatically redirected to another number which he gives them. Of course the telecoms company is happy to help a customer having a problem.

The fraudster then sits at the end of the phone collecting credit card orders for non-existent pizzas.

The crux of the issue is, apart from the fraud, that few people would suspect anything was up as THEY dialled the pizza company’s telephone number. Social engineering at its finest!