• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found in our area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Social Engineering & Fraud

DominicI

New member
Jul 24, 2021
2
0
Hi

Just joined and looking for advice from people with more experience with Dementia than me.

Social Engineering - (in the context of information security) the use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes.

My Mother in laws Dementia has got a lot worse over the last six months and she gets a lot of calls and emails from people trying to get her to either sign up for things or give her passwords, DOB or account numbers away, sometimes she remembers she's had the calls, sometimes not.

I work in IT but it's pointless me telling her what not to do as 15 mins later she's forgotten. I'm not massively concerned with the small stuff it's the big stuff i'm more worried about, what do other people do? she has a sticker on the door but it's the phone and internet that's the risk, it's the giving away of her personal information that's leaving her at risk.
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
6,255
0
N Ireland
Hello and welcome @DominicI

It's a worry, isn't it. My wife was a victim of a telephone scam during the PPI days. Luckily I immediately found out when she gave her bank details away and I was able to avoid financial loss. I bought a BT nuisance call blocker phone and that sorted that problem.

I used AV and anti malware on her laptop and think that worked.

In our case, my wife's dementia has now progressed to the stage where she can no longer use phones and computers so it's less of an issue.

I wish you luck.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,523
0
South coast
I had a similar problem with OH., @DominicI , despite him having previously working in IT himself, he kept falling for scams and I think we lost a lot of money before I realised what was happening.
I suggest the following
1 - scratch off the three digit number off the back of debit/credit cards. The cards can still be used in shops and ATMs, but cannot be used for the internet/phone.
2 - get a BT call blocker phone, or a True Call phone. Both use similar technologies - the True Call can monitor calls remotely, so may be helpful if you dont live with your mum. I would suggest you set it up so that family and friends are added to the contacts list and your mum can just answer the phone to them as normal, international calls are blocked (in my experience they are all scams) and all other calls are automatically routed to the answer phone where you can check them yourself later to see if there is anything important there. Most scam callers do not leave a message.
3 - if your mum has internet banking, change the password and dont tell your mum the new one. Use any excuse that will satisfy your mum as to why she cant get on the site anymore
4 - use parental locks on the internet so that your mum cant access any dodgy sites
5 - covertly check her emails for signs of fraud and delete scams

Good luck!
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
815
0
Another advantage of the True call system is that you can block all numbers other than those you input into a trusted list. Then record your own message which unknown callers here saying that Mrs X only accepts calls from friends and family, then give them your phone number to call if they wish to speak to her. That avoids using answering machines. For a small annual fee you can have a App to remotely add or delete numbers from your home computer. My mum was not aware that we had installed the call blocker.

Camera door bells linked to your phone are very helpful to deal with cold callers, the scammers tend to ignore notices on doors and knock regardless.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,523
0
South coast
Another advantage of the True call system is that you can block all numbers other than those you input into a trusted list.
You can do that with a BT call blocker too. I never thought about recording a message to tell callers to phone your number, but then, Im at home with OH. Its a very good idea if you live somewhere else.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
971
0
I've been wrestling with this recently and am fearful that having been targeted unsuccessfully once he will be targeted again. I can't restrict him to a specific list of callers because there are all sorts of legitimate calls that might be affected. I have blocked calls from withheld numbers as a start, reduced his credit limit, and am planning to scratch the three numbers from his new debit card. I am monitoring incoming calls.
 

DominicI

New member
Jul 24, 2021
2
0
Thank you so much for all your help, the true call sounds like a great plan (will get on that ) and removing the three digit pin is a great idea (never thought of that.
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
815
0
I've been wrestling with this recently and am fearful that having been targeted unsuccessfully once he will be targeted again. I can't restrict him to a specific list of callers because there are all sorts of legitimate calls that might be affected. I have blocked calls from withheld numbers as a start, reduced his credit limit, and am planning to scratch the three numbers from his new debit card. I am monitoring incoming calls.
I am sure you are correct about being targeting and on a scammers list. I was able to pass on a video recording of someone asking mum for money at the door to the police ( as we had installed Ring doorbell cameras). He thought he was clever by knocking on the window when he saw the doorbell but his movement had activated security camera near the roof. The policeman recognised the caller and because the quality of the recording was excellent, they could hear him asking for money hence making it a crime of fraud.

I subsequently mentioned another man who had scammed money at the door but i only had still photos of him. Once again they knew him but could only warn him off as there was no evidence - but it worked! The police told me that it was likely that mum was known to local criminals now as word soon gets out among drug users ( as both these men were) about where to get money. They gave me a description of a third person, a woman with a child, who also preyed on vulnerable elderly people in mums area and to my horror I realised that this woman had indeed visited mum and she had let her in and sit in the lounge! That was one reason for us installing two additional cameras in the lounge and kitchen so we could see and hear visitors as well as check that mum had not fallen overnight.

It’s awful really that these scammers lists are so prevalent, I’m sure Esther Ranzom did a programme about them.
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
2,717
0
Scratching the three numbers off the back of the debit/credit card worked a treat until I had a short break and my husband looked after dad for a few days. Dad received a letter from his house insurer who hadn't been able to renew his insurance automatically because dad had a new debit card so my husband phoned them up (debit card in hand) and went through the whole process until he was asked for the three magic numbers from the back and they were gone. He was unable to complete the process but it didn't end too badly because he used his initiative and found dad much cheaper cover with a different company after I had supplied him with the magic missing numbers.

Dad never knew the numbers were removed, my husband said they must have worn away.

Lesson is to write down the three numbers somewhere safe to avoid embarrassment later.