Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Air Canada Scam

So I have two cell phones, one is on Rogers pay as you go, and the other is a number that was ported from Telus to another carrier, either way, I have two cell phones, and a voip landline at home. Both Cell phones received a call purportedly from "Air Canada" telling me I have won something from them and thanking me for using Air Canada in the past. First, I have never flown Air Canada, so theres that, secondly, I'm not an idiot who falls for scams. The phone number that showed up on both phones was 1-403-864-8989, and if you try to "claim your prize" you get transferred to some idiot from India in a call centre somewhere, who requests your name and credit number.

Hopefully there aren't too many naive idiots out there falling for this. I have to assume the phone number that shows up on call display is not the actual phone number they're dialing from, as it crosses in the 411.ca listings to some lake in Alberta.

Anyways, I like to keep people on the phone as long as possible when they try to scam me, just for fun, but sadly I was too busy to do anything to waste their time this time.

12 comments:

DowntownWpg said...

I got that call as well, on my cell. Hung-up almost immediately, as I've never purchased Air Canada tickets.

The scam artists here must have put some money into it, they seem to be using an auto-dialer and random digit dialing. Must also be running many lines, given that they reached you on both numbers, etc. Anyway, seemed like their system has that short delay where it does not play the recording unless it hears a "hello" to decipher between a real person or other possibilities (ie: with answering machines and no answers would likely get multiple attempts until someone answers - with the hang-up as a refusal). It can also recognize not in service numbers, and remove those from the call list so it doesn't waste a dial on another attempt.

The phone number it displayed was likely an intermediary number, the origin number/dialer gets routed through it so we don't see on our displays a 'number blocked' or the number of origin. Again, that costs some $$$.

Either way, I know this technology isn't exactly cheap. Enough people must fall for this scam to make the investment worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

This "number" seems to have been in use since at least 2009, according to a simple google search. One would think that if that was the actual number and not a spoofed caller ID that someone would have shut it down by now.

They seem to be getting more creative, in any case. Still stupid, but at least more creative. Its amusing to me that they can shut down pirate web sites from across the globe but they can't do anything about these people. What use is the do not call list if you have auto-dialers from outside the country that nobody can do anything about?

Winnipegger said...

I just received this call as well... it was a (403) number...

Anonymous said...

People in Saskatchewan started also receiving phone calls on both cell and home phones on the 20th of September same Sylvan Lake AB phone number. I called the police figuring maybe they can do something. No, they cannot! I tried to phone Telus to ask that they should de-list the cell number that is being used. Telus transferred me to their Client Care call center (located in the Philippines). I asked to speak with someone in Canada. Whoever answered the phone in the Philippines then passed the phone around person to person, as I insisted on speaking to someone in Canada. They were determined to find someone who had a more Canadian voice, and when I said, "are you in the Philippines?", was told yes, I said I want to speak to someone in Canada, I was supposedly transferred to Scarborough Ontario, Said no one had reported it yet. Seriously annoying. Then placed on hold, while they send an email to the corporate office. This took over 1 hour of time. Who knows if that is really going to reach someone who can do anything. Maybe the newspaper will pick up the story.

Trulee said...

I received the same call today. It would be interesting to know if Air Canada has a fraud prevention team that could do something about this. I didn't press the '1' and hung up immediately; however, as dumb as it may seem - I know people in my immediate family who might have. They're just naieve to these types of scams.

DowntownWpg said...

Just came across this on the Free Press site re: phone scam claiming to be Air Canada:

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/Warning-issued-about-phone-calls-103869434.html

Reed Solomon said...

I like how the Winnipeg Free Press calls it breaking news, despite it taking 5 days seemingly from the date of my post before anyone in the actual media noticed. Oh well, at least its finally out there.

Kelly Newby said...

Just on the phone with my Gramma call waiting alert beeped, Glad I didn't put her on hold. It was from 403-864-8989. I tried to call the # back but, surprisingly my"could go throuh as dialed". What a crock!!

Anonymous said...

These morons claimed to be from Mexico, I told them to F*ck Off.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I just got the 403-864-8989 on my Bell mobility cell this afternoon. I didn't answer it and googled the number. Spread the word!

TracyBP said...

Still appears to be a working scam. Just received the call...waited online. You have to purchase a trip to "qualify" for the 100k Air Miles. When I said, if I have to pay for something, I'm not interested, they tried to keep me on the phone and give me a deal. I then hung up. What a JOKE!

Anonymous said...

I got the call today, too, in London, Ontario. I missed answering it - when I saw it was from Alberta and no reverse search brought up a name, I found this 'blog entry. Guess it's a good thing I didn't answer!

Crappy google quote of the day