Hello, this is a Robot calling..

October 27, 2018

Over the last week I've received a numerous of calls from a local 416/647 number and every time I pick up thinking it is someone of importance calling me and then I hear this;

"Hello, this is Julia calling, your business has been pre-approved for a business to hear more about this opportunity..."

It wasn't until I was so sick of picking up either a silent call or a robo call from Julia that I finally decided and listen all the way though. And when I finally listened to robot Julia finish talking about my pre-approved business loan that I figured out I could have pressed 2 to be placed on the "Do not call list". Personally, I don't know how much I trust this "Do not Call" list but I pressed 2 anyway, hopefully robot Julia will stop calling.

I'm sure I am not the only one receiving robo calls or even those "CRA" scams trying to get me to buy iTunes or Amazon gift cards to pay off the money I owe to the government from back taxes. I've even received emails from a unknown person(s) that I've been caught on webcam "Self Abusing" myself and that if I don't send 333 Euros in Bitcoin (BTC) to 1PGaSS3iew4EbS4vnb6iGDrYDiCyXqLXSD that video will be sent to my social and work contacts.

I knew this is a full on lie and scam since I have electrical taped over my webcam on my Macbook Pro. When I first got that email I've checked the BTC address and it had 0 activity and no transactions but as I am writing this post I checked again and it had received a total of 0.07034538 BTC worth $592.79CAD.

What I've noticed is that the surge of spam emails and robo calls starts after I purchase new domain names. The first time I've noticed this was when I brought a domain name for my brother and then afterwards I was getting a ton of emails from India asking about the new domain name and if I needed any assistant in building a website or if I need any SEO work for my new website. This is also the time I started getting those robo CRA scam calls and the email asking for bitcoin or he'll share a video of me abusing myself. Now I understand why the domain privacy up sell is so important when buying a domain name and how hosting companies must be making a killing off this up-sell.

So what can you do to protect yourself and your privacy?

The most common option people do is not picking up from a number they don't know and letting it go into voicemail, but that is really not a solid solution to this problem. What happens if you are waiting on a call for an job interview or a call from from a delivery? (Both in my case).

The worst part of this is that scammers use a method called 'spoofing' where they use a local number so it looks like regular number. I have received calls I let go to voicemail only to call back and have the person on the other line tell me that they did not call me.

Here are some ways you can protect yourself from annoying robo calls

1. Register your number to the Do not Call list
Add your number if you had not done so already on Canada's National Do Not Call List. It won't solve all the calls but it helps reduce the number of calls.

Your number will be removed from telemarketing lists but if you are still getting calls you can file a complaint with the CTRC.

You can also forward spam texts to 7726 (or SPAM). This will report the SPAM number to your wireless provider, you will also receive a response thanking you for reporting it.

2. When buying a domain name, purchase domain privacy
Most hosting companies and domain name registrars offers a domain privacy up sell with the domain name, this protects your personal contact information on the whois database which can be crawled with bots for contact information such as emails and phone numbers

3. Don't provide any personal information when speaking over the phone
When someone says they are from a company and starts asking for personal information, don't tell them anything. Instead call the company directly and ask for whatever was being said, better yet go in person.

If you do answer a call and hear a recording such as "Hello, can you hear me?", just hang up.

4. Download a Call Blocking App
You can also download a call blocking app which has a list of known spam and fraudulent number and will tell you if the number that is calling you is a known scammer. I've previously spoken with my wireless provider (Rogers) and they responded that they don't currently offer service natively.

CTIA.org has a comprehensive list of robo blocking apps for Android, BlackBerry, iOS (Apple) and Windows.

The most popular ones available in Canada are: True Caller & Hiya

I've downloaded True Caller and I got to say the number of calls has dropped dramatically, I won't say it has stopped 100% but I do see an definite improvement.

Bonus. Check HaveIBeenPwned.com to see if your email has been compromised
Visit HaveIBeenPwned.com and enter your email to see if your email has been compromised in any data breachs

31-10-2018 Update: CBC MARKETPLACE| Police raid Indian call centres linked to 'CRA phone scam' that have victimized Canadians

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Work Experience
Andar Software Ltd.
Front-End Web Developer
08 / 2022 - Present
08 / 2015 - 06 / 2019
9345-1961 Quebec Inc.
Wordpress Developer
09 / 2021 - 08 / 2022
Yellow Pages
Front-End Developer
06 / 2019 - 11 / 2020
perpetual media ltd.
2011 - 2022
iPosco Systems Inc.
Web & Graphic Designer
12 / 2011
Technology Stack
Adobe Creative Cloud
JS / jQuery
mySQL / msSQL
Wordpress / WooCommerce
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