People on Facebook have an annoying tendency to “like” or “share” stuff simply because at least one other person has said that everyone should do so. The problem is, most of the time it’s nothing more than useless, outdated and irrelevant spam.
I had a whinge about such a thing in September, when people were “liking” a Facebook page, stating that Morgan Freeman had died.
The latest nonsense to appear in my timeline was at some point “shared” on Facebook by someone called Ken Whitehead. I don’t know where he’s obtained the so-called warning from, but he clearly decided that it was genuine and “shared” it. just like almost 21,000 other people have “shared” it.
The so-called warning makes people aware that there is a particular scam being carried out as we approach Christmas. Victims receive a delivery card through their letterbox from a company named Parcel Delivery Service (PDS), stating that a parcel could not be delivered. Victims are then prompted to dial a premium-rate number where they are put through to a recorded message; as soon as this message is played, victims receive a £315.00 charge on their telephone bill. The full supposed warning is as follows:
Can you circulate this around especially as Xmas is fast approaching – it has been confirmed by Royal Mail. The Trading Standards Office are making people aware of the following scam:
A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 (a Premium rate number).
If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £315 for the phone call.
If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 020 7239 6655.
For more information, see the Crime Stoppers website:
Massive Telephone Bill?
To be charged £315.00 for getting through to a recording would mean that your telephone provider charges a huge amount per minute for premium-rate numbers. I’ve no doubt that you can still incur a pretty steep telephone bill, but if you were stupid enough to stay on the telephone for long enough to incur such a huge call charge, you have duly paid for your own idiocy.
A very quick search of the web (Google is your friend) takes you to a very useful website named Hoax Slayer. It is here where you can find details of various hoaxes which are known to have circulated or are currently in circulation. It is confirmed (both by PhonepayPlus and Crimestoppers) that this scam is no longer operating and hasn’t done so since 2005.
It’s sad, because there’s lots of people who would possibly believe these hoax warnings and who are probably living in fear because of all the scams out there.
Stop Filling My Timeline With Shit!
I don’t want my Facebook timeline clogged up with warnings and requests to “share” those warnings with as many people as possible. Unfortunately, it’s always the same people that automatically “share” this useless shit despite it only taking a minute or two to determine whether or not you’re circulating spam or genuinely helpful information.
The fact that nearly 21,000 people have already shared this particular piece of ridiculous information implies that there’s nearly 21,000 people in the world (probably within the UK due to the nature of the scam) who are gullible and lazy.
Just imagine the mass-panic that those same 21,000 people could cause if they were to circulate rumours that a third-world war was about to start or that a terrorist attack was planned? Or the effect on one person’s life if 21,000 people circulated rumours that that person was a sex offender or paedophile? It’s an extreme example but if people are “sharing” information without verifying it, terrible things could happen.