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SoCal Edison warns customers ‘finger-fat call fraud’



SoCal Edison warns customers 'finger-fat call fraud'

Glenn Egelko does not have very swollen fingers. Nevertheless, he almost fell victim to what was known as “fat finger-call fraud”.

As if we weren’t worried enough, right?

Egelko recently had a few questions about the Southern California Edison utility bill. He looked at his latest statement and found a number for customer service: (800) 655-4555.

As happens to all of us from time to time, Ventura residents misplaced one digit, accidentally connected to (800) 655-4556.

And through the rabbit hole the hoax of the telephone he left.

Egelko, 70, heard a recording that did not say he reached Edison but, again, did not say he did not. It just plunges into saying he might qualify for “special promotions for selected callers.”

The special promotion is a $ 100 “shopping certificate” that is said to be good for purchases at Walmart, Target and other retailers. All Egelko had to do was pay a $ 1.95 fee with his credit card.

“As soon as they said they wanted my credit card number,” he told me, “I hung up.”

Egelko said he did not realize he dialed the wrong number until he checked his phone and found he was wrong with one digit.

“They don’t tell you who you have reached, so how do you know?” He asked.

Of course it was intentional.

Egelko accidentally discovered one of the devious ways in the world of remote marketing: shady companies bought hundreds or even thousands of telephone numbers that were only slightly different from well-known companies such as utilities or large companies.

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This tactic relies on consumers who are not aware that they are really connected to a telemarketer and think that the company they want to reach only offers attractive offers to customers.

Before you know it, you can be hit with recurring monthly fees for services that you didn’t know were registering.

“This is a very sophisticated fraud,” said Amy Nofziger, director of victim support for AARP’s Fraud Watch Network.

“Almost all large companies and organizations are caught up in this,” he told me. “Even the AARP service number also has a fat-finger version.”

I followed Egelko’s path down this special rabbit hole. The $ 1.95 fee for a $ 100 “shopping certificate” – and the credit card number you provided as part of the transaction – will actually register you in a discount coupon program that costs about $ 50 a month.

Or you could be drawn to one of a number of other offers, such as a medical alert device that will definitely come at your own expense, or a roadside assistance plan.

I called Edison’s insufficient number several times. Each call opens with a recording asking benign questions like whether I am older than 50.

Answering yes to each question leads to “Jessica,” which sounds friendly but is actually a more deceptive recording with a deliberate gap in the script that invites responses to questions and creates the illusion that you talk about with real people.

After Jessica gets the bait, you end up going to honest people, who will aggressively try to sell you various services. He will also hang up as soon as you start asking too many questions, such as what is happening.

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There are a number of telemarketers who play this game, AARP said. In this case, the non-Edison number leads to the call center for the Profit Savings Discount.

Or maybe it’s run by Discount & Savings Advantage. Or maybe the Premier Prize. Or maybe the benefits of shopping in America.

I am given a different name every time I ask, even though Discount Savings Advantage, and its variant Discount & Savings Advantage, appear most often.

I found online complaints about this outfit and its marketing tactics for years. But for hours rooting through public records there was no trace of company ownership paper. Whoever they are, they are very hidden.

Is this illegal? Unfortunately no.

“As long as they are not misrepresenting themselves, they have the right to buy certain telephone numbers,” said Nofziger.

He added that most telemarketers who operate this scheme are very careful not to claim to be a number entity that misleads you, you think. Instead, they bend backwards to prevent you from catching.

Consumer Reports warns that many finger call frauds involve toll free numbers. The telemarketer will buy the exact same number as the company, but instead of the prefix 800 or 888, he will use 866 or some other legitimate alternative.

If you provide your credit card number, said the organization, “The only thing you will receive is additional charges on your credit card, bank account (if using a debit card) or telephone bill.”

“Even worse, you might find that you have been automatically registered in the ongoing subscription service, you will be billed for every month.”

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If that happens, said Nofziger from AARP, good luck.

Although most telemarketers claim that they make it easy to opt out of recurring fees, he said, many who use fat ploys will either ignore the request or tie you up for as many months as possible.

Don’t hesitate to contact your credit card issuer and stop dubious payments, Nofziger advises.

I share Edison’s close-numbers with Edison. Sally Jeun, a spokesman for utilities, acknowledged that customers could easily think they would contact the company.

“We will never ask for your credit card number over the telephone,” he told me.

I asked Edison’s message to customers who found themselves in the same position as Egelko.

“Hang up the phone,” answered Jeun.

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Joao Almeida became the champion of Portugal in cycling



Joao Almeida became the champion of Portugal in cycling

This Sunday, Portuguese cyclist João Almeida (UAE-Emirates) became the Portuguese champion in cross-country cycling for the first time, winning the elite national championships held in Mogaduro.

In his first online race since Joao Almeida was forced to pull out of the Vuelta Italia after testing positive for the coronavirus, he won his first national title since becoming time trial champion in 2021.

Almeida crossed the finish line in Mogadora, covering the 167.5 km distance in 4:08.42 hours, 52 seconds behind Thiago Antunes (Efapel) second, Fabio Costa (Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor) third, and Rui Oliveira (UAE). – Emirates), fourth.

In the end, João Almeida stated that he was “very pleased” with the victory, admitting that the race “went very well” and thanking his teammates.

Former national champion José Neves (W52-FC Porto) did not finish the race, as did Rafael Reis (Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor) who won the time trial title on Friday.

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Portuguese military admits ‘it will take time’ until territory is taken under control



Portuguese military admits 'it will take time' until territory is taken under control

The “path” chosen for about a year in the fight against rebel groups in the province of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique is “the right one,” Brigadier General Nuno Lemos Pires said in an interview with Lusa.

“Now, while the situation is not fully under control, we all understand that, as in any other counter-terrorism situation in the world, it will take a lot of time,” added the head of the European military training mission, although he acknowledged that this “ does not mean that sometimes there are no fears and failures.

However, “this is part of what constitutes an action taken against terrorists who operate in a very wide area, who in themselves have the initiative and the ability to hide in a very wide area,” he said.

In fact, he stressed, many of the recent attacks that have taken place in the south of Cabo Delgado in recent weeks are due to the fact that Islamist extremist rebels had to “flight from the north” of the province.

“Because this was a consolidated military operation carried out in close cooperation between the Mozambique Defense and Security Forces (FSS), [e com as forças d]Rwanda and SAMIM (Southern African Development Community Mission (SADC) in Mozambique), who were clearing out the intervention areas that existed in the area, the reaction of many terrorists was to flee the area, go further south, where they were not pursued. , and make new attacks,” he explained.

“In such cases, the initiative almost always belongs to the terrorists. There are few of them, they hide among the population, they move over very large territories, with a lot of dense vegetation, it becomes very difficult to find them, but you can easily move,” he continued.

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On the other hand, the Portuguese general emphasized, “it is now difficult for these groups” “to concentrate power and forces for large-scale operations, as was the case three years ago during the conquests, such as Mocimboa da Praia or Palma.” ,” he said.

“They don’t have that ability. Many of these attacks even demonstrate [estratégias] survival [clássicas das guerrilhas]. They’re looking for food, they’re looking for supplies, they’re searching deep down for a place where they can survive, because the area is already under quite a lot of control. [por parte] Mozambique FSS, Rwandan forces and SAMIM,” he explained.

In this context, Nuno Lemos Pires highlighted the “quick response” of the Mozambican authorities to each of these developments, starting with head of state Filipe Nyusi.

“I think it is exemplary that the moment there is a movement or a series of significant attacks in other areas, we immediately see the President of Mozambique heading north, linking up with his Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces (CEMGFA). , with the Minister of Defense, with the Minister of the Interior, and outline plans on the ground for a quick change of equipment and the ability to respond to such movements,” he said.

During one such trip to northern Mozambique in mid-June, Mozambican Interior Minister Arsenia Massingue said that Mozambican police were informing the “enemy” – the rebel forces in Cabo Delgado – about the positions of the FDS and allied forces on the ground.

However, Lemos Pires downplayed the situation. “We must be aware that there are infiltrations in any political system. It’s happening everywhere. Ignoring this dimension is tantamount to ignoring what is happening everywhere,” he said.

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“I don’t know of a single case of insurgency, counterinsurgency, terrorist or counter-terrorist combat where these leaks didn’t happen frequently. You need to be careful. .

In addition to the vastness of the territory that has been the scene of conflict and the topography favorable to insurgent guerrilla strategies, the porous borders with Tanzania to the north of Cabo Delgado and Malawi to the northwest also pose a danger. challenges the SDF and allied forces of SAMIM and Rwanda.

Lemos Pires also relativized this question. “We are talking about transnational terrorism, and it is good to understand that the situation in the north of Mozambique, in Cabo Delgado, is not limited and is not limited – and has never been limited – exclusively and exclusively to this region. A phenomenon that exists throughout Africa. , namely in Central Africa,” he said.

The UETM commander even took advantage of this circumstance to formulate an “extended response” to “a broad problem, a regional one, and the solution must also be a broad regional one.”

Therefore, “it’s very good what we see here on the ground, in fact, this is the unification of the efforts of regional African forces to try to deal with a problem that really worries everyone,” he concluded.

“What happens in one region can affect another. That is why it is in everyone’s interest that these groups be fought, detained and that the narrative that they are currently spreading can be counteracted – we hope that there are fewer and fewer successes,” the Portuguese general stressed.


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Lusa/The End

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Sporting confirmed the title of champion of Portugal in futsal and became a two-time champion of the country – Notícias de Coimbra



Sporting confirmed the title of champion of Portugal in futsal and became a two-time champion of the country - Notícias de Coimbra

Today, Sporting CP confirmed the title of Portuguese futsal and became the champion of the country, once again beating Benfica 4:3 in the third game of the play-off final at the Pavilão Joao Rocha stadium in Lisbon.

With this triumph, the Lions add their 17th national title, become two-time champions and achieve something unprecedented in the sport in Portugal, reaching the title by winning every play-off game and completing this feat with three wins in the final against rival Lisbon , winning the first two matches 5-4 and 4-3 respectively.

If in the first two matches the “lions” always started on the losing end, this time the team of Nuno Dias reversed the trend and led through Pauleto (05 minutes), making it 2-0 due to Cavinato (13) and Cardinal (18). ) signed a third before the break.

In the second half, André Sousa (26) moved to Benfica, Ziki (33) turned Léonin’s lead into a 4-1 lead, and Artur scored twice for the Eagles (34 and 39).

Sporting seized the initiative from the very beginning, and after Pani Varela threatened to hit the post, Pauleta really opened the scoring for the Lions with the next move, only having managed to pull over to the side of the road with a well-aimed blow. pole, after help from Eric.

Alvalade’s team were encouraged by the goal, and in the following betting twice he cost Benfica André Sousa, who, thanks to two excellent interventions, avoided Sporting’s second goal.

However, even the “elastic” goalkeeper of the “eagles” could not prevent the score from 2:0 in the 13th minute, when Cavinato appeared “in the face” of the goalkeeper to deflect a free kick from Alex Merlin.

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The “party”, which took over the Joao Rocha pavilion due to the Lions’ two-goal advantage, led to an overabundance in the stands: the fans broke the glass next to the “red” bench, due to which the game was interrupted for several minutes.

Three minutes before the end of the first half, Benfica had a great opportunity to close the gap: Sporting punished Sporting with a free kick for the sixth foul: Arthur missed him in a one-on-one match with Goncalo Portuguese, hitting the post.

The “punishment” for the Luz team was even more severe a minute later when the Cardinal made it 3-0 to the national champions. Pauleta, in an individual move, took all the defense of the “Reds” to the “tug” and filed for a support, which, in front of the helpless Andre Souza, chose a side and struck for the score.

In the second half, despite a greater lead in the match when Benfica appeared to be shaken by a big disadvantage, Sporting saw the opposition close in on the score thanks to a 26th-minute André Souza goal. even touched Merlin before entering the gate in Gitta’s defense.

Shortly after that, Benfica could have re-entered the final discussion, but Arthur, after a combination with Carlos Monteiro, hit the post again, missing the opportunity to make the score 3:2.

Benfica failed, while Sporting responded with a fatality, and Ziki stamped his name on the scorecard in the 33rd minute: first Pani Varela hit the iron, and then the green-white center was faster on reload.

After two iron balls, Artur finally “set” his goal and lowered it to 4-2 in the 34th minute. Toward the last minute, the central “incarnate” made the score 4:3 and left the result open until the end, but Sporting even became the national champion for the seventh time during the “reign” of Nuno Diaz as coach of the team from Alvalade. .

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The game was played at the Joao Rocha Pavilion in Lisbon.

Sporting – Benfica, 4-3.

During the break: 3-0.


1:0, Pauleta, 05 min.

2:0, Cavinato, 13.

3-0, Cardinal, 18.

3-1, André Sousa, 26.

4-1, Ziki, 33.

4-2, Arthur, 34.

4-3, Arthur, 39 years old.


– Sporting: Gitta, Eric Mendonza, Joao Matos, Diego Cavinato and Alex Merlim. Also playing were Tomas Paco, Cardinal, Pauleta, Pani Varela, Esteban Guerrero, Ziki Te and Gonçalo Portugal.

Coach: Nuno Dias.

– Benfica: Andre Souza, Romulo, Robinho, Rocha and Ivan Chishkala. Also played were Afonso Jesus, Artur, Carlos Monteiro, Bruno Sintra, Rafael Henmi, Silvestre Ferreira and Jacaret.

Coach: Pulpis.

Referees: Cristiano Santos (Porto), Ruben Santos (Porto) and Joao Sinval (Braga).

Disciplinary Actions: Yellow card for Robinho (11), Bruno Sintra (12), Cardinal (12), Jacaret (16), Pauleta (29), Romulo (32), Zika (32) and Afonso Jesus (34).

Attendance: about 2000 spectators.

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