It has become frequently common for our landlines and mobiles to be bombarded with cold calls and texts. They range from surveys and insurance to the selling of products or services. Not only is it inconvenient and annoying but regular calls can become intimidating.
Avoiding Scams – There are many ways that you can protect yourself from cold calls.
- You can contact your phone provider and they should be able to inform you of what privacy and even call blocking services they have available. Be aware though that these services are not always free of charge.
- You can register with the Telephone Preference Service. This is a free service and they allow you to opt out of unsolicited live telesales calls.
- Never give any financial information out on the telephone. Your bank or building society would never ask for you to provide these details.
- Your local mobile phone shop would also be able to provide you with some information on the type of mobile phone you have and what type of call blocking is available.
There are many different ways that you or a loved one can be conned out of money. Two examples of recent scams are a caller advising that your current bank account is not safe and has been compromised. They then offer to transfer the money to a protected bank account. The caller will sound official but urgent to make you feel like your current bank account is being targeted right at that moment. BEWARE even when you hang up and call your bank to check if the call was legitimate these people may still be on the line. If at all possible take down all of the details and pass them to a relative to call and check.
The second scam involves a person acting like a courier. They will claim your bank cards have fraudulently been used and will be taken with your pin to the police. Once again they will catch you unawares and pressure you with urgency. People will even knock on your door and try to convince you that there is a problem with your roof or sell you a service that is expensive and you do not require. It can be a good idea to have a No Cold Caller sign located near the front door. You could fit a spy hole and always ask who is calling, request ID and if you haven’t booked a pre arranged repair do not open the door. Most gas or electric suppliers will even give their elderly customers a password that only their engineer will have.
Here are some free ‘no cold caller’ signs for you to print off and affix to your doors/windows: