Telephone scams

Maybe it’s because I am spending more time at home lately but it feels like I am getting way more scam calls. Here are three examples:

First, probs not really a scam, but a major intrusion - hello sir, we understand you have recently been in an accident that wasn’t your fault. Must get three of these a week. ( I love one that said as I haven’t, has anyone in my family had one!)

Second, voicemail stating that my internet will be switched off in the next two days due to illegal activity, press 1 to avoid this. Get this twice a month

And today, this is Windows service team, you have a major problem, can you go to your pc and follow my instructions…

Depending on my mood my response varies from rather rude to playing along with them.

I find it easy to spot them, but would everyone, almost certainly not, keep alert…

3 Likes

I always say, “Yes I had one this morning”.
Can you please tell me more about it.
“Certainly, I was getting out of bed and failed to get to the toilet in time”
SILENCE then the dial tone…(Childish I know but fun).
Works every time. :+1::slightly_smiling_face::laughing:

8 Likes

I’ve used the toilet one a few times only mine was in my pants.

I had one recently, he said that my payout was pending, but wanted to clarify a few details first.
I asked if the cheque was written, which he replied yes.
I spent 10 minutes arguing with him that he should just post it me out, he has my details as he called me ??

I also had a female caller, where I said to her politely.
“As your’e a lady, I’ll be kind and give you the opportunity to hang up before i become offensive”
She thanked me for taking her sexuality into account and then continued with the pitch.

She got my verbal tirade with both barrels.

1 Like

I’ve had a few from BT claiming my internet connection is faulty and we are ringing to fix it for you.
I let them ramble on for a while and keeping them talking then reveal I haven’t got a PC, never had one. One said you must have we have got you here as a user. I’m with Virgin Media internet. :joy:

1 Like

Most of the nuisance calls we get are recorded messages or simply a mass of chatter
from a call centre, we just put the phone down. A nearby friend has a large trumpet
horn with a rubber bulb which he squeezes. He claims this stops a repeat call.
One summer I was listening to a Test Match, the nuisance caller said he liked cricket,
I placed the phone receiver close to the radio, I cannot remember how long he stayed
on the line listening.

Why do all the "I understand you have been in an accident . . . " ones all use EXACTLY THE SAME SCRIPT??? Is there no originality left in the world?

What I would really like a definitive answer to from someone who really knows; if you do actually press a key when requested, can you be directed to a premium rate number as any number of apocryphal reports say or does it just connect you to a human to continue the call? From what I know of the PSTN system I think not. I think possible with some company internal switches, but not a standard PSTN line.

Virgin Media seem to be quite active in this region (even though we’re not on Virgin Media).
When I pointed this out, one lady tried to pretend that all internet connection was via Virgin Media. I responded that that was incorrect and she hung up.
It’s a pity someone can’t do something to prevent these intrusive and unwelcome calls.

It was ok with my landline because these days no one calls on that line so any call before 6pm could be ignored, but with all four parents locked down and over 80 you just never know so we are compelled to answer.

Now also I get calls on my work mobile from what are presented as legit UK numbers rather than 0800 numbers and I again have to answer them. They get me every time…

There was a system you could subscribe to that blocks nuisance calls but I never really understood how this worked. Maybe time to research that again.

Call preference service I think it’s called and have LL and mobiles registered but still doesn’t stop the idiots ringing :roll_eyes::+1:

The Telephone Preference Service TPS (and the postal equivalent, the MPS) only work with legitimate marketing organisations who have agreed to to contact people on the TPS/MPS lists. That obviously doesn’t apply to scammers.

There are (landline) systems which basically route any numbers which are not on a whitelist to a voice screening/voicemail system. This can be a problem with legitimate calls which don’t show their numbers (doctors’ surgeries, large organisation switchboards, etc).

The big issue is that VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls allow callers to present any number that the caller wants - you used to be able to spot the calls from international numbers, but these days they tend to use local dialling codes (as people are much more likely to answer a call if it appears to be local).

My personal favourite question, after leading them on for a while, is “Is your mother proud that you earn your living scamming vulnerable people?” They don’t tend to like that one.

3 Likes

Registering with the Telephone Preference Service will stop the legit companies calling, but not the scammers.
VOIP (voice over IP) makes the cost of calling from overseas negligible (although overeas calls aren’t covered by TPS anyway) and a more recent development is number spoofing, where the number you see if you’ve got caller display is totally unrelated to the actual number calling you, and could even be the number of a friend or your bank if you are being actively targeted.

You beat me to it Philip :grinning:

I use the “is you mother proud of you?” reply too. You never know, it may give them food for thought.

My take is that while I’ve got a scammer on the line they’re not scamming someone else who may be more vulnerable.

3 Likes

My favourite was a caller who suggested that my wife would be eligible for considerable compensation after her car had been damaged. After discussing the situation for some time I casually asked if the fact that my wife was not in the car when it was damaged (parked in a carpark) and was actually drinking coffee in a nearby cafe. There was silence and the phone went dead. Claims handlers … Grr

I ended up ditching the landline phone due to all the scamcalls I would get.There would be 5-6 a day.

I did the whole TPS thing, upgraded the phone to one that allows you to block certain numbers but they just use some sort of encoding that fakes the numbers so it’s always different.

There’s a nice community phone app called “should I answer” and when someone gets a bad call they log it with the app and it then lets all the other app users know it’s suspected scam or nuisance caller.

I used to get “Your windows PC has sent us errors saying that your system is in need of repair”
I just do my best Indian accent and call them some things my Asian mates told me to say.

Scammer: “I’m calling with regard to your recent non-fault accident”.
Me: “Which one?”
Scammer: Silence then “click”.

OR

Scammer: “This is your Microsoft support team, you have a problem with your computer and I need you to open Windows so that I can fix it”.
Me: “OK, hold on a minute”.
Keep them waiting a while, then:-
Me: “Are you there?”
Scammer: “Yes”
Me: “I’ve opened the windows, hurry up and do what you’ve got to do 'cos it’s blowing a gale in here and I’m freezing”
Scammer: Silence then "click

I do love winding these wasters up!!!

4 Likes

I dumped my landline about 13 years ago, i now only have my mobile and if i don’t recognise the number i will answer but i don’t say anything…if i’m busy i’ll terminate the call or i don’t hang up and just leave the phone and walk away with them saying ‘hello, hello hello’ then later i will do a google search on the number and then block it.

2 Likes

I have two that I use.

The ‘accident not your fault’ scam:- bang the phone wait a short time and then say dizzly ‘blimey that was quick, I was just answering this call and drove the wrong way up a dual carriageway!’

The ‘accident at work’ scam:- gets a sheepish response saying i don’t like talking about it and I’m too embarrassed to seek medical help as I’m a product tester in a condom factory!

3 Likes

I used to get such calls every other day.
I got sick of them and stopped answering calls from numbers not on my contacts list…
Now I hardly get any scammers calling, maybe 3 or 4 a year (or so I assume if they do not leave a voicemail).
Not as entertaining as playing along with the callers, but a lot less time consuming.

1 Like

I like to wind them up. I usually ask when the accident was, what was the date? Lately they’ve been replying to that “did you have an accident “ to which I then respond “ you are phoning me because you said I have, so tell me the date” they then say they didn’t and were enquiring if I had an accident. To which I point out that the original pitch was that I have had a recent accident.

I love messing with the English language, growing up on the Two Ronnies was good preparation for this sort of thing.

One guy got so angry he said he would phone me and keep ringing me all day to destroy my day, I turned off the ringer (landline) and carried on my day, turned it back on and it immediately rang, I picked up and he asked me how I liked my phone ringing all day, I laughed and pointed out I’d turned it off and I hoped he’d wasted his day and his anger went through the roof. Brilliant fun.

I had a spate of calls inviting me to an advertising and marketing seminar in Eastbourne to help me build my business… I pointed out I’m a plumbing and heating engineer and that I don’t want more business, they just couldn’t get their heads around it.

I actually have the landline ringer turned off permanently now and only keep it to book holidays and for the internet.

2 Likes

If you do get a random number calling, you can often tell if it is going to be a scammer/marketing call as there will be a slight delay before anyone speaks. This is because they have computers ringing numbers all day. If one picks up, the computer puts it through to someone in their team to speak to the punter/potential customer. However it takes a couple of seconds to do this so there is always a delay and the person who ends up speaking always seems to be a little taken by surprise…

I agree that if in the right mood it can be fun to wind them up in a variety of ways, but most of the time I just say that I am busy, thank them for calling and cut the call. I try to always be reasonable unless they just don’t listen as they are just doing a (cr*p) job that they will probably hate, but need as it pays the bills.

1 Like