Have you ever been cold called?
I was talking to a friend the other day and I asked how often he receives a call on his land line? He replied that on the landline he only gets calls from his grandma and cold callers which got me thinking.
Most of us have received cold calls but do we really understand just how calculated and dangerous they can be?
I am sure at one stage you will have had a call about being in a car accident, or regarding issues with computers or internet connections that you were unaware of. Some cold callers even call to discuss something that is relevant such as a timeshare you own, or solar panels have installed but you have to ask yourself, how does a company you have never heard of know what you own?
Remember if someone calls you, ask yourself what do they want? Cold callers don’t just call for a chat, many are targeted and some are outright crooks.
Calls usually fit into three categories
1. A fraudster trying to obtain something from you and they are calling every number in the phone book
2. Someone who has obtained suspiciously detailed information about you and will use it to sell something by gaining your trust
3. It’s a legitimate caller e.g. your credit card’s fraud department
Creativity knows no bounds
Fraudsters are amazingly creative and tenacious when it comes to dreaming up new methods to obtain money from you. If you would like to keep up to date with the latest methods, subscribe to our blog and we will publish new case studies as we hear of them.
If the caller has inside information about you, treat this as more suspicious than if they knew nothing about you. These types of fraudsters are far more sinister than the chancers who phone every number in the book. Some industries are rife with dubious people. If organisations have made lots of money (often fraudulently) and then have folded, they often make the customers’ data available for resale, often to companies who will offer to ‘assist’ you with the original problem.
This is particularly rife in the timeshare and solar panel sectors where we have seen this happen many times in the last decade. Armed with this data the new company can call you and talk in an informed way about you, knowing what you have purchased, from whom and when. This allows them to gain your trust quickly and making it easier to sell something else to you.
If you are called by someone knowing something about you then consider if you want to trust someone who has illegally obtained your details.
If the call is legitimate, the caller will be happy for you to protect your security. Tell them you will call them back and hang up. Please don’t ask them for their number – fraudsters can easily set up credible contact details. Instead, look on the internet for the number if it is a company you have not heard of. If you do know the company you can check formal paperwork or if it’s your credit card company, the details will be on the back of the card.
What should you do?
If you receive a suspicious call the most important action for you is to hang up as soon as possible.
Check the number that called you on the internet. There are many sites where people record the various scam calls they have received such as www.who-called.co.uk
If you believe the call was a scam, you may be able to block that number from calling you again. Speak to your phone line provider to enquire how to do this.
Remember don’t fall for the fraudster, be prepared to hang up, be calm and don’t worry about the caller’s feelings – you are much more important.
This article has been written for informational purposes to expose scams, cons and fraud and not as advice.
The information on our website is intended to provide an overview of the services that we provide and does not constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss your particular circumstances please contact us.
Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority SRA No. 650601
Registered office: Artemis House, 4 Bramley Rd, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK1 1PT