With widespread use of the internet comes a whole array of new scams; however, make sure you still keep your eye out for those sneaky ones that catch you unawares, on your landline or mobile phone.
Here are 5 of the most devious phone scams around:
1. You’ve won a holiday!
Congratulations, you’ve won a holiday. “Oh have I, funny that, I don’t remember entering a competition to win a holiday you scumbag”. And hang up.
Of course we all know this is what we should do. But the chance of a trip of a lifetime to some tropical paradise is not always so easy to turn down. Be pragmatic. If you haven’t entered a competition to win a holiday then it is extremely unlikely that you’re going to be called up, out of the blue, by someone usually speaking in horrendously broken English, offering you a trip to Barbados. If only the world did work in such a way, but unfortunately experience, wisdom and age tells us this simply isn’t the case.
It is also common to receive an automated call with a recorded message telling you about your once-in-a-lifetime trip. Alarm bells should ring straight away. In our experience nothing good ever comes from a recorded message. HANG UP STRAIGHT AWAY. If you don’t, and curiosity gets the better of you, you may find yourself calling their premium rate phone number to collect your holiday. After ten minutes of listening to unscrupulous babble, you will find there never was any holiday in the first place, and that you’ve just spent around £15 on a premium rate phone line. Brilliant!
2. A call from the taxman
The taxman will never call you up; fact. Unless of course you know the taxman on a personal basis and you class him as a friend. Then he may call you up to go for lunch, play golf or perhaps a shopping spree. But he will NEVER call you regarding official HM Revenue & Customs business.
There have been numerous reports over the years of calls from scammers claiming to be the taxman, and divulging the good news that you are due a tax rebate. Ah fantastic news you think, I shall give him my bank details as swiftly as possible before he changes his mind and calls someone else: disaster. What actually happens is the thieving urchin on the other end of the line takes all the money from your account, and probably heads straight down to Cash Generator to buy all his possessions back which he’s had to pawn over the past weeks to pay for his countless unsavoury habits.Note this point: If you are due a tax rebate you will only ever be contacted in writing, by post.
3. Mobile phone insurance
Having recently purchased your shiny new mobile phone you may be a little bit delirious with unbridled joy. Do not let this lower your guard to the dangers of potential scammers. You may well receive a call from the shop you bought your phone from, offering you an unbelievable insurance deal. I’ll have some of that, you think. You accept, hand over your bank details, and hey presto – one insured mobile phone. You’ll later discover, once the delirium wares off, the person who phoned you wasn’t who he said he was, you’re phone is in fact desperately uninsured, and your bank account is looking a little on the empty side.
Note this point: Be wary of any calls you receive like this. If you do receive a call and believe it to be genuine, hang up and call the company back. If you do want to insure your mobile phone, you’re much better off shopping around for a deal yourself.
4. You’ve won a free phone!
No you haven’t. If you receive a text stating you’ve been selected for a completely free phone on a first come first served basis, and all you have to do is call an 0800 number, don’t believe it, BECAUSE IT’S LIES.
When you make the call you’ll be told a range of fibs. It will start with: you have won a latest mobile free of charge. We will give you an 18 month contract with stacks of free minutes and texts. You pay £30 a month for the contract, but each quarter the company will deposit £90 into your account – thus making the phone free.
You’ll then have to hand over your bank details and credit card details, in essentially what is a double whammy. You’ve been had. The scammers now have access to absolutely everything.
Note this point: don’t agree to anything on the phone. Call them back and check out the company online to make sure they’re legitimate.
5. You’re going to be disconnected
You receive a call from someone – a particularly horrible individual – claiming to be a representative of a major telecom provider. You’re told that your account is either in arrears, or your telephone line needs digital upgrade work. And as usual, you need to hand over your bank details to make a payment.
Then the clever bit: the rapscallion on the other end of the line tricks you into believing your phone line has been temporarily cut off – leading you to mistakenly think the call is genuine. In actual fact the troublesome oaf is on the line with the mute button on, meaning you can’t make any calls.
Here at AnswerMyPhone.biz we really have heard and seen it all. And the beauty of our service is that we have the experience and know-how to understand when someone is trying to take your business for a ride and filter these calls so none of your time is being wasted. For further information regarding our UK telephone answering service, please call 02920 695999 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
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