Channel 5 Programme on Phone Scams and how to avoid them

Channel 5 How to Stop Your Nuisance Calls

Channel 5 Programme How to Stop Your Nuisance Calls

Excellent programme on @Channel5uk last night about phone scams – showing how clever these fraudsters are – and how easily people can be taken in by them – the programme demonstrated how a journalist who reports on phone scams was nearly convinced by a prank call.

It’s horrible to find you’ve been scammed – even if you didn’t lose any money – just the fact that there are horrible people out there.  One of the examples was a lady who wanted to buy a puppy for her autistic daughter.  She checked on Google maps that the address was real – and explained to the seller that she needed a puppy to help her daughter who was suffering from the current isolation.  They still took her money – and there was no puppy – and her daughter cried for 2 days.  Happily she now has a puppy but the experience was devastating.

They also talked about how vulnerable elderly people are – because they trust people.  The advice to give your elderly relatives is to put the phone down and ring the company back from a known number.  You can also register their phone number with the telephone preference service so they can just say that they don’t accept unsolicited calls.  (Not that that stops scammers – our phone number is registered but we still get calls – but I do tell sales people that the phone number is listed and they shouldn’t be ringing without permission.)  The telephone preference service is free – watch out for scam websites that want to charge a fee!

The programme also covered ‘the dark web’ – they talked to white hackers (people who excel in finding black hackers and exposing them), these good guys delight in blocking up scammers phone lines talking nonsense to them (which can be quite funny if you’re not the target!).   They explained how black hackers can easily get personal information from the dark web to use in phone conversations to sound convincing – lots of things we have talked about in this blog in the past.

An excellent #TV programme – entertaining – but also interesting and informative.