2 minutes reading time
My dream: life without a landline
I have no idea why I’m being targeted by, I imagine, fraudsters over the last few weeks. But it’s getting beyond a joke: I had three calls by lunchtime yesterday. Here’s what happens. My landline phone rings – this is unusual as most people call me on the mobile. I pick it up (well, it could be someone important and I can’t always find my glasses to read the caller display). Silence for a second. Then ‘Hello Madam I am calling from x’. Then, if I haven’t already put the phone down he or she goes on to say we have information about your computer/broadband etc.
Of course, it’s dodgy. And I don’t fall for it. If a company doesn’t know your name and use it when they call then treat it as a potential fraud and hang up. I did bark ‘What’s my name’ like some demented Muhammed Ali tribute act (one for boxing fans, that) at one woman. She put the phone down on me after telling me to shut up. Yes I’m registered with the Telephone Preference Service (www.tpsonline.org.uk)- but my nuisance calls are coming from foreign companies based abroad so aren’t covered by this.
Here’s my concern. I don’t mean to be patronising but I can really see how some would bother to engage these callers in conversation (older generations probably think I’m really rude, putting the phone down). If someone phones saying there’s a problem with your computer/bank account then it’s easy to be scared into handing over details. Don’t. If a company really wants to contact you then it will know your name – you won’t be just an anonymous phone number in a list handed over to some poor sod thousands of miles away whose life is possibly miserable enough to make what they do (if they even know what they are actually doing) seem acceptable. And even if a caller does know your name, never, ever hand over important financial information. Phone your bank/broadband provider – leave it until a while after the potentially dodgy call – and ask it if it has called. Find good advice here www.bt.com/unwantedcalls.
Of course I could just unplug the landline. And I’m thinking of doing that. But I have to pay for a landline as part of my broadband package. While you can get broadband without a landline (https://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk/ask-our-expert/without-landline) this very useful site’s postcode checker says that I can’t – because, I imagine, I live in the country. Annoying.