The home telephone for some is a lifeline, it is a connection to friends & family. It is also a direct line for fraudsters. Older people are often targeted because they are at home during the day, they may be lonely and can be vulnerable to bullying.
Here are some simple tips to help
If cold callers ring you – DO NOT buy anything, give them your personal details or give them details of your bank account, pension or finances.
Take 5 minutes
Stop before calling any companies back on their correct number. Fraudsters can keep a phone line open for up to 10 seconds and even spoof a dial tone. Please do NOT rush to pick up the phone and call back. Put the kettle on and make a cuppa.
Fraudsters may often know your name and other personal details when they call . They may pretend to be authorities /companies you know such as your bank, broadband supplier, HMRC and even the police.
DO NOT trust the caller ID on your phone as fraudsters use technology and can put up any genuine number.
They cannot tell if you have a virus on your computer – it is a scam
Recently there have been a lot of calls where fraudsters say they are a phone/ broadband company and offer to fix your laptop. Hang up! They are trying to manipulate you into giving them access to your computer and online life.
Do not pay anyone in gift cards – it is a scam
Criminals are calling and asking for payment in gift cards, such as ITunes vouchers. They target everyone including vulnerable people. If you know someone living on their own please let them know.
Please talk about this issue and share it with others.
Call blocking technology is an effective way to stop scam calls getting through.
BT Call Guardian, CPR and TrueCall are three companies who offer call blocking devices and there are call blocker telephones available too. These are a good way of helping to stop telephone fraud and we have heard great feedback on their effectiveness. They are available to purchase through high street retailers and online companies who sell telephones.
If you live in County Durham and would like to know more (or would like to volunteer to help), please contact Age UK County Durham on 0191 386 3856, firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for our Beat the Scammers project.