to be hoping to be blacklisted soon

(183 Posts)
hopingnothopping Fri 17-May-13 12:25:10

Despite being registered with the TPS, I have had a spate of cold callers lately: people saying they are from Microsoft and want to repair my Windows computer (a common fraud), and others telling me that they have £x with my name on it due to mis-selling of PPI. I have never taken out PPI.

I have adopted a new approach which has produced interesting results.

I ask if they have a degree (so far they all have), then what they had hoped to do with their lives when they were younger, whether their mother knows what they do for a job and whether she is proud of them? I then calmly and politely suggest that they look for a job where they can do good and be proud of their work, and hold their heads up high with their families.

I have had the following responses:

Edward: Gosh, yes, I feel dreadful, I need to get another job. (I liked Edward)
William: I am doing this because my country didn't invade your country and take all your wealth 35 years ago but your lot did that to us. I hate the British for what they have done to us (he was full of vitriol that came spewing out)
Sammy: shouted at me to stay out of her life (poor Sammy seemed very stressed but her logic was remarkable when you consider that SHE phoned ME whilst I was in my own kitchen minding my own business).

So AIBU to hope I will soon be blacklisted from these fraudsters' phone lists on the basis that I upset their staff? It seems quite effective.

BTW I wouldn't be this mean to an "honest" cold caller just trying to sell me something but these guys were all working for criminal gangs and must have known it.

LandOfCross Fri 17-May-13 12:26:06


NoelHeadbands Fri 17-May-13 12:27:59

Yah ok

I did similar to one who phoned me up asking about "your accident that happened four or five years ago" ( apparantly he knew about it because my Doctor or the Hospital told him. But he had no idea exactly when it happened - probably because IT DIDN'T ) .
Any questions he asked me I answered "Well, you tell me, you seem to be remarkably well informed about my life. And as I work for the NHS I know that Drs and hospitals don't give out this (non existing) information "
I said he should be ashamed of himself because some poor soul will have been in an accident for real and might fall for this crap scam.

His Supervisor (who sounded suspiciously like the original caller grin ) then phoned me back to complain I'd been rude to the caller .....!!

fancyabakeoff Fri 17-May-13 12:40:18

Oh bollox!

Get one of these if it bothers you so much

BTW... TPS are rubbish, it's run by marketing firms.

fancyabakeoff Fri 17-May-13 12:41:10
SlumberingDormouse Fri 17-May-13 12:44:55

I always tell them that Mr or Mrs So and So has died recently and can we please be left alone to grieve. That shuts them up pretty damn quick!

magichamster Fri 17-May-13 12:45:30

Don't you think it's a bit sad that the only job a graduate can get is cold calling?

No need to be rude to people.

hopingnothopping Fri 17-May-13 12:46:34

fancyabakeoff thanks for the link - do you have one of those? Does it work? It seems like a good idea but I don't want to block all international calls as some will be from relatives, nor do I want to block all "withheld" calls as my DH 's office comes through as that but if it would still work then that seems brilliant.

Landofcross why the biscuit? What do you do with those calls? I would welcome a more effective suggestion. Hanging up just seems to mean they call back later and so is ineffective....

hopingnothopping Fri 17-May-13 12:48:29

magichamster yes, of course it is sad. That is why I am pointing it out to them. Having said that, I don't believe that there isn't a single honest job they could get though. It is sad but not forgivable to go and work for a criminal gang. My FIL has been caught out with one of those scams and lost thousands of pounds that he spent a lifetime earning... I am very careful NOT to be rude to them...I am trying to make them rethink their lives.

perplexedpirate Fri 17-May-13 12:49:56

Well done, you've made someone probably in an already shit situation feel even worse.
Do you know how hard it is to get a job, any job, at the minute?
Do you know how desperate people are to provide for their families?
Yes, you have been slightly inconvenienced by taking a call you didn't want but seriously, what a graceless response!

hopingnothopping Fri 17-May-13 12:50:05

slumberingdormouse that is a good answer! I'll try that next time. I guess that is why they always start with "is that Mrs Hopingnothopping" before they say who they are. I hope I don't tell someone I need to speak to that I am dead! Just occasionally my bank calls, or the school ...and the call can start the same way.

hopingnothopping Fri 17-May-13 12:51:13

perplexedpirate are you recommending sympathising with someone committing a criminal offence? These are not "jobs". These are being part of a criminal fraud on innocent people in their own homes. Yes, I want them to feel bad about it!

ShatnersBassoon Fri 17-May-13 12:51:55

Yeah, because they care what some smartarsed tit thinks of their job. I don't believe those conversations happened quite how you've reported.

hopingnothopping Fri 17-May-13 12:53:21

perplexedpirate I would not take this approach on an honest caller simply trying to sell me something I don't want. I was clear about that in my OP. Only I don't generally get honest callers as I am registered with the TPS so law abiding firms don't call me.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 17-May-13 12:53:41

patronising much?

hopingnothopping Fri 17-May-13 12:54:08

shatnersBassoon It's a nudge. It might make them think. If enough people did it, then it would. They happened exactly like that. Try it yourself.

hopingnothopping Fri 17-May-13 12:54:59

Fanjo so what do YOU say to them? Do you hand over your computer password and let them hack into your bank account? Or are you rude to them? I thought I had found a good middle ground.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 17-May-13 12:56:23

I haven't had a call with them trying to hack me, tbh.

I would just say "no thanks, bye" and hang up.

soverylucky Fri 17-May-13 12:56:40

Here is a better idea - just hang up.

hopingnothopping Fri 17-May-13 12:57:05

Seriously, how would all you judgey posters feel if your son worked for a call centre that was attempting to defraud people? Would you shrug and say jobs are hard to come by?

olgaga Fri 17-May-13 12:57:33

I am also registered with TPS. I usually tell them I am and they shouldn't be calling the number. At that point most tend to apologise and hang up.

If they want to carry on with their spiel I say "Excuse me while I just get a pen".

Then I just leave the phone and let them decide how long they want the call to be!

hopingnothopping Fri 17-May-13 12:58:25

I have tried the hanging up but have been getting an increasing number of calls lately and realise I need a stronger approach. Anyway, I am not sure that hanging up is any nicer on those callers than engaging them in some soul searching.

ShatnersBassoon Fri 17-May-13 12:58:56

I don't want to try it. Hanging up makes me feel better than haranguing a stranger about how they've disappointed their parents.

Doodledumdums Fri 17-May-13 12:58:57

While I wouldn't have the guts to do this myself, I don't blame you! I had an insurance company call me every day last week, despite me telling them each day (at first very politely, but by friday not quite so!) that I wasn't interested.

I did feel awful yesterday though as I hung up on someone calling from cancer research. I have donated money to them every month for the last 14 years, and they call me every so often to ask for more. I always end up feeling guilty because I can't afford to give any more, and it makes me feel bad. Yesterday my baby was screaming and I was stressed and I just couldn't face being made to feel guilty again. In retrospect I should have just politely explained as I usually do, but I didn't, and now I feel awful for it. So much so that if they called back today then i'd probably increase my payments because I feel guilty for hanging up yesterday!

hopingnothopping Fri 17-May-13 12:59:06

olgaga good advice, thank you.

soverylucky Fri 17-May-13 12:59:51

soul searching seriously?

You think they want to do that job? You do not know what has led them to that job and therefore you should refrain from being their moral guardian.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 17-May-13 12:59:52

People who do that sort of thing aren't likely to have a sudden epiphany and stop doing it because you question them, sadly.

NoelHeadbands Fri 17-May-13 13:01:19

Oh honestly, like any one of them gives a shit

fancyabakeoff Fri 17-May-13 13:02:40

Yes I have one and its really good. There are hundreds of blacklisted cold caller numbers already pre-programmed into it so if you do nothing else it cuts down a lot of calls but you can also block any unwanted numbers permantely by pressing the block now button on the unit whilst on a call to them (love doing that! grin.

International residential should be fine. You can put in codes to tailor what type of calls you want blocked.

Have a look at the reviews on Amazon.

Sorry about the long link, in a rush as I'm supposed to be going out not arsing about on MN.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Fri 17-May-13 13:03:51

I generally do the 'no thanks, bye' and hangup.

But a while back the Microsoft scammers phoned me every day for about a week. Eventually, I did lose it blush and shouted 'oh for god's sake, everyone knows this is a scam!' And hung up. Probs a coincidence, but they haven't called since.

Sadly though, not everyone does know it's a scam. These callers prey on the vulnerable sad

hopingnothopping Fri 17-May-13 13:04:54

soverylucky true I do not know what has led them to take that job and I agree that they probably don't want it. But that does not make it okay to try to defraud people.

I am not sure what the solution is - more legitimate trade with countries that have no welfare system might be one way.

But I do think that sometimes people make bad choices and then get into a habit that perhaps a little reflection would jolt them out of. Possibly a longshot but it seems better than leaving them free from guilt phoning the next old lady and stealing her money. I know if one phoned my DM she would def hand over her computer password and think she had found a knight in shining armour. Their patter is very believable - they are from Microsoft and want to solve the problems you have been having lately with your computer and need to install an update remotely to make it work faster......

JamNan Fri 17-May-13 13:05:29

They are not bona fide callers - they are telling lies and they drive me mad because I work from home. Hanging up doesn't work for us as they call again. We recently were given a small toy dog that barks when you squeeze it. He now sits by the phone and when one of these annoying callers phones they get the barking dog treatment. They soon stop wasting my time; in fact I only get about one or two of these calls a week now instead of up to five a day.

flippinada Fri 17-May-13 13:05:44

Frankly, you sound like a thoroughly nasty piece of work. Have you ever had yo do a job you don't like just to pay the bills?

Yes the calls can be irritating but there's need to be unpleasant. Either don't answer the phone or just say no thank you, it's not hard.

I don't imagine you'd feel feel quite so pleased with your smug self if you did that though.

Does working in a criminal gang really count as a job? hmm

These scammers are no different from muggers, cheating people into giving out their passwords so they can steal money from them. I wouldn't be as polite as the OP TBH.

hopingnothopping Fri 17-May-13 13:07:38

flippinada no, I have never had to compromise my honesty in a job. Yes, I have been very poor and done all sorts of unpleasant jobs to survive, but never one that involves stealing from other people.

Have you?

hopingnothopping Fri 17-May-13 13:09:02

fancyabakeoff thanks for taking the time to post those links. I will get one for me and one for my DM too.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 17-May-13 13:09:18

flip It's not a job, it's theft!

Do you have the same approach to pickpockets, burglars, muggers etc?

JerseySpud Fri 17-May-13 13:10:29

i love cold callers offering me conservatories, insurance, etc etc

Because when it comes to my 'area' suddenly they realise that im in the Channel Islands...

flippinada Fri 17-May-13 13:12:11

No, I've never done work like this, and I'm very thankful that I have a decent job and don't need to.

The answer it's quite simple - if it bothers you that much, screen calls or just put the phone down.

I had one cold caller who wouldn't take 'No' for an answer, and wouldn't agree to take my name off his list unless I gave him more details - which I didn't want to do. He interrupted me, talked over me, and wouldn't listen, so I put the phone down on the table next to me and let him carry on squawking to himself, until he realised no-one was listening, and hung up.

About 5-10 minutes later the phone rang again, and I had a gut feeling that it was the same chap, so I answered the phone in French - and lo and behold it was the same man, so I carried on the whole call in French, but in my own voice, iyswim, so he knew it was still me, until he gave up and hung up on me. He didn't call back.

JerseySpud Fri 17-May-13 13:12:58

i also remember one company that wouldn't take no for an answer. They kept calling even when we said 'no thank you' and hung up, they rang at 3am (bloke on the phone sounded american)

Best of it was they were trying to sell us a phone line. Which we couldn't have had if we wanted. Because at the time there was only Jersey Telecom here :\

flippinada Fri 17-May-13 13:13:31

You may not like it, but it's not theft.

RedPencils Fri 17-May-13 13:14:16

Cold calling is an utterly shit job, so I'm not rude to them. I usually go with 'no thanks, please remove my name from your list'. If they are arsey with me, I just hang up. Although I did say to a youngster who came to my door trying to sell me new windows, that he should pack this job in and get a proper job because his bosses were exploiting him and he was never going to make the £££ commission they told him he would. I was being nice though not arsey.

One of my colleagues recently had one of those Microsoft calls on his mobile at work. He's an IT programmer, so could run rings around them with the IT bollocks. Had them on speaker phone talking absolute shit for about 20 minutes before they gave up. was very funny.

EauRouge Fri 17-May-13 13:15:56

TPS only covers callers from the UK, not from overseas.

I used to get 4 or 5 calls a day. I take calls for a charity so I always pick up the phone. It was getting pretty tedious when I was getting so many sales calls, they were intrusive and inconvenient. I got one at 4am once, the fuckers. They've reduced a lot since I just started telling people they had the wrong number. I might tell them I'm dead next though, just for some variety grin

The microsoft scammers get a massive lecture though. If I can keep them on the phone for a while it means they're not ripping off someone else. It's always a dead giveaway when they mention my PC- I haven't got one!

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 13:16:05

Flippinada God forbid people be rude to CRIMINALS WHO ARE TRYING TO DEFRAUD THEM!

My heart fucking bleeds.

Are you for real?????? hmm hmm

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 17-May-13 13:16:52

LOL yes, I thought OP was a bit patronising but my heart is hardly bleeding for the fraudsters tbh grin

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 13:17:09

Flippinada the Windows scam is in fact theft.

Happy to help.

DeafLeopard Fri 17-May-13 13:17:20

The OP isn't talking about callers ringing up trying to sell double glazing / insurance etc.

The cold callers are ringing up trying to defraud people.

Saying that jobs are hard to come by etc is like saying it is ok to shoplift / pickpocket / clone credit cards cos jobs are hard to come by.

You may not like it, but it's not theft

What is it then? Fraud? Whatever it is, it's illegal.

Cloverer Fri 17-May-13 13:18:21

flippinada - it is theft! It's a con, it's illegal, vulnerable fall for it.

Do you feel this bad for shoplifters I wonder?

RedPencils Fri 17-May-13 13:18:24

You may not like it, but it's not theft.

My ILs fell for the Microsoft one. They paid them £100 to 'fix a virus' that they didn't have. Maybe not theft, but definitely fraud. How woud you describe it?

Cloverer Fri 17-May-13 13:19:44

The OP is hardly blowing a whistle down the phone. Who cares if she is a tiny bit patronising to scammers?

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 17-May-13 13:22:25

i don't care because i feel sorry for the scammers.

Was just a teeny bit cringy.

flippinada Fri 17-May-13 13:25:24

I thought we were talking about cold callers who (while annoying) are just doing a job.

If people are scamming folk over the phone then that is criminal and I wouldn't bother being polite to folk like that..although I'd be very careful about what I said to someone who maybe had my address and other details especially if there's a suspicion they aren't legitimate.

flippinada Fri 17-May-13 13:28:53

Hey squoosh yes I am "for real", I just have a different opinion to you.

JenaiMorris Fri 17-May-13 13:29:36


We are plagued by these people to the extent that I have had to unplug my landline.

These aren't people trying to earn an honest if irritating dollar by flogging double glazing, these are fraudsters.

I have some sympathy for people who find themselves being the organ grinder's monkey, but it's still an unpleasant business.

They can also be extrememly rude - we started unplugging the landline because a couple of them genuinely upset poor ds who at 11 really didn't know how to handle them.

Pigsmummy Fri 17-May-13 13:29:46

TPS was set up by Ofcom, if you continue to get calls just ask them for their name and number then report to TPS. Tell the caller that younger doing that.

Pigsmummy Fri 17-May-13 13:30:16

Younger = you are

SusanneLinder Fri 17-May-13 13:31:29

Fraid I am bloody rude to cold callers.

I never ever tick the, I want to be called box on anything I buy etc, I am registered with TPS blah blah, and I still get calls. I used to be polite, I have told them that we are registered with TPS, and I have had everything from "Oh sorry" and then they ring back later.I did report them to TPS for all the good it did, so it will depend on what mood I am in on what reaction they get. grin.

If they phone during a DD meltdown/cooking dinner/just in from work or end of my fave Tv prog then I am ruder than normal.

Otherwise I hang up.

Personally I don't give a rats arse if thats all the job they can get, I would rather clean the street with my tongue than annoy someone with about 6 calls a day. I didn't ask them to call me, they are invading my privacy and my precious time so they can do one. I draw the line at whistling down a phone though cos thats mean.

I do admit to being a grumpy mare though grin

Cloverer Fri 17-May-13 13:31:55

The OP very clearly mentions "Microsoft" and PPI scammers.

I do think there is a difference between people who are cold-calling to try to sell you something, and those who want to defraud you (the microsoft scam springs to mind here). Why do the latter deserve consideration and gentle handling?

Yes, people need to work, but could any of the people on this thread who think the OP was unreasonable, honestly say that they would take a job that required them to try to defraud innocent people?

flippinada Fri 17-May-13 13:36:37

I think it's entirely fair enough to find cold callers (note..cold callers, not scammers) rude, annoying and intrusive.

Once again though I really don't understand why you can't just screen calls or just put the phone down.

SilverOldie Fri 17-May-13 13:38:22

The last 'microsoft' call I had, I played stupid and kept them online for over half an hour, figured it would bump up their telephone bill nicely.

Of course people need work but not at the expense of the people they are calling.

JenaiMorris Fri 17-May-13 13:39:21

Pigs TPS only have powers in the UK. These callers are generally from offshore outfits.

Flippinada - I suppose one argument is that, if the scammer is being kept on the phone talking to the OP, they aren't on the phone talking to someone more vulnerable who might fall for their tricks.

NetworkGuy Fri 17-May-13 13:40:56

flip - "I thought we were talking about cold callers who (while annoying) are just doing a job."

In the opening of the OP's post she wrote "they are from Microsoft and want to repair my Windows computer (a common fraud),"

I've had someone claiming that. Told them "I have a linux machine" (I also have iMac and Windows, but knew there was no way MickeySoft would have my number anyway).

Worst for me have been calls from the "Female Health Company" in N America as they ring my 0800 number and I get charged for their calls. They make 'female condoms' but having rung them and left voicemail requesting they stop calling, they still carry on... Major pain. OK, the cost isn't major but the number has not even been promoted (by me) anyway, and I've sorted out some web listings for previous firms (some being chased by solicitors or debt collectors, those calls also costing me money each call)...

polkadotsrock Fri 17-May-13 13:41:27

I've had some incredibly rude and persistent calls lately. One chap
accused me of lying when I assured him no accident had occurred. I can imagine some vulnerable people would fall into these traps and be led a merry dance by these people in their 'jobs' so they'll get zero sympathy from me if the OP wants to challenge their choices. They too are free to hang up if they don't like it.

flippinada Fri 17-May-13 13:42:22

See all of this playing games, keep them on the phone, lecture them about how they shouldn't be doing the job etc...why bother?

If your own time is so precious, why spend it having a conversation you don't want to have about something you're not interested in instead of just putting the phone down?

flippinada Fri 17-May-13 13:43:45

Yeah, I get them, but I just put the phone down (if I pick it up in the first place). Job done.

Why engage?

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 17-May-13 13:43:54

OP YANBU. Nasty people praying on the vunerable

Judezx Fri 17-May-13 13:45:39

Once I received an overseas phone call scam thing from a man with the most crazy sounding accent. I honestly thought it was my husband pranking me and I was laughing along, until I realised it wasn't him.

Another time I received another overseas scam phone call. She asked to speak to my husband and I told her he wasn't in. He wasn't. She chose to disbelieve me, went crazy, I hung up and after that she kept ringing me all night and then several times a day. She would just ring and not speak. I ended up having to change my number. I wasn't actually rude to her but now I am super keen to be polite in case it's another deranged, grudge bearing telesales nutter.

NetworkGuy Fri 17-May-13 13:49:38

"These callers are generally from offshore outfits." Hoowever, apart from the Microsoft scam calls, most PPI calls are passed on to firms of solicitors in the UK. Indeed most which relate to insurance and similar claims would be.

On Radio 4 the other day, someone working from home had given the cold caller duff info, to get on to the organisation using them (and paying them for the "lead"). Eventually had the contact details of a firm of solicitors, explained how it was an agent in their employ who made the call, and billed them for 120 quid (one hour's consultancy) based on the time spent on the phone talking to different people, and interruption to his work.

Once he had billed them, his accounting software sent out reminders, and when it got to final warning before legal action, they coughed up. So yes, the originating call might be from overseas (so that 'Number Withheld' doesn't get shown and the calling firm is ignoring the TPS anyway) but if the resulting business is in the UK, I suspect a small claims court might consider a case against them, as the methods used break the rules of the TPS.

TPS may not have big teeth, as it is pretty much voluntary in the sense unscrupulous firms may aim to avoid it, but if there are dozens, let alone hundreds or thousands of claims made against those who are paying for the marketing "lead" (eg the PPI claim firms, not the cold caller) then pretty quickly the whole thing could die from the cease of contract between firms of solicitors etc and those making the calls.

StealthOfficialCrispTester Fri 17-May-13 13:50:29

I wish theyd call mil. Theres no way theyd be ableto explain clearly enough so she coukd follow :-D she once rang us to tell us her "turtle had disappeared" and expected us to fix it. When I made a vain attempt she said sadly "I thought you knew about computers"

flippinada Fri 17-May-13 13:50:40

I must admit since making my initial, admittedly stroppy, post that I'm shocked at some of the stories on here, what people have dealt with.

I've had the occasional call which has been a bit irritating but nothing like these.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 17-May-13 13:53:39

yes, am feeling sympathetic, sorry OP, you are just dealing with them as best you see's wrong you have to deal with them at all.

Holliewantstobehot Fri 17-May-13 13:54:24

I like to completely thow them off balance - mostly they have a script to follow and don't know what to do if you deviate from the expected responses - I have sworn blind I don't have a mobile phone/computer in the past and this has usually resulted in them hanging up the phone.

With PPI I have asked them to remove me from their list and if they call back I threaten them with Ofcom; that usually works.

Double glazing can be got rid of easily by telling them you rent the property.

NetworkGuy Fri 17-May-13 14:00:37

flip - "instead of just putting the phone down?"

Some people "just have a different opinion to you" (or in this case, take a different course of action).

Or as some will say, if they're wasting their time on this call, they aren't achieving a "result" defrauding someone vulnerable.

I don't think I've had any female cold callers, but might be tempted to start asking what they are wearing, their measurements, ...

It could be interesting to see what level of questioning they will take before they hang up. Mostly it's been recorded messages so I haven't had the chance for this type of "research" yet!


I got woken by the phone at 11.30am earlier this week. Doesn't sound too bad, except that I was working nights and had only been asleep for two hours angry The woman kept chuntering on, I couldn't get a word in edgeways, so I said "can I just stop you there" so that I could ask them to please go away and let me go back to sleep so that I wouldn't be a complete zombie and potentially make a dangerous mistake at work that night.

"No", she said "I am talking. You can speak when I am finished". shock angry

Not a cold caller but HMRC! shock To add further insult to the rudeness (and the fact that they owe us 10K which they refuse to pay back) they have been told repeatedly to deal with our accountant rather than phone us. I wish I'd had the OP's strategy to come back at her with!

NetworkGuy Fri 17-May-13 14:04:12

"turtle had disappeared" - LOL !

StealthOfficialCrispTester Thanks for that... big laugh in an otherwise serious thread (on the basis some elderly folk with Windows will/ may/ have been defrauded).

SusanneLinder Fri 17-May-13 14:05:50

*"No", she said "I am talking. You can speak when I am finished".

I wquld have phoned HMRC and complained!!!

NetworkGuy Fri 17-May-13 14:06:57

Sorry to hear that, MrsM'sCharLady... no heart beat in that caller... as it's made of ice and cannot move (and with HMRC having made me bankrupt some time back, I'd feel it's not in anyone's interest to be stroppy to them!)

Kat101 Fri 17-May-13 14:07:15

We pay Sky £4 a month on top of our line rental. We get no cold calls whatsoever. Its well worth it for £1 a week.

StealthOfficialCrispTester Fri 17-May-13 14:09:09

Yes network. It turned out to be a teaching resource orogramme shed either uninstalled or deleted the shortcut (which was a turtle). As dh told her. When he was DOWN THERE. Because you cannot talk mg pils through computer stuff on the phone. Worst thing is when it does eventually get sorted they tell us how easy it was for the person fixing it. Yes because theyre there fixing it directly. Not trying to explain to you how to make the text bigger in excel over the phone sorry. Rant over

flippinada Fri 17-May-13 14:11:08

I know that some people have a different opinion to me NetworkGuy that's the joy of MN.

Someone asked above if people who think the OP is being unreasonable would want to do the job themselves. Well no, I wouldn't and thankfully I've never had to. But if I was desperate and it was the only thing available...I honestly don't know.

NetworkGuy Fri 17-May-13 14:11:12

SOCT You might find "" worth a go. Allows you to remote control another computer via the internet (if she's only). However, I was actually thinking the 'turtle' was her name for a mouse and that the pointer on screen was missing...

NetworkGuy Fri 17-May-13 14:11:51

aaargh ... if she's online (and it is free).

flippinada Fri 17-May-13 14:13:10

mrsminiver that's absolutely shocking. I think a complaint would be in order.

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Fri 17-May-13 14:14:04

Wow,I don't understand posters who don't think you should be rude to cold callers who are trying to scam you shock

I try to be as insulting as possible. I usually say your mother, your children and your grandparents should be ashamed of you. Etc etc.

NetworkGuy Fri 17-May-13 14:14:19

Kat101 - that's presumably "anonymous caller rejection" (which will reject "NUMBER WITHHELD" but will NOT reject INTERNATIONAL calls). Many o these scammer calls are international, so they could still reach you (one day!)

StealthOfficialCrispTester Fri 17-May-13 14:15:43

We couldnt use logmein at the time cant remember why. The frustratjng calls have died down a lot since theyve both retired!

Well, I'm certainly considering making a formal complaint about her attitude (which unsurprisingly changed abruptly when I asked for her full name and job title) but quite honestly HMRC stress me out so much at the moment that I'm not sure I can face it. And our accountant thinks it's pretty much par for the course with HMRC so there seems limited point.

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Fri 17-May-13 14:17:43

If its a UK based unwanted cold call remember to report it to OFCOM.

I report every single time. It only takes a moment.

Alwayscheerful Fri 17-May-13 14:18:56

Computer calls - I just say, I dont have a computer or a laptop.

PPI- I say but I have never had any credit.

Windows kitchen, conservatory, solar - I say I rent or we had it done last year depending on my mood.

I am loving your conversations, just wish I had the time.

RootinTootin Fri 17-May-13 14:19:00

A chap rang me and asked me if I'd had an accident in the last few years that had left me out of pocket. I said that I had and put my 3 year old on the phone as proof.

StealthOfficialCrispTester Fri 17-May-13 14:20:47


reelingintheyears Fri 17-May-13 14:24:57

RootinTootin inspired. grin

flippinada Fri 17-May-13 14:25:30

Now that's funny RT grin

I think, on balance, I was rather rude to hoppin so I would like to apologise for that.

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Fri 17-May-13 14:28:27

HERE is the online form to complain about spam texts or calls.

SolomanDaisy Fri 17-May-13 14:38:12

PPI firms aren't criminal gangs, they have to be licensed by the moj. The owners are morally dubious, but the minimum wage call handlers who can't find any other job aren't really to blame.

StealthOfficialCrispTester Fri 17-May-13 14:40:40

Anothr one would be "yes I had a wee wee in debenhams. It was a accident"

ethelb Fri 17-May-13 14:56:12

@flippinada I don't think you were. It is extremely unclear in the OP whether that she is talking about scammers, she uses the term 'cold callers' which includes anyone you don't know who hasn't made an appointment to speak to you surely? I'm quite shocked she is so proud of her sneering attitude tbh.

OP, what saintly occupation do you hold?

Adsss Fri 17-May-13 15:01:30

If I have plenty of time play along with it
OOh yes let me go get the laptop ( make cup of tea)
One sec just booting up ( eat some biscuits)
Oops crashed one sec rebooting ( change a nappy)
OOh Ok ready again, what did you want me to do....oh no out of power, back in a minute (hang some washing up)
unfortunately never got any further than that grin

flippinada Fri 17-May-13 15:05:57

Well thanks ethelb but I think I was a bit intemperate, and I hold my hands up - some of the stories on here have been an eye opener.

The distinction between cold callers and scammers is an important one, I think.

neunundneunzigluftballons Fri 17-May-13 15:17:31

flippinada I am glad you changed your tune I was beginning to wonder if you felt sorry for all of the world's criminals in a similar neo liberal, give the world a hug manner. My parents had the same call from 'Microsoft' in the last few weeks op. I was incredibly impressed that they copped on because they are exactly the type of people that these scammers would normally prey on. Which is why your messages really resonated with me flipinada

HungryHippo89 Fri 17-May-13 15:50:18

Thought I would just add in my 2p ...

I cold call as part of my job (however business to business selling a proper business service)

But... These cold callers from microsoft or anywhere else that try and part you from your cash for things that don't exist. They are probably very aware about what they are doing. The chances are they are calling from some boiler room "business" from another country (believe it or not Barcelona is a hive of illegal boiler room business) With regards to TPS .. it is irrelevant for them as they are calling from outside the country. They probably have been shipped across from the UK out to whatever destination it may be and they get their lodgings paid for but won't earn a basic wage but will earn a high % of whatever they get out of people ... How do I know this ... I'm sad to say i used to work with a few guys who did this but on a much bigger scale (think targetting the wealthy for 100's of thousands) for investment opportunities. And they used to find it bloody hilarious the amount they had scammed people out of.

They know exactly what they are doing - If my mum found me doing a job like this she would be disgusted. So for the "a job is a job" argument I would rather be scrubbing public toilets then scamming innocent people and I think the OP is well within her rights to do a bit of sole searching with the caller. YANBU!!

<<Puts on flameproof overalls>>

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 17-May-13 15:58:13

guys that like that scammed a relative of mine for a very large amount.

He wasn't wealthy, it was his pension, he had to sell his house.

piprabbit Fri 17-May-13 16:19:44

I am shock at how many MNers think we should be lovely and polite to these fraudsters, because they don't want to be criminals and they must be having a shit time.

Not as shit a time as the person they've just conned out of their savings.

Are you all aware of the latest scam? Your "bank" phones to say there is an issue with your credit card, but they need you to confirm your security details. You sensibly say no, you'll call them back. So you phone the real bank number on your statement, give out your security details and think all is OK BUT the original caller never hung up, the 1st call didn't disconnect properly and the person you called is in fact another fraudster waiting to harvest your details.

Be careful.

flippinada Fri 17-May-13 16:24:43

Thinking you should be civil to cold callers (note, NOT scammers before anyone gives me a right royal flaming again) doesn't mean I think criminals should be given a free pass!

I agree with you there, flippinada - and these sort of cold callers get a pleasant refusal from me.

I think, even if I were desperate for money, I wouldn't take a job that involved scamming vulnerable people out of their money. I couldn't live with myself.

perplexedpirate Fri 17-May-13 16:47:39

I assume you all report these scam phone calls to the police?

piprabbit Fri 17-May-13 16:53:06

Fraud is no longer reported to the police, instead it should be reported via Action Fraud.

You can complete an Information Report here, if a fraud might have occured but didn't (because you spotted what was happening).

Kneebeefjerky Fri 17-May-13 17:45:39

Sorry, but it irritates me that someone would feel so smug as to think this had made a blind bit of difference.

The OP just drips with smugness and self satisfaction.

hopingnothopping Fri 17-May-13 18:42:18

Kneebeefjerky I don't know if I have made a blind bit of difference or not but I do know that I have done the best I could think of. That is my general motto in life. I am sorry that is not acceptable to you. I expect you are much wiser,kinder and, um, less smug and not at all self satisfied.

Flip thanks. I probably didn't phrase my OP that well as I was talking only about cold calling scammers. Ordinary cold callers are just doing their jobs and earning money honestly. Presumably a percentage of people are pleased to have been called and buy the double glazing or whatever as otherwise companies would not continue to have call centres.

Fanjo yes, IKWYM, my FIL fell for a boiler room fraud and nearly went for the microsoft one too.

Solomon many PPI callers are not scammers but the one who rang me to say he had £3,450 in an account waiting for me if only I would give him a few bank details certainly was.

Iiiiiiiiii yes, that sounds like a similar approach. Do you get the same kinds of response? I don't think it can do any harm to let them feel some moral pressure.

In general, I can see I am not alone in objecting to scammers phoning me even if the jobs market is tough. I am with someone upthread who said that any other approach would be tantamount to feeling sorry for muggers on the same basis.

The best advice seems to be those anti spam call devices.

Thanks everyone for all the replies :-) I am retiring from the thread now.

MrsDWinchester Fri 17-May-13 19:07:44

I'm registered with the TPS as well but apparently they can't stop the dodgy calls coming from abroad. I've been having lots of phone calls from numerous fraudsters claiming they've found a problem with my bank account and my computer.

I've now started to pretend to go along with it and wind them up back. I was on the phone to one for fifteen minutes last time until they finally twigged what I was doing.

What really annoys me is that they quite happily target elderly people who wouldn't know it was a scam. These people don't deserve any sympathy whatsoever. This could happen to someone's relative who then has to attempt to deal with the severe repercussions of this fraud.

I don't have an issue with cold callers. They are only doing their job so I'm obviously polite to them but not to these people. I don't know how they can feel comfortable with what they do.

hopingnothopping Fri 17-May-13 19:50:16

ethelb sorry, just read your question. I am a SAHM (? how is that relevant - what do you do?)

Aside: Why do some posters not just stick to the argument in hand? If you have a different point of view, fine, fair enough, put it, but what's with the insults?

ethelb Fri 17-May-13 20:18:21

Where have I insulted you?

DeWe Fri 17-May-13 20:26:13

My favourite response to the "we can tell your PC is running slowly" is to tell them that the chap from Microsoft is just fixing it, I'll pass him over. None of them have stayed on the line long enough to even say hello.

Hilarious OP grin

they're trying to con the OP, who cares if she butts into their life! tit for tat I'd say, or hardly!

TheCutOfYourJib Fri 17-May-13 20:35:41

piprabbit you couldn't make a call to your bank if the original caller hadn't hung up, impossible.

poorbuthappy Fri 17-May-13 20:36:05

We get loads of the funny numbers ringing,

all the time. Always abroad, can never ring back.

TheCutOfYourJib Fri 17-May-13 20:37:14

ethel I think sneering attitude and saintly job are pretty insulting.
Personally I can't believe you are on the criminals side, unless you're dodgy yourself.

maddening Fri 17-May-13 20:38:59

my dbro is a scientist and one of his sciency friends created a virtual harddrive in his system - so when the windows scammers called him he did indeed let the take remote control of his "virtual" hardrive - so they could fix the viruses they said he had - he played it clueless.

apparently as they were systematically destroying what they thought was his computer he even said "what do you think that VH icon is" They advised him it was a virus that they were fixing - after a while he informed them that they had been working on a virtual harddrive which he would delete and that he had recorded everything that they had done. They swiftly hung up but he had full documentation of what they would do to someone's computer and if they had done it it would be extremely hard to fix if at all in some cases.

ethelb Fri 17-May-13 20:42:01

I am not the only person who accused the op of sneering. Not by a long shot.

Plus where did I 'side with the criminals' ffs? I said the OP hadnt been particuarly clear about what kind of 'cold caller' she was talking about.

God you really will see what you want to won't you.

You sneered as well, though ethel - by asking her what 'saintly' occupation she pursues - and two wrongs don't make a right.

I believe that being sneered at is the mildest thing that people who deliberately attempt to scam or defraud other people deserve. I don't think they deserve much respect, if any. I would not take a job that involved me trying to trick people out of their hard earned cash, and didn't bother if that was an elderly person's last pound.

Noorny Fri 17-May-13 20:59:48

What a VILE way to speak to people who are trying to do an honest day's work.
For the record B2C telesales for PPI is not a criminal activity.
If I was the cold-caller I would want to know if you had a degree (and whether that was actually from a decent university....and was it a first class). I would then want to know where you get off speaking down to people. Would your mother be proud of you speaking to people like they are dirt...actually if she spawned you she probably would.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 17-May-13 21:02:44

An honest days work trying to hack into people's PCs to steal their bank details?

Noorny Fri 17-May-13 21:04:02

I said B2C telesales for PPI is an honest job. Please learn how to read.

ethelb Fri 17-May-13 21:04:05

But don't you have to be a bit of a knob if talking down to someone is your first port of call?

Im surprised how few people have taken the time to report scammers. I have. But it seems people just want to use criminals to make themselves feel superior and complain rather than bother to do something about it? Pretty pathetic if you ask me.

Cloverer Fri 17-May-13 21:05:51

Calling people and lying about their PPI - "Our records show you are owed £4000 from PPI" - is not an honest day's work.

We unlikely to be a legal company. It's a scam.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 17-May-13 21:06:19

I can clearly read if I am able to post here.

Please learn how to make a decent insult.

ethelb Fri 17-May-13 21:06:26

@fanjo another one who can't read. As stated above the use of the term cold caller in the op is potentially misleading.

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 21:06:42

I would say PPI cold calls are in a very grey and shady area. Certainly not what I'd call an honest day's work.

Telesales for PPI is not illegal - but when someone is asking for bank details to transfer in an amount of money they say you are owed (and how can they know what, if any refund is due to you), then that looks like a scam. No reputable company would do this, Noorny, and I don't think any decent person would do it.

That may sound harsh - but if someone is trying to scam people, harsh is what they deserve.

Cloverer Fri 17-May-13 21:07:44

If it's all so honest and genuine, why do I get calls about being owed PPI or compensation from accidents I have never had?

One PPI telesales operative told me that it didn't matter that dh and I had known about and agreed to PPI where we had taken it out on loans. I told them I did not believe we had been 'mis-sold' PPI, but they still encouraged me to make a claim.

Had I done so, it would have meant lying about the PPI being mis-sold to us - and that would have been fraud!! How is it a decent day's work if you are telling people to commit fraud?

Kneebeefjerky Fri 17-May-13 21:11:06

Blow a whistle down the phone, hang up, play white noise at them. Just don't make smug remarks which won't make a blind bit of difference and then come on here and expect everybody to tell you how clever you are.

For one thing it's old. People have done things like this before in much more clever wittier ways. It's smug. Just expecting to be congratulated for doing something not particularly amusing, original, funny or clever.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 17-May-13 21:14:22

Saucer of milk for your table

GoblinGranny Fri 17-May-13 21:18:35

DS gets these calls now, it's a whole new world for an Aspie who isn't used to adults lying.
He's been told he's due compensation for an accident, and the PPI loans one, and the Microsoft, and several others.
He's never had a serious accident, can't drive, only had a bank account for a year, doesn't have a debit card let alone a CC and doesn't own a computer.
So my time is also wasted, he has to listen to the lies because he doesn't know how to disengage, and I have my time wasted trying to explain what a scam is and why people make things up.

carovioletfizz Fri 17-May-13 21:20:09

What is the scam with PPI, I've never understood it. I mean I know that obviously I'm not due the sums of money they say I'm due in their annoying calls, but what do they get from it?

I assume that they charge you a fee or a percentage of your refund, to 'assist' you with your claim - a claim that you could make on your own, and keep all the money.

Or if they are scammers, they want your bank account details to steal your money.

Cloverer Fri 17-May-13 21:25:05

Yes, the ones that all about "their records" showing you are owed money will want you to pay a deposit/give them your bank details or something for them to pursue it.

OP - Was "William" one of the people from the Windows computer scam? I got all sorts of abuse from them and had one of them phone straight back every single time I hung up and phoning into stupid hours of the night, it went on for months (until we moved!).

Binkybix Fri 17-May-13 21:34:52

The one where your bank get you to call them back but you somehow end up on the line of the fraudsters is true...I had this and was suspicious because they claimed to be some gvt org but no website etc, so I rang my bank fom a different line, and they confirmed it was a known scam.

We have the fucking windows one every day. I'm now in mat leave and have more time on my hands than normal, so have also spent some time keeping them on the phone. Figured it stops them scamming someone else and I can do two things at once.

Midlifecrisisarefun Fri 17-May-13 22:47:51

I had a call about 'my recent accident' I pondered and said slowly, 'well I can't remember an accident but maybe I had amnesia!' They hung up. PPI I just say 'no thank you' Its the 'you have a problem with your computer' call that drive me nuts..I either put the phone down or tell them I'm not stupid!

hopingnothopping Fri 17-May-13 23:04:31

ethelb I may not have been clear: I am not asking whether the callers have a degree in order to be superior. It is the complete opposite: I am seriously trying to point out that they could be doing good and not evil with their lives given their educations and intellect - they DO all have degrees which is why it is so sad that they then choose to take a job defrauding people when surely they have other choices they could make and live much more positive lives. Perhaps it is patronising, on reflection, but I am not sure that patronising is a massive sin.

Sigh, my problem may be that I don't do sarcasm and just plainly say what I mean (including to the cold callers) but I forget that not everyone operates on that basis.

Schro yes, William was a windows scammer. I am sorry about your experience.

Reporting scammers? Is there any point when they are abroad and if one has avoided actually being scammed? (Serious question - if there is a point then I will start reporting them).

carviolet some PPI claims are not scams. One who wants all your bank details and tells you that there is a certain amount of money there waiting for you - when you know you have never taken out PPI - is a scammer. They will presumably ask you for a transfer to them before they can proceed with the larger transfer in your direction (which will never happen), or else will just clone your bank card.

midlifecrisis grin

ethelb Fri 17-May-13 23:23:02

When I have reported scammers to the companies they purport to be they have always been very grateful for any info as it helps them track them down if poss (windows is pretty international) and warn other customers about potential scams. So yes I think it is worth it.

WafflyVersatile Fri 17-May-13 23:23:29

'oh, I'm sorry, She's far too drunk to come to the phone'.

WafflyVersatile Fri 17-May-13 23:25:30

These jobs are not ones people generally choose to do over more respectable jobs. they are jobs people take rather than lose benefits.

olgaga Fri 17-May-13 23:52:42

I was talking to a friend about this thread this afternoon.

She told me that at family gatherings her brother always relates how he has dealt with the latest nuisance calls.

Apparently whenever he gets calls from people trying to sell him double glazing/kitchens/gym membership whatever he immediately says "Is that the doctor? Thank god you've rung, the pain is killing me, it goes all the way down from my neck to my heels. Can you come straight away?"

Then whatever they say, he'll say "Is that the doctor? Are you the doctor? Are you going to come to give me an injection?" He keeps repeating this drivel until they hang up.

Another one he does is say "Hello, hello, is (name) there? He is there isn't he. Why won't he come to the phone?" Then they'll say something like "I'm sorry? I'm not sure I understand..." and her brother will say "Sorry, I must have got a wrong number" and hang up.

I have to say I thought this was hilarious. He's an optician. Are they all like that, on the quiet?

piprabbit Fri 17-May-13 23:56:27

TheCutOfYourJib - the scam I mention has been reported many times over recent weeks, most recently on the BBC yesterday here.

Judezx Fri 17-May-13 23:58:20

Gee whizz!! I can't believe people have time in their lives to report scam phone calls, which I don't even have time to answer or hang up on never mind be sarky with or psychoanalyse. To report it you have to have time to find who to report it to in the first place. Plus where does all the time come from to have a massive scrap over who's right to judge who in the scam or not so scam phone call arena? In fact who has time to read posts correctly, or even how to read in the first place? A massively huge part of me actually thinks that none of you give a proper shite about this in the first place...and if you do, you really, really do, I would like to know where you get the time to care about it from?

OceanSea Sat 18-May-13 00:05:24

Once you've registered, if you keep getting cold calls, they are garunteed to be scams, as genuine companies would no longer call

olgaga Sat 18-May-13 00:09:20

Judezx I think perhaps you'd feel differently if you were getting these calls every night, or regularly all through the day.

How do you get the time to care about what people are saying here? grin

I don't think you can report them if they are abroad, that's why I didn't and TPS didn't work.

For the windows guys, they had been asking for my Gran "Mrs xxxx" and I came out with a load of crap about her no longer being known a "Mrs" as she has had a sex change and is now "Mr xxx", he got very confused, annoyed and seemed very against the idea. That got rid of him for about a month and a half.

Judezx Sat 18-May-13 08:54:48

*Olgaga *on page 3 of this thread I wrote

Another time I received another overseas scam phone call. She asked to speak to my husband and I told her he wasn't in. He wasn't. She chose to disbelieve me, went crazy, I hung up and after that she kept ringing me all night and then several times a day. She would just ring and not speak. I ended up having to change my number. I wasn't actually rude to her but now I am super keen to be polite in case it's another deranged, grudge bearing nutter.

I was with TPS not that it did any good. I wasn't aware I could report overseas. I'd had a glass or so of wine last night, and a little peruse of this thread. Must admit it read more like a tit for tat, pointless bicker and point scoring rather than anyone really giving a true damn, which was why I wrote what I wrote. Obviously now I'm sober as a judge I can see people care very deeply. On reflection I should have reported my overseas crazy lady as not only would it have stopped her in her tracks, it would have brought her company down and undoubtedly stopped global warming too.

Actually, now I write this I can see where people get the time from. I'm being drawn into it. My god, I'm weak!

Judezx - I cannot speak for other people on this thread, but I find the time for the psychoanalysing etc etc by neglecting my children and my domestic duties! grin

NetworkGuy Sat 18-May-13 16:17:18

SolomanDaisy - "PPI firms aren't criminal gangs, they have to be licensed by the moj."

Noorny - "For the record B2C telesales for PPI is not a criminal activity."

If someone has their number registered with the TPS (Telephone Preference Service) not to receive calls, and a PPI firm is using the services of some agency (possibly outside the UK), then while it may not be a "crime" in the sense of having the full weight of PC Plod in size 12s on their doorstep, it is a form of MARKETING (offering a product or SERVICE) and against the TPS code of conduct. Reputable marketing firms use the TPS database of numbers (I have 20 registered, some landline, some mobile) and DO NOT CALL any numbers which are listed.

A PPI firm might employ an agency which ignores the TPS, rings from abroad, and are, for me (and hundreds of thousands of others) a bloody nuisance. Feel free to defend those who abide by TPS and don't make unwarranted and unwanted calls, but for every 1 of those I bet there are a load of firms not sticking to the terms of TPS, and I will seriously consider invoicing the PPI firms who use these agencies for the calls.

NetworkGuy Sat 18-May-13 16:22:43

Junk mail by comparison has declined significantly, probably because even with alternatives to Royal Mail and the discounts applied for bulk mail, the cost of printing and delivery must make a hole in 40p per item, and is seen as too costly, when tens of millions of text messages can be sent very cheaply (I know, I get plenty, and report them {with the sender's number, to 7726 [spells 'SPAM]' which is available for most if not all networks}).

Some years ago (when internet access was still via dial-up modem), one morning, I got 44,000 unsolicited e-mail messages, 4000 from each of 11 firms. It was time consuming to get rid of them, and I also ran the risk of losing my internet account (because Freeserve had a limit on how much e-mail you were allowed to store... luckily they must have arrived after the nightly check on space used).

I wrote back to each firm, warning them to remove me, and if further mail messages arrived, I would charge an admin fee of 5 GBP per message for reading and deleting it. I received some pretty humble apologies, but these firms were victims of fraud, because they had bought mail lists from some person/firm which had generated 4000 e-mail addresses on one of my domains, and were making money out of them by fraudulently claiming they had 'opted in' to receive marketing...

The 11 firms sold all sorts of different products so I assume the fraudsters were selling junk data to anyone who was dumb enough to pay... I mentioned something to that effect in my e-mail, so they would not be tempted to buy lists in future.

SolomanDaisy Sat 18-May-13 16:24:00

The people who run PPI firms can best be described as scum. I wouldn't defend them at all. But in general the people who work for them, UK or abroad, are not actively choosing to participate in criminal activity. It's a shit job.

teacherwith2kids Sat 18-May-13 16:28:51

Mine always ask for 'Mrs TW2K'. As my 'official' name - I don't use it for work, but I do for all banks, bills etc - is 'Dr TW2K', I reply - with exact truth - that sadly Mrs TW2K [my MiL, the only Mrs TW2K in the family] died nearly 10 yars ago.

For the only other repeat offender - an ink cartridges manufacturer - I got hold of the real company e-mail and number via some scam-reporting Google site, and gave them merry hell.

It's stopped.

ZiaMaria Sat 18-May-13 16:36:06

I had one of those Microsoft callers, asking 'how my computer is running at present'. Being forewarned about the scam, I told her that I don't have a computer. She was astonished and didn't know what to do...

cory Sat 18-May-13 16:39:03

Dh was very nearly taken in by one of the Microsoft scammers because they caught him at a time when he was run down and vulnerable; he wasn't thinking straight and nearly believed them. Once they realised he was wavering they rang back in the middle of the night to catch him off-guard. They got me instead....

Do I feel concerned about the scammers? Well, quite frankly I felt more concerned about dh who was nearly in tears at the thought that he might have laid the family finances at the mercy of a bunch of scammers at a time when we were already struggling with other problems.

NetworkGuy Sat 18-May-13 16:56:05

TheCutOfYourJib - piprabbit you couldn't make a call to your bank if the original caller hadn't hung up, impossible.

It would not work on a mobile, but it would be relatively simple in terms of electronics for someone to connect a unit to give you the sound of a dialtone, and stop once you had sent the first tone.

Only a few people (using loop disconnect, ie "pulse dial") would know it wasn't from the exchange.

Most would assume that having dialled the number and had a half ring or short period of ringing that it was their bank. Obviously you expect your bank to give its name, but a recording (eg about a high volume of calls because of a systems crash) might distract you enough from guessing, especially if (like me) you have not talked to them on the phone for 10 to 15 years.

{I opened my HSBC [Midland then] account in 1984, and they have not seen me at 'my' branch for over 20 years... my account with Barclays was opened in 1979 and that branch has not seen me in at least 27 years. I've lived 200++ miles away since August 1989.}

NetworkGuy Sat 18-May-13 17:10:46

are not actively choosing to participate in criminal activity. It's a shit job.

I acknowledge the people are not active criminals, and while it's a rotten job, if the people they work for (an agency, getting commission or some other regular payment) from a PPI firm is flouting the TPS then I don't care how rotten the job is, the call should not reach me, and I will do my damndest to get them stopped.

If that also means finding the name of the person in that grotty job and they need to change job, so be it, as they must surely {however bad the situation is} know that the calls are annoying (by the reaction of recipients). Really is no good trying to defend them, when the TPS was set up because marketing firms know the hatred such calls generate. And some {no doubt British} bosses have set up overseas operations to get round the rules.

If there was some way to force BT to pass the caller's number I would (the reason they show only "INTERNATIONAL" is because someone in BT has to decide if they 'trust' the numbers sent from each overseas country. If they do, they could show the number. If they don't they hide it).

I'd be happy for EU regulation on forcing telecom firms to pass the correct number, which would effectively shut down 'boiler room' operations in Spain, etc, as those nuisance callers would/could be blocked, not just at subscriber level (WTF should a recipient have to buy a box to help limit the calls!), but for all incoming calls to the UK, in the same way that ICSTIS and OFCOM/ICO can close down and/or fine services.

NetworkGuy Sat 18-May-13 17:15:01

Hope problems are behind you cory, and your DH is getting over it, and glad you were alert when the scammers called back.

Borntobeamum Sat 18-May-13 17:31:51

We get Indian or Pakistani callers saying Hello my name is Norman/jack/Susan/Roger.
I ask to speak to their supervisor as they are clearly masquerading as someone else and that is NOT their real name.
I then hang up and carry on with my life.

...are not actively choosing to participate in criminal activity. It's a shit job...^

I am sorry but I have to disagree, to some extent, with this statement. If a telesales operative is being told to lie to the people they are calling, then they must realise that there is something dodgy going on. If they are telling someone that there is a PPI refund of £XXX owed to them, when that information is not in front of them, then they know they are lying, and this must ring alarm bells.

If they are asking over the phone for people's bank account details, they must realise this is dodgy.

People who are doing this are not just in a shit job, they are actively participating in scamming innocent people, and that is wrong.

EatenByZombies Sun 19-May-13 01:05:05

YAB a bit U. Take the higher road and hang up or screen calls, there's no need to be rude no matter who it is calling.

SolomanDaisy Sun 19-May-13 09:21:47

I suppose you might be right SDTG. Though I think they're probably told that they will help people to get back money they wouldn't otherwise have. The ones who are taking payments upfront are breaking the rules, so I guess they must have more idea that they're doing something wrong. There are probably a mix of people doing it, some who don't care whether they are scamming others and some who have taken an awful job because they are desperate. The economic situation and benefits changes are making people do things they wouldn't ordinarily choose.

FasterStronger Sun 19-May-13 09:47:19

hoping what you have done is absolutely fine.

greenformica Sun 19-May-13 12:15:25

we have had the same dodgy scam calls and i wish I'd thought of something

sweetestcup Sun 19-May-13 12:41:41

Ethel I said the OP hadnt been particuarly clear about what kind of 'cold caller' she was talking about

The OP wrote this * BTW I wouldn't be this mean to an "honest" cold caller just trying to sell me something but these guys were all working for criminal gangs and must have known it* - seems pretty clear to me!

Fairylea Sun 19-May-13 13:19:38

You have WAY too much time on your hands op.

NetworkGuy Sun 19-May-13 18:02:16

But, Fairylea, some could argue that most people who post here (excepting the lovely staff at MNHQ, of course) have far too much time on their hands, just as easily smile

JenaiMorris Sun 19-May-13 19:05:29

It's my precious time being wasted by random scammers that makes me sympathetic to the OP.

Several calls a day, from people who are insistent at best, abusive at worst... That is something I don't have enough time for.

Fairylea Sun 19-May-13 20:02:27

True network guy.... I have a lot of time on my hands to post here smile so I wouldn't want to waste any of that engaging with cold callers and trying to find out their background. A simple no thanks and putting the phone down straight away does the trick!

Letitsnow9 Sun 19-May-13 22:18:34

We get so many 'virus on your computer' calls, it's our families entertainment now to see how long we can keep them on the line, we tend to give up after 5 mins. I've gone on about how proud their parents must be of them (in a sweet voice) but never asked them why they did it. Weird reactions you have had so far, I'm surprised they didn't just hang up. We had one and when my dad said he was a scammer and hung up, the scammer rang straight back to say he's not!

ComposHat Sun 19-May-13 22:24:23

Anothr one would be "yes I had a wee wee in debenhams. It was a accident"

I did genuinely piss myself in the street last December, do you think I have a claim?

KhaosandKalamity Tue 21-May-13 13:03:23

I don't know about the UK but the CommerceCommission here suggests trying to get as much information as possible, names, address, phone numbers, and reporting them. The more information they can collect about these scammers the better chance they have of stopping them. I always explain that I am busy and ask if they have a number I can all back on, or an office that I can pop in to. Usually they will not answer, but every little bit helps.

I did genuinely piss myself in the street last December, do you think I have a claim?

It has to be an accident that wasn't your fault.

ComposHat Tue 21-May-13 14:04:33


EatenByZombies Tue 21-May-13 16:44:35

Just say you were desperate and someone rammed you with a basket in the badder? grin

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