I am not really a fan of phones, I don't overly like talking on them, and much prefer emails to a phone conversation, and as such our house phone gets very little use, and my mobile looks like something out of the ark, with its broken scratched screen and battery compartment that keeps flipping out, it doesn't receive voice mail messages very well and does nothing fancy which would make me want to use it more often, it literally only accepts incoming calls other than that it is all round useless but thats fine because everyone I need to contact can be done via the good old Internet.
So when our house phone rings I normally ignore it, not many people have the house phone number, and we have caller display and a answer machine should anyone important ring I can see and ring them back.
Annoyingly the house phone rings most often with a 02084 number which leads to a survey marketing company wanting me to part take in market research of some form or other, another common number is 019 or 020 numbers such as 01902670716 and 02030266482 now to me these phone numbers get no answer and no response, however yesterday I received a phone call which I did answer.. from my Grandad, upset and confused.
My Gran and Grandad are in their late 70's and struggle with certain things one being their memory is not that great. My gran is one of those sort of extremely nice people, who will try to do anything for anyone, and unfortunately this makes her abit naive. My Gran and my Grandad both have a laptop, my Grandad is actually pretty good and can do all sorts of things with his, however my Gran just isn't that interested so she never switches hers on. So yesterday my Grandad had been outside for a little while, then came back in to find my Gran on the phone.. and her laptop, confused he asked her what she was doing, she replied a man had rang up saying they had a problem with there computer! Luckily my Grandad took the phone off my Gran and asked who it was, and what they wanted, the Indian man replied he wanted to fix their computers as they had error reports from Microsoft or something to that effect, my Grandad told him that he would not follow the instructions when he tried telling him to go onto his computer, and put the phone down. Thankfully that prevented my Grandads laptop from having any problems, my Gran however being more trusting had followed this mans instructions and in doing so has managed to download corrupted software on her system which is now telling her she has x y and z virus and she needs to purchase additional protection... which is exactly what the Indian man wanted to happen, by following his instructions you have allowed access to his program, which now loads and tells you of these virus' the scam is they hope then you pay them to clean your system.. which was of cause completely virus free before the phone call! The other worrying thing they do is add tracking software to your machine so that after you follow their instructions every time you use your computer you are sending them your information so if you go into a website and say pay for an item, then you have sent them your card details...
It makes my blood boil that these people target the elderly and vunerable, those who are the most kindhearted and trusting. So if you know of anyone who may be easy persuaded to believe what they say please please tell them that Microsoft will NEVER call you with problems with your computer... and if you receive any calls from anyone saying please switch on your computer and follow these instructions please please tell them you'll do no such thing and put the phone down!
Of cause its not just this sort of scam that is targeting vunerable people, the standard cold callers who will charge you an arm and a leg for something potentially useless that you did not want, target those most vunerable, and I will do another post about my experience with one such company!
Most people have caller display the easiest option is simply not to answer calls from numbers you do not recognize, however again the elderly and vunerable are the ones who most often will not follow this advice, My gran has caller display but I don't think she understands and as she suffers with arthritis her movements are slow so it often takes her long a while to reach the phone and by which point stopping for extra time to look at the number (and with her sight not being too good either) she normally doesn't bother checking the caller display, so it is really important those who do not check the caller display are made aware of this scam. I later rang my mum to tell her what had happened to my Grandad and she had also received a call from an Indian man saying similar things, luckily she also put the phone down, but how often do people believe them? Lets make everyone aware of this.
Please pass this on to all your friends and prevent these scammers getting money out of your vunerable friends and family.