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  • Writer's pictureTim Jones

Handling cold calls & avoiding scams

gif of a landline type telephone

Be aware of common tactics: Cold callers often try to use high-pressure tactics, such as offering limited-time discounts or claiming to be from a government agency. Knowing about these tactics can help you recognise when someone is trying to scam you.

Don't give out personal information: Cold callers may try to get you to give them personal information, such as your address, bank account number, or social security number. Don't give out this information over the phone, even if the caller claims to be from a legitimate company. You can check at a later time by contacting the company yourself & checking if it was really them calling.

Don't trust caller ID: Cold callers may use caller ID spoofing to make it appear as though they are calling from a legitimate company or government agency. Don't trust caller ID, and be cautious even if the caller claims to be from a company or agency you are familiar with.

person being rushed and annoyed on the telephone

Don't be rushed: Cold callers may try to pressure you into making a decision on the spot. Take your time, and don't feel rushed into making a decision or giving out information. See how they react to you suggesting they call back while you think about it.

Hang up: If you suspect that a caller is a cold caller, it's okay to hang up. You have no obligation to stay on the line with someone who is trying to scam you.

Use caller blocking tools: Many phones have built-in caller blocking tools that allow you to block specific numbers or block all unknown numbers. Using these tools can help you avoid unwanted calls from cold callers.

Report suspicious calls: If you receive a call from someone who you suspect is a cold caller, always delay them & never allow remote access to your computer. You can report the call to the OFT (Office of Fair Trading). Discuss it with friends and family too - if it really is something important you can deal with it another time by going through the known/good ways to do so.

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