These days the average user is far wiser against email spam than ever before and criminals are turning back towards direct threats in telephony-based shakedowns of vulnerable people. Thankfully the advent of websites like Who Called Me and Twitter mean you can easily discover if the number that called you is a known scam or not.

Once you know it’s a scam you can report it to the police directly through 101 if it’s not an emergency or 999 if you believe it’s something more serious than a simple scammer. Remember, you can also report crime anonymously through CrimeStoppers so make sure you say something if you get one of these calls!

Is it a scam?

  1. Do you recognise the number?
  2. Is the caller from a company you have a relationship with?
  3. Are they asking for your details?

It may sound obvious that a call from a company you don’t know from a number you don’t recognise asking for your bank information is suspicious but what would you do if you got a call from a stern police officer demanding to you know where you were on Tuesday? Or a pleasant individual calling to advise you’ve over paid on your water bill and are due a refund?

Whatever the purpose someone claims you need to be mindful of what information you’re giving out. Did the caller address you by your full name like a real company representative would or did they wait until you gave up that information first? Did they confirm your address to you or get you to let go of that as well?

If you’re ever in any way doubtful of the authenticity of a caller’s identity HANG UP and use the Internet to identify the number it came from. You could even simply call the company back on a known safe contact number from their website or your contract with them.