Phone phishing

9:08 am Stupidity

I’ve got used to people trying to steal my money via email - I now reflexively delete anything at all that purports to come from a bank, eBay or PayPal. I should probably make that happen automatically, but still. Yesterday, though, was a bit of a new one. I work from home and therefore have two phone lines into the house. I have a personal rule not to answer the work one after 5.30pm in the interests of work/life balance (well, it’s more of a guideline than a rule, but as is so often the way, I digress). So when it rang at 5.28 I picked it up and was on the receiving end of a vaguely oriental-sounding mumble.

“I’m sorry?” quoth I.
“Hello there, we just calling to find out if your Sky TV is operating correctly,” says woman on the other end, over a terrifically bad line.

Naturally enough, we don’t have Sky - there’s enough crap telly for free[1] without paying for more of it. And also naturally enough, being English, I went for the apologetic line, as if it was somehow me doing the inconveniencing.

“Sorry, I think you must have the wrong number.”
“OK, bye.”

And that was that. Until 25 seconds later, when the home phone rang. Sandra picked it up this time, and guess what? Yup, the same woman enquiring after the same non-existent Sky service. Who quickly hung up without a word when Sandra expressed her concern that someone had phoned both our numbers consecutively to spin the same line. So not at all suspicious, then.

Quite what can be done about it I have no idea. Needless to say, you don’t want to start discussing your financial arrangements over the phone, though - be vigilant.

Ooh, it’s all gone a bit public service, which of course brings me to: [1] I’m conveniently ignoring the license fee, of course, although to my mind it’s worth every penny. In fact, it’d be worth it just for Radio 4 (although I could probably live without Melvyn Bragg and In Our Time, which just makes me feel like I have the intellect of a mollusc).

3 Responses
  1. matt :

    Date: November 2, 2007 @ 9:54 am

    I get calls like that, but I have sky, it’s always an 0800 number and always from India.

  2. Bez :

    Date: November 2, 2007 @ 10:11 am

    I’ve had this a couple of times. We had a brief spate of them at work - the (many) phones in the office would ring one by one; in the end we got bored with just telling them to go away and started leading them on and spinning stories. Then the security guys locked the calls out and stopped our fun.

  3. PunkassCG :

    Date: November 2, 2007 @ 3:25 pm

    I wonder what the follow up would have been if you said that your Sky wasn’t working?

    “Ok, give me your credit card number?”

    Anyone who falls for that deserves to be slapped.

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