Disturbed call recipients have been offered a new toy this month by electricity companies. A plug-in device that promises to save 40% of your energy bills for a not-so-small price starting at £99. The callers are alleged scammers, falsely claiming to be from energy suppliers or regulators, such as “British Gas.” Unfortunately, among the recipients, it is the elderly that are likely to be targeted as Moneyfacts report.
Claiming to be not just representatives of existing companies, we have collected a couple of additional plausible sounding “company” names from our user comments, which they were told the caller was representing. In actual fact, they are all bogus. For example:
- “Household Energy”
- “Domestic Energy Evaluation”
- “British Advisory Service”
- “British Energy Council”
- “British Advisory Board”
- “National Electricity Board”
As one commenter Liam unveils:
When I told her that there is no such thing as the “National Electricy Board” in the UK she hung up. Number unreachable.
In addition, we have concluded that the callers could be perceived to be quite personal-data hungry. The alleged scammer would be interested in the following information:
- What your initials stand for
- Date of Birth
- Expiry date of your credit/debit card details
DON’T: give away any details. Remember these minor details can be used in extensive fraudulent activities.
DO: advise the caller, you will not be continuing the call until you have confirmed their credibility.
And be warned, these alleged scammers may have already retrieved some personal information from other sources and may relay it back to you to appear credible, such as your:
- Pensioner status
- Current Electrical Company
DON’T: confirm any details, even if the caller has the right information.
DO: prepare yourself for filing a complaint. Make note of the caller’s questions, mannerisms and aim of the phone call. (See: 7 Points to Make Your Nuisance Call Complaint Effective)
As another commenter Andaco36 reveals about phone caller 01614083123:
They rang my mum (pensioner) saying they were from the “electricity board” and that they can save her money on her electricity. All it would cost would be £129 for a “device”. They appeared to know her name, address and some of the numbers on her bank card!
They wanted other information from her card, thankfully she wouldn’t give it to them and hung up.
What should you do if you receive such a call?
We suggest that if you receive anything of a similar nature as to what you have read above, to please cease the conversation immediately. Any genuine electrical company should be of great understanding of your concern and be happy for you to call them back once you have double checked their contact details.
And what preventative measures should you take in the future?
If you are receiving unwanted calls on your smartphone, try out our tellows app. Designed to help you filter the calls, whilst informing you whether the caller is trustworthy or not. This will save you precious time, since you are notified as the caller is ringing with the tellows Score appearing directly on your screen. (Remember: a tellows Score between 7-9 indicates an untrustworthy number, with 9 being the most untrustworthy.)
Stay tuned for more information on phone scams, methods of prevention and our new product range, coming to our shop this month.
Have a good week everybody.
Your tellows team.