Should I Take a Call from an Unknown Number?
Busy mums like me are always on the lookout for tips and tricks to save time. With a family with three kids under 10, I’m never short of things to do! One thing I’ve noticed is the rise in spam phone calls and text messages. These little time-sucks eat away at my day by distracting me from whatever I might be doing. Most of the time they are merely inconvenient and can be dismissed by ignoring or declining the call or text on my mobile phone. But other times they can be a hassle to deal with.
One tricky situation which comes up is when spam calls or texts come from people or companies you already deal with.
For example, a call from 08007613362 might seem legitimate, because it has a UK-based 0800 number, but is it?
The answer is not as straightforward as you might think.
- Why Spam Calls are a Problem
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the UK is in the middle of an epidemic of spam calls and texts. There were an estimated 3.9 billion nuisance phone calls in 2019, and it’s safe to say that the number has increased during the pandemic.
Spam calls have become such a problem that some people cancel their landline phone services because it can be harder to know who is calling.
The cost of spam calls to consumers is both financial (if they are unfortunate enough to be scammed) and personal (because of the stress and inconvenience).
- How to Deal with a Call from an Unknown Number
If you get a call from an unknown number you might be tempted to answer it. But, before you do, think about what happens if you connect to the caller. How will you know that they are legitimate?
An easy way to find out is to go online and check a free unknown phone number service. These websites are great for finding out if you can trust a call or text. They work by sharing numbers with consumers, along with caller details and any other useful information.
Armed with that knowledge, consumers can decide for themselves if they want to call back or block the number.
The 0800 number I mentioned earlier is a Freephone number and, according to users of the unknownphone.com website, seems to be “a genuine phone number from Sky”, a company many people in the UK use for their TV/internet/phone services.
That sounds good, but some consumers have reported issues with the callers from that number being “rude” and “aggressive”! That doesn’t reflect well on Sky does it? It could be that some of those callers were not from the company at all. I say this because scammers can clone phone numbers to trick people into handing over personal and financial information.
If in doubt, it might be best to contact the company’s customer services department by searching for their details online. A few clicks for the peace of mind seems worth it to me.