More scams to watch out for, including the courier scam
Last week we featured a scam involving spook caller IDs - crooks seemingly masking their real telephone numbers in a bid to lighten your pockets. Avid Bitterwallet reader Jo has been in touch with similar warnings about three more scams that have affected her family in the past month.
My mum received a call from someone claiming to be Windows and asking to turn on the computer so we could receive a critical update. Little did they know that I recently moved out taking all internet-capable devices with me so that would be impossible. Thankfully my mother clocked on in any case and politely declined and put down the phone. My father also received a similar call - thankfully my parents are luckily quite technology-savvy.
Another variation of the scam was aimed at my boyfriend. I answered the phone to someone claiming to be from his bank and thought it may be regarding a letter we sent to them recently so thought nothing of it. He was out so I asked them to call back later. They actually called his phone number later on and his mother answered; she realised it was a scam when they failed to specify which bank they were from.
They get you by saying "I'm calling from your/the bank" and do some quick talking and you forget to ask which. I didn't even clock that myself but thankfully they now seem to have given up after his mum told them where to shove it.
A more worrying thing happened to my sister's partner last month. He received a letter from a postal company saying a parcel was to be delivered but, being out at the time of delivery, he needed to phone to arrange a re-delivery and mentioned a number. Not being so untrusting or paranoid as to think to Google the number he rang it and later received a phone bill with a £250 charge for the call, as it was listed as a premium rate number.
While we're aware of the first two, the third scam is a new one of us; plenty of companies use home service couriers, and couriers in general don't necessarily have high brand awareness. Most of us would struggle to name more than a handful, so posing as an unknown courier might not arouse suspicion, only curiosity in what the delivery might be.
Despite all of Jo's family being registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), it hasn't done a thing to stop the scam calls; it may be that scam calls are more effective in some instance, because there's an expectation that any calls received must be legitimate. Regardless, no matter how savvy you are, these rapscallions are just as likely to target your parents or other family members, so make sure they know what tricks to expect.