Time to put the phone down on scammers and time wasters

More people are being conned by scam callers

More people are being conned by scam callers - Credit: PA

In the past few weeks, we have had a lot more calls on our home phone from unknown and random numbers.

My wife and I have a pretty simple way of dealing with any calls we don't recognise - ignore them or answer and immediately put the phone down.

It has put off some, but others persist in ringing.

They never leave a message - as they would if they had anything important to share with us.

Some may be perfectly reputable businesses trying to sell us windows or doors we don't want or a conservatory we can't afford or urging us to claim for an accident we never had.

These "cold calls" can be annoying but they're not what me really angry.

That ire is reserved for the fraudsters trying to con us all out of money.

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In recent days we have run several stories in our papers and websites about scam calls.

Some are posing as staff from the local council's waste team.

Some pretend to be from utility firms.

Others say they are from financial companies.

On the whole they are polite and chatty people.

They come across as cheery and eager to help. Their first aim is to win over the trust of those they are calling.

They primary purpose, however, is to cynically manipulate those they are ringing and ultimately to rip them off.

We live in an area with a high proportion of older people who are generally more prone to being conned.

They are of a generation whose starting point is to trust those they speak to.

They are the people who aren't used to ignoring a call or putting the phone down or being firm in saying no.

They will dial 1471 when they get back from being out and call the number back as they expect it is important.

Sadly time has moved on and we all have to be more savvy against the deceit of these wolves in sheep's clothing.

We have to all be on our guard and be prepared to put down the phone - or not even pick it up in the first place.