Keeping your handset safe
Remember to always lock your phone with a PIN code that is not easy to guess at – 1234 doesn’t count! Also, mark your phone handset with a UV pen for extra identification. It is also worth recording your IMEI number and also signing up to a phone location and immobilisation service with your network provider, in the instance that your handset is stolen. Don’t forget to buy phone insurance too if your handset is valuable.
Nuisance phone calls
One of the most frustrating aspects of modern life and mobile phone technology is the rising occurrence of time-wasting or nuisance phone calls. The more finite our time and the more consciously we wish to spend it, the more irritating it is to be hassled by businesses or organisations which have procured our phone numbers through means we aren’t immediately certain of, and are using it to attempt to sell products and services that we don’t want.
Alongside this kind of unwanted marketing is the darker side of nuisance calls, ranging from automated ringers that interrupt at unsociable times of the day, and callers which can sometimes be scams, trying to tell you that you’ve won a prize or that your account has encountered fraudulent activity, and so forth.
As well as needing to preserve our precious time, we also need to be ever more vigilant about who is talking to us. Register your phone with the Telephone Preference Service, as well as a community call blocking website such as: http://www.grouputilities.com/. These sites use the power of community information to ensure that all members are kept safe and protected from nuisance calls. Remember too that if you ever receive a scam call you should report it to the Citizens Advice Bureau, who will refer it to the Trading Standards Authority.
There are an ever-increasing number of phone scams and some are highly pernicious. Never give out credit card details over the phone to someone who has called you. If a person calls claiming to be from your bank or another service provider then take a reference number and contact name, and then call the main switchboard number to be put through to them. Always be on your guard and avoid giving out personal details. Typical scams include council tax scams, telephone provider scams, fake bank security concern calls, vehicle scams with people pretending to be from the DVLA, pension scams and premium telephone number scams.
Don’t be sucked in – premium rate calls
Also ask your mobile operator to place a block on the call of any premium SMS numbers of premium phone numbers in case your phone is stolen, as criminals can rack up incredible charges. Be very wary about calling such numbers yourself as you can find yourself on the end of further marketing at best, or in danger of being conned at worst. Equally, never call back a phone number that has rung once and that you don’t recognise. Ideally, Google it at the Group Utilities website to find out if the community has flagged up any suspicious activity.
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