Scammers will try every trick to reel their target in. Here’s how to stop them in their tracks. And, yes, being rude is sometimes the best solution!
If your life is being made miserable by unwanted telephone calls or doorsteppers, here’s how to stop them (and other potential scammers) in their tracks.
1 Once cold callers launch into their spiel on the phone, it can be hard to stop them, so get in quick. Ask them: ‘What’s the purpose of this call?’ If it’s a sales call, say ‘no thank you’ and repeat yourself until they get the message, no matter what question they ask. Or just hang up. Remember, this is not a friend – and never give out personal information.
2 The number-one rule for doorsteppers is never to feel obliged to let them into your home. Ask them clearly and politely to leave, making it clear that if they refuse you will call the police. Alternatively, tell them you don’t manage your finances alone and you’ll need to consult a family member. That should see them off.
3 Ignore any e-mails from companies or people you don’t recognise. Move the e-mail to your spam folder and block the address – you can do this by right clicking the e-mail and choosing ‘block sender’. If you get an e-mail from someone you know asking for money or sending a link, contact them by phone first to check it is genuinely from them. It can be a scam or a virus they’ve picked up.
4 If you’re accosted by charity collectors in the street, keep walking – they can’t follow you for more than three steps. If they do get you talking, say, ‘I’m sorry, I don’t want to talk about money in the street. Could you give me a website?’
5 If you get unwanted letters from a charity, write to them and ask to be removed from their mailing list.
This article originally appeared on Good Housekeeping UK