Martin Lewis: How to teach yourself scam self-defence…

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.


  • Thank you for putting this guide together. I recently had to stay with my (very frail) parents, who still have a landline and was absolutely horrified at the number of scam calls they receive. They keep the phone because they have other relatives who use the number, but after what I witnessed, I am encouraging them to get rid of the landline entirely. Sometimes the scammers will just call and call and call - one day a single scammer called 26 times in a row. I have shown them how to block callers, but they receive silent calls around 10 times a day, presumably collecting the number every time it is answered.
    It's a disgrace that this critical service for pensioners is now just a means of inviting scammers into their home. If you have elderly relatives still with landlines, encourage them to get rid of them.
  • ih8stress
    ih8stress Posts: 1,931
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary I've been Money Tipped!
    @firebubble - the trouble with that is even if they get a mobile phone instead (if they are comfortable using them) the same thing will happen.
    I have a BT Call Blocker phone which definitely helps.  You can set it up so that their family and friends can get straight through but any unknown/unwanted calls are 'screened' first and have to announce themselves.  At this point a lot of them will simply hang up and in most cases the phone does not even ring out.
    For those that continue, the phone will ring and announce the caller (but still not connect you to them) - you then have the option whether to accept or decline the call without having to speak to them.  If I am still unsure I decline and see whether they leave a message on the answer machine.

    The only 'snag' is that some numbers such as doctors, hospitals etc. might be 'with-held' numbers and it is not possible to save these in your contacts list.  9 times out of 10 they will leave a message though.
    All my friends/family numbers are set up to come straight through and are named so I can see instantly who is calling in the caller display screen.  If I don't recognise the number in the display screen I always ignore it and see if they leave a message.
    You can even set up different ring tones - all my family etc have them, so if my phone does a 'normal' ring I KNOW it is NOT someone I know.
    Not infallible but definitely helps :)

  • viv0147
    viv0147 Posts: 1,703
    First Post Photogenic First Anniversary I've been Money Tipped!
    I never answer my home phone, it goes straight to answer-phone and the message I recorded goes as follows.
    I do not answer this phone if you are family or friend or someone I want to speak to I will ring you back if you leave a message, if home immediately, or later on my return home. Works a treat
    Low Carb High Fat is the way forward I lost 80 lbs

    Since first using Martins I have saved thousands
  • I just speak Welsh. Including expletives. They soon hang up.
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