A couple of years ago, I was fed up of spivs, con-men and fraudsters who all somehow knew that my computer was badly infected with a virus and needed cleaning, or other con-men who wanted into my bank details. I had an old–fashioned “big button” telephone which was simply that, a telephone that just plugged into the master socket, without all the wizardry that digital telephones can bring.
So I investigated firstly the BT Call Guardian System which was an integral part of their range of phones, for example the BT 8500.
At that time, Caller Identity was needed to activate the system, but it came free if one bought line rental for a year in one payment, which I already did to get the line –rental discount. . I added my VIP numbers of family and friends to the new phone, including friends overseas, and the phone has been free of hooks, crooks and comic tricksters ever since.
I usually look at the calls it blocks automatically, like international and other numbers, which are unrecognised. Many numbers are changed frequently by the scammers to try and get around the system. So I check numbers online to see who has called me. Usually the number is well known as a scammer’s number and it gets instantly blocked.
The only downside for this phone system is getting or receiving calls from a GP or Hospital for example, or indeed anywhere that has a switchboard. That means the incoming number is “unrecognised” but it offers the caller a chance to record a message and during that call you could actually answer the phone if you wish. Details of the Call Guardian Phone can be found here.
It was brought to my attention by our resident office administrator that BT now have a new free system, called BT Call Protect, which launched in April.
The BT website states “BT Call Protect makes it very simple to divert nuisance calls. If you receive a nuisance call, hang up the phone, dial 1572 and follow the simple instructions to add it to your Personal blacklist.
You can manage your settings and personal blacklist online or via your phone.
This system seems to be exclusive to BT, but being able to block those “Microsoft technicians” before they even get to your number is great. If your own phone company offer something similar, then let us know in the comments.
You might also want to review the article I wrote on nuisance calls in 2015 on this blog.
On Monday 8th May 2017, the BBC Consumer Advice programme “Rip Off Britain” emphasised the value of a telephone call blocker system, when they investigated how a French Vitamin company which targeted vulnerable pensioners, one of whom paid out more that £24,000 for “ vitamins” from a company Called Bitotonic. The merits or otherwise of the vitamins is only briefly discussed, but the need for awareness as regards vulnerable persons being targeted by these sales companies is brought to light.