Important Telecom Products For The Elderly
A portion of the older generation in the UK face certain challenges when it comes to telephony and broadband
11:56 14 June 2017
A portion of the older generation in the UK face certain challenges when it comes to telephony and broadband, not only in how to use and what to pay, but more importantly how to stay safe.
Fraud against the elderly has sadly started to move from “doorstep scams” on to the internet where the less tech savvy a user is the more likely they are to be a victim of a scam. A common example of this is where they may receive a call, purporting to be from their internet provider, where the caller states something along the lines of “we’ve noticed some unusual activity on your usage, we believe that you may have been hacked”. The scammer will then install software on their PC using a remote desktop connection that could enable them access to read emails, usernames & passwords, even access to online banking.
This is a major concern for many families looking to ensure their relatives remain safe and secure whilst using the internet, but sadly it’s a portion of the market that many ISP’s ignore.
Let’s take a quick look at what you can do if you’d like to minimize this risk for your loved ones:
1.Anonymous Call Barring – Most “scam” calls will come from a withheld number, you are able to block these completely for just a couple of pounds per month. There may be legitimate calls that get blocked this way, but most companies now will present their telephone number.
2.Choose To Refuse – This function will allow withheld numbers to call, but they will have to make an announcement so that you can choose to accept the call or reject it. Again for just a couple of pounds a month this offers an extra layer of security. In addition call centres that use a “dialler” (where they call many numbers at once and patch answered calls through to agents) will generally hang up on connection as they miss the message that you’re using choose to refuse.
3.Register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). It is a legal requirement that all UK companies do not make calls to anyone registered on the Telephone Preference Service, unless they have your permission to do so. You can do this easily by going to www.tpsonline.org, you can even register your mobile number whilst you’re at it. Whilst this won’t stop any scam calls from abroad it will significantly reduce the number of nuisance calls you receive.
4.Block Calls To Premium Rate Numbers – This is a free service and helps to reduce high bills, you’ll not be able to ring expensive 09 telephone numbers, which have been used in the past for doorstep scams, for example a card through the door saying “you’ve missed a delivery today please call us on 09xxxxxxx in order to rearrange delivery”
5.Be An Authorised Contact On The Account – Due to data protection laws your ISP are unable to give you any details about the account, have yourself added as an authorised contact and any communications from your ISP (for example price increases) will come to you too. This will help you monitor what your loved ones pay and, in the unfortunate event, that you’ve need to contact them about any concerns about the account they are in a position to help.
We hope these tips help, our over-riding advice is that if any company calls you out of the blue and requests anything even slightly out of the ordinary (access to your PC, a username or password, for you to call them back, or go to a specific webpage) always call them back, simply google their telephone number and contact them via the main switchboard number. This way you’ll quickly discover whether the call was genuine or not. Stay safe.