Help! BT Call barring! Scams?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Tender Face, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Mum has reported a few telephone calls over the last week when I haven't been there ..... (her 'rule' is to give any caller she doesn't recognise my number for me to deal with..... which she seems to have coped with last few months....)

    This time she can't, calls have been from someone speaking a foreign language.... 1471 has produced 'number withheld'.... have assumed it was just someone trying a 'wrong number' .. only talked with her this afternoon about using the BT service where anonymous numbers can be blocked if these calls continued....

    Mum just rang - agitated (thank God she was lucid enough to put the phone down from the incoming call and then ring me immediately....) has just received an 'operator call' asking if she would accept......

    Rang BT - can block anonymous calls... can offer preference service ... CAN'T block operator calls...... ANYONE could ask for charges to be reversed ... tried to explain my mother is not always capable of understanding a question and providing an appropriate answer (Response: 'Can't she say yes or no?' - thought I knew the meaning of blood boiling until now......)

    New 'rule' - just put the phone down if it happens again - but can I trust her to do it? What can I do? She can't be without her phone.... alright, it's maybe *only* a financial risk.... but my mind is going into 'sinister' overdrive....I naively assumed ...... why has this caller become so persistent? And how else am I yet to discover how national services fail our vulnerable and expose them to risk????

    Anybody offer any help/suggestions.....? (Apart from 'calm down':eek: )

    Soz, just never even THOUGHT of this one coming..... Karen (TF)
  2. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Just remembered Bivvyman's thread re speaking clock..... "With Call Barring I can block calls made via the operator......" presumably, then outwards only? So BT can stop access to what COULD be helpful to a customer but can't prevent a customer from exposure through the same service?????

  3. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    It may be a big inconvenient to you having to tell every one your mum new number, but you could ask BT to change your mum phone number.

    I had to do that when I keep getting phone call in the middle of the night & mum keep getting up to answer if & nearly trip over .

    BT does offer a free service that can stop telesales people ringing your mum house.

    How about turning the ringer of & having BT answer, so they can leave message on the phone?

    Then trun it on in the evening after 5 pm when you want to check on your mum ?
  4. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    oh dear ....... I can imagine how you feel ...... you think you've covered all the bases, and then something else happens.

    I can see why you're rattled - though I guess it doesn't necessarily have to be anything sinister. The "with held" numbers could be a series of people making an error rather than a persistent caller. It's possible that the person speaking another language keeps calling in the hope that someone who speaks his language will eventually pick up.

    There can be simpler explanations - one of the lines at work has accidentally been listed in the phone book wrongly and we gets lots of calls for somewhere completely different. A few houses ago my number ended 722 and the specialist car dealer a couple of miles up the road had number except that ended 772 ........ I had calls from Amsterdam about morris minors for sale, and irrate customers asking why i hadn't called them back etc etc.

    Can BT check to see what the withheld numbers are? Even if they can't tell you what the number is you can maybe be reassured that that it's not one persistent caller. It may be that a different person at BT would give you a different answer? I wonder if it's worth phoning their disabilities section (I'm not sure that's what it's called) the bit that deals with large type phone books and adapted phones for hearing impaired people - perhaps they would more geared up to understanding the problem?

    Does mum need to phone to call you or you to call her, or both? Could she manage caller display and only pick up if it was you?

    good luck
  5. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    This could well be another of those Nigerian money scam scenarios
    If it is then it is indeed a worrying problem for anyone with a vulnerable relative especially if they are old/confused/deaf

    Theres been all manner of these scams from letters to E Mails to faxes
  6. mandyp

    mandyp Registered User

    Oct 20, 2004

    Someone posted a link to TPS sometime ago, at least you can get your Mother's name on a database in an attempt to block unwanted callers:

    It may help a bit and is probably worthwhile in the long term, but maybe not as the only solution.

    One thing I discovered personally, when I kept getting calls at home where it appeared to disconnect as soon as I answered it, is that telelmarketing companies have phone dialling software which automatically calls your number, then when you answer puts you through to one of their available telesales people - if they don't have an available telesales person, it simply disconnects!

    These people have a nerve and this makes my blood boil, never mind the nuiscance factor when they do 'get' you! Worse still is when they contact anyone regardless of their circumstances......I'd prefer that telesales were banned altogether!

    Hope that helps a bit....and sorry for my rant!

  7. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Calmer now. :eek: Helena, I have to stay first reaction (as in title) was suspicion, fear etc etc - and yep! the good old guilt I never seem to have been there at the 'right' time to maybe have a better idea of what might or might not be going on here .... not to mention I wasn't exactly impressed with BT's inital responses (not ANOTHER complaint???!!!!! :eek: - could I just win the lottery so's I can be a full-time 'Dementia Awareness Activist'?)

    Margarita, Áine, Mandy, thanks for all the practical 'tips' - some 'no-goers' for mum, but others well worth considering ......

    Áine - thanks to your prompts - occurred to me that the wonderfully sensible lady from the Sensory Impairment Team (SSD) might be able to help.... now why didn't *I* think of that?:eek:

    Couldn't imagine how we could ever manage without a phone - I'd miss mum ringing me to tell me the postman just went past and didn't have anything for her.:rolleyes: Seriously, aside from her fantastic neighbour, our two-way phone contact when I'm not there is the 'last bastion' in terms of being able to support her in her own home (at least for now).

    I guess I just saw her 'life-line' turn into yet another threat to her independence and security....

    Thanks again - find anything which may be of help to anyone else will of course give an up-date......

    Love, Karen, x
  8. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    In case it helps anyone else in slightly different circumstances ... check out

    Thanks again, Áine, my first 're-try' to BT - and what a lot of sense I got from an adviser (that's twice now I've complimented someone and their service - hope you're all counting!!!:D ) ...had checked out the BT website and got my hopes raised when they even mentioned 'mental impairment' ....

    Still a 'no-go' in terms of blocking incoming operator calls.... (system restraints)..

    Two good points raised which may be worth mentioning...

    1) My idea to block anonymous calls would mean that many services (like surgeries, hospital depts would not get through)... (should've thought of that, I know!:eek: )

    2) 'Changing' telephone numbers (whether 'ex-directory' or not) could make the situation worse rather than better - what is a'new' phone number for mum is actually a re-used one - and who knows what history THAT may have!!!!!

    Only'practical' help BT could offer at this stage was to use the 'nuisance call' service if it's proven to be needed.... but if these are, as suggested by them, a series of 'international sales phone calls', with only one operator call to date which could be totally unconnected .... nothing they can do......

    Guess I just have to keep telling mum to put the phone down if she's unsure ... anyone genuine (known or not) will fully understand....

    Thanks again, Karen (TF)
  9. candymostdandy@

    candymostdandy@ Registered User

    May 12, 2006
    west sussex
    Found this on the BT Site, think its called "Smart Divert"

    i don't know how practical this would be, but you would be able to monitor the calls

    Diverts incoming calls to most contact numbers - so customers can always get through, even to most overseas locations
    Flexible system - it's easy to change the contact number
    Security PIN number ensures you stay in control
    Smart Divert Pack options give you real flexibility
    Activate or deactivate Smart Divert remotely at any time
  10. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    In case it defuses the paranoia a bit (but sadly not the annoyance) systems such as Mandy described are often computer driven, and keep redialling numbers which they have been unable to get through to. Bloody nuisance though!

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