How to Charge Cold Callers

It is possible under specific circumstances that you can invoice cold calling companies and make them pay for your time wasted.

But it takes a lot of effort to make it work and is only possible with very insistent cold callers who refuse to stop.

Richard Herman is a retired BT engineer and he was plagued with calls from a solicitors.

He thought about what would make it possible for him to claim money from them and he put his plan into action.

  1. He recorded every call and the date, time and length of each call.
  2. He warned them that they would be incurring costs if they continued to call him against his wishes. This warning needed to be explicit rather than just saying ”It will cost you”
  3. He specified that the charge would be £10 per minute or part thereof occupied in answering the cold calls.
  4. His meticulous records, recordings of the calls and warnings to the callers to stop, put him in an excellent position with the law.
  5. He wrote to the callers demanding payment
  6. When payment was not forthcoming and the calls continued then he started legal action.
  7. The company behind the cold calls turned out to be a solicitors and they fought the case but lost and had to pay up.

You can do the same if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.

Richard Herman has a website at http://www.saynotocoldcalls.com/index.html giving more detail and he will answer queries.

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Marz: Use This Spray and Watch the Weight Drop Off

The email title is “Lose 50 Kilos in 2 months

That’s almost 1 kilo per day – pretty extreme. Plus, even amongst very overweight people – there’s only a small number would actually want to lose 50 kilos.

The tagline is “Just one pump is more effective than a full 6 mile run”

Supposedly the product also cleans all toxins from your body and you lose weight without having to watch what you eat.

Too good to be true?

Of course it is, so it’s a scam.

The majority of the email is taken up with reference to an American TV programme called the Shark Tank which is similar to Dragons Den in the UK. A bunch of business people assess new products and services brought to them by entrepreneurs seeking cash and  advice.

This product was on Shark Tank and received a mixed reception with some liking, some disliking and one calling it a scam.

Is the product any good?

You have to judge that for yourself (and the Shark Tank interview is on Youtube) but the following points may help:-

  • The spray is basically a lot of vitamins – that’s fine as long as the doses are appropriate
  • It contains a number of substances such as Caffeine and Guarana that some people believe can help with weight reduction, but there is a lack of proper scientific evidence to support this.
  • The only direct evidence for the product is anecdotal i.e. some people who have used the product believe in it

The product continues to sell – so it has believers, but it’s not cheap and there is a lack of hard evidence of any effectiveness beyond that of standard vitamin supplements.

However, even if the product is genuine – do not click on the links in the spam emails, as these are almost certainly fake. If you want the product – go to the original supplier in America.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.

How to Find Trustworthy Local Tradesmen

Most homeowners have faced the problem of needing a tradesman – e.g. a plumber, carpenter, decorator etc.

How do you make sure the person or company you choose is going to be trustworthy and do a good job.?

That’s not easy.

In the last few years various websites have appeared that include ratings on the tradesmen and these are very useful but the ratings are typically based on customer experience rather than an expert assessment.

TrustMark is a Government endorsed scheme for trades in and around the home. They award registered firms with accreditation after vetting and on-site inspections to ensure the firm is raising industry standards and this accreditation gives customers reassurance of quality and protection from rogue traders.

TrustMark is a ‘not for profit’ social enterprise and the TrustMark Scheme was developed in 2005, in conjunction with Government, industry and consumer protection bodies.

TrustMark says it seeks to continually improve and welcomes constructive engagement on how improvements and enhancements can be achieved.

The Website

www.trustmark.org.uk

The site is free to use and designed for you to find tradesmen based on entering a postcode and selecting a trade.

Or alternatively to find information on a specific tradesman /company

There are a lot of registered tradesmen on Trustmark but not everyone of course  – it does cost time and money to be registered so not all tradesmen have done so.

So, you can use Trustmark to reduce the likelihood of problems with your chosen tradesman.

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Liverpool Advertising Scammers Busted

Advertising magazine fraudster George Williams jailed for seven years over £5.2 million scam.

George Williams controlled a Liverpool-based team conning firms into paying for adverts in a publication called “Emergency Services News”. There should have been about 1.2m copies per year to fulfil their promises to clients but instead police found they only printed 30,000 copies over 3 years.

Williams and others called themselves Weinstein Williams Associates Ltd and were found to have falsely claimed that they worked for the emergency services and detectives believe as many as 15,000 victims paid for adverts in publications that either did not materialise or didn’t reached the audience they had been promised.

Weinstein Williams Associates cold-called people all over the UK, claiming they were endorsed by emergency services to get people to place paid adverts in their fake magazine. Anyone who complained was threatened with legal action.

Williams, of Linacre Road, Bootle, took £2,000 a week and splashed out on flash cars, boats and property. He was jailed for seven years and four other men were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court over the scam.

Judge Robert Warnock told Williams: “The evidence is overwhelming. You recruited guilty and unscrupulous sales staff. You enjoyed the criminal lifestyle.”  “You have shown no remorse at all. It is highly probable you will offend in the same way. Your motive was greed and your method deception.”

Scammers like this create a plausible situation where they appear to help people in business. But it’s mostly fake and the businesses lose out and the scammers get very rich.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-wasters do let me know, by email.

Callers Who Know Your Details

Most callers have no information about you save for a name and the telephone number and sometimes not even a name. But sometimes you get a caller who knows a lot about you and pretends to be confirming information – probably pretending to be from the local council or government or some other authority or even a utility company or a company such as Microsoft or BT etc.

Their information could have come from any number of sources e.g. from a data breach at a company you do business with or from rifling through your rubbish bin or from hacking your emails or just from the Electoral Register.

Don’t be conned into believing it’s safe to confirm information they appear to have – they are practiced at asking questions that lead you to believe they know more than they actually do.  The more information you give them the easier it is for them to defraud you.

  1. Review what information the caller has and where it may have come from.
  2. If necessary, contact your bank, credit card supplier etc. to check for suspicious activity
  3. Review your online logins and passwords and whether any should be changed

What can you do to protect yourself?

Monitor your bank accounts, credit cards, investments, etc., on a weekly basis if possible. Follow up on any unexpected transactions and contact the relevant bank, card supplier etc. if you are concerned.