Chris Deals With Cold Callers


A guest post by Chris.

I don’t intend to be rude to cold callers but they do have scripts to work to and I disrupt that by giving unexpected answers or questions.

If they claim to be doing a survey, then I might say

“What’s in it for me?”

Probably, they’ll tell me there isn’t anything or the slow witted ones just keep asking questions.

I might say “I cannot believe you are asking for information without giving me anything.”

If they say I am going to be entered into a draw or be given £100 voucher off double glazing for example  then I might say “Send me the cash or draw coupon or whatever first then I’ll answer questions”

A lot of the cold callers are from call centres in India and I have visited India several times so I might ask them whereabouts they are and ask about the weather or is my favourite hotel still there or something similar.

They don’t like talking about these things as it’s not on their script.

Other times, I might try to make the cold caller feel guilty.

I could tell them I have come down from the top of a ladder where I am painting the roof or been dragged in from the garden where I am cutting down trees to answer the phone.

Sometimes that works and other times they just stick to the script.

If they ring at lunchtime I always tell them I am hosting an important lunch party and cannot discuss my power suppliers or whatever it is they want at that time.

Of course that can lead to them suggesting they call again which obviously I don’t want.

If they are calling from England at lunch time then I might say

“Why are you calling at lunch time – are you not allowed lunch? I should have a word with my boss about that”

It can be entertaining dealing with cold callers but can just be an annoyance.

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Is Empowr a Scam?


Not to be confused with, empowr is a strange and complicated game of money where the rules are far from clear.

It claims to be a social network where people can make money.

You make money by posting items, sharing, blogging, liking, selling and ‘fanning’ .

It doesn’t make sense that you make money from simply ‘liking’ or from posting your own articles etc. Where does the money come from?

Seemingly people are soon told they have made a lot of money but it’s not real world money – you cannot cash out this money until 90 days later and in the meantime you have to keep making actions on the website  and each time you do it costs ad credits which have to be paid for immediately  with real money (not the winnings)

So you pay up front constantly and chase after the supposed winnings but cannot get to them.

Most people end up paying so much for ad credits and other admin costs they never make any actual cash.

It’s a game where maybe some people can win but as there is no apparent source of money except for the players then the money is being moved from one to another and empowr take their cut.

The people responsible for empowr are the ones that created Fanbox which was a similar game of circulating money (real and fake) and interestingly had legal protection in its terms and conditions

WARNING: Please use FanBox for entertainment purposes only. In particular, your use of FanBox may never materialize or result in any direct or implied benefit. Any content, Earnings, time, payments, and relationships associated with your use of FanBox may be subject to modification or termination.

The email inviting us to join empowr was from a Stacey Collins but using a Gmail address rather than an official empowr address. Strange?

The small print at the bottom of the email says dollar amounts are revenues, not profits and are for illustrative purposes only.

So, the top part of the email that says that Stacey has sent us $20 to try empowr – not real.

Empowr is not recommended.

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Website: Friends Against Scams


The website is and it has been created by National Trading Standards.

Their byline is

Friends Against Scams Will Start Taking Action Now Deliver the Message Against Scams.

The highlight on the letters S T A N D gives the word and you can get the phrase Stand Against Scams from this – very clever.

The introduction on the website states their reason for creating the website as follows

Friends against Scams is a National Trading Standards Scams Team initiative, which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to “Take a Stand Against Scams”.

It goes on to explain that the lack of awareness of scams is allowing a lot of scammers to get away with their criminality and Friends Against Scams encourages communities and organisations to take action.

There is a lot of useful content on the website but the starting point is a short video about scams and the damage they cause. Well worth watching. One statistic that stands out is that although anyone of any age can fall victim to a scam, the average age of those scammed is 75. They target the most vulnerable.

Friends Against Scams is also active on Twitter at @AgainstScams

This is a great new development in the fight against scammers and hopefully it will build to a huge public campaign. The more people understand what the scammers do then the more we can protect everyone against them.

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The Fake Zeus Virus Warning Scam


You get a frightening message on screen saying that Windows has detected the Zeus virus on your computer.

It warns “Don’t Restart Your Computer

But it also provides a solution – Call technical support on 0800-086914 and gives you a code to quote to the support agent.

Your computer does NOT have Zeus virus – it’s just a webpage designed to frighten you and get you to call the phone number. If you call, the agent (who is just a scammer) will lead you through a script intended to get you to pay to have the problem fixed and in the supposed fix process may well install software designed to steal your passwords and credit card numbers.

There is no problem to be fixed – just a scammer at work. Do not call the number. If you are in any doubt then take your computer to a professional for assessment. And don’t be afraid to restart the computer – the scammer didn’t want you to realise that the message goes away with a reboot (or just terminating the browser).

Everyone should take basic precautions with their computer – ensure that anti-virus is running and kept up to date and you need to run a complete anti-virus check on your computer once a week.

Use common sense – do not open attachments or click links in messages unless you are sure they are safe.

Three of the most popular anti-virus software packages are McAfee, AVG and Norton.

Don’t fall for the scammer’s tricks.

Stay safe

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Bob Servant Says Delete This at Your Peril

bob_servant_bookBob Servant likes dealing with scammers – and playing them at their own game.

The book “Delete This at Your Peril” gives eight of his best dialogues with scammers and they are very funny.

It is described as “One Man’s fearless exchanges with the Internet Scammers”

Bob typically gets the scammers interested  by agreeing to pay them then his ‘demands’ become more and more ridiculous and some of these scammers are so dumb and so desperate they fall for it.  Whether the scammers are offering African millions, Russian Brides or get rich quick scams, Bob can outdo them with his outrageous ideas.

e.g. Scammer  to Bob after a dozen emails.

Bob: What is happening?? I don’t sell animals. I only said I could get some lions to help you.

Then you say you need a leopard and I say OK.

Now you are saying the lion has to talk?

What is this madness?

Send me the £1,700 that we agreed immediately.

Needless to say, Bob never sends any money but he does keep the scammers tied up dealing with his messages and provides a great laugh for us.

Nice one Bob.

The book is available on Amazon and other websites.

Bob’s website is at