Editorial: Scammers still bane of our lives

By Andrew Austin

6 comments
Phone scammers are relentless and can be nasty.
Phone scammers are relentless and can be nasty.

It would be interesting to find out exactly how much of New Zealanders' time has been wasted on talking to telephone scammers over the years.

Personally, I reckon I have probably spent nearly two hours talking to them in the past few years, with numerous phone calls being made to my home phone here and when I lived in Auckland.

Now, most of us do not fall for the line that there is something wrong with our computer and many of us have a bit of fun with them, but it is still time wasted.

You wonder how many rejections a day these scammers get, but they still persist. It reminds me of a former work colleague who used to ask every single woman he met out on a date. Unsurprisingly his hit rate was quite low, but that did not bother him too much. You see, his strategy was that if he asked as many women out as possible, it increased his chances of one saying "yes".

The scammers seem to have the same strategy, if comments on our website and Facebook are anything to go by. Many people chat to them, but so far no one has admitted to falling for their lies.

Some of our readers have offered interesting ways of dealing with them, from pretending not to understand to blowing a whistle down the phone. Others keep them hanging on the line for ages while they do other things.

The theory is that this prevents them from scamming others.

Who knows what the best strategy is, but it is distressing to think that there are some trusting people out there who will be intimidated by these people.

It is okay for some to say they should simply hang up the phone but many people panic when confronted by an aggressive voice on the phone.

Those of us who can stand up to them should and hopefully they find somewhere else in the world to try their luck.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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