/ Technology

Mistaken identity – ever felt misled by a caller?

Man with bag over his head

We’ve heard from readers who’ve been conned into paying hundreds to ‘Microsoft support’ scam callers. Over a fifth of Brits have had one of these calls, but there’s another, albeit less serious, type of call.

There are calls from companies which don’t necessarily make out that they’re from a well-known company, like Microsoft. Instead, we’ve heard from readers who felt they’ve been led to believe that a familiar company has called them, only for them to be completely a different company.

This company might provide the service you need, whether broadband or mobile phone contract. And if you asked the right questions you might have discovered that they weren’t your provider. But they’re letting you part with your cash without explicitly stating who they are.

A familiar conversation with an unfamiliar caller

For example, one Which? member entered into a new mobile phone contract under what he believed to be false pretences. He had been signed up to O2 for about five years and so when he got a call offering him a brand new handset and the same package for less money, he thought his loyalty was being rewarded. He accepted the upgrade, but it was only when he received an email after the call that he discovered that he had not been speaking with O2, but with a company called E2Save.

He was convinced that he had been talked to someone from O2, and had entered into a contract with a new provider without realising. Thankfully, since this agreement was made over the phone, he had time to cancel thanks to the Distance Selling Regulations. The question is, have more people been affected?

Have you been called by a company like E2Save? Were you encouraged to ‘upgrade’ your phone contract while believing you were talking to your existing provider?


Unless I’m expecting a call from a business, I always assume it’s not genuine. Often I’m right, and the caller gets nervous and hangs up when I start asking too many questions. The worst case is if my bank phones me; I don’t believe it’s them and they won’t divulge any information about my account to prove they’re genuine until they’ve taken me through security.


If the bank phone us (First Direct), we never go through security with them there and then. We always say sorry we don’t divulge any personal information unless the call originates from us. No problem, they let us know who to ask for and we phone them back and get put through that way. Then there is never any doubt that the call is genuine.

James Bryant says:
22 June 2013

But ring them back on the number in your address book, not on any number that they may give you!


There are a load of phone numbers starting with 0141 that claim to be various people.

Calls originating from 01412709078 claim to be from Amex or Orange I found out after doing a search on the number. They claim to be Amex when they call us.

Had a recent call where the person claimed to be from a financial company offering us cheap shares or something. She knew my name and the road I lived in but gave the wrong house number. I told her she was a scam and rang off.

Registered with TPS.


The question has to be how do the likes of E2Save know you are with O2?

A year or so ago, O2 supposedly got hacked. Wouldn’t this mean E2Save came by this information illegally?


I have now stopped answering the phone to numbers that I don’t recognise. On the 30th May I got 18 calls from the same number which incidentally is 07873691439 and another one that plagued me was 01618703441 (anyone recognise these) as well as withheld and International. I am registered with TPS and believe my calls have increased since then. I phoned BT but have to pay every month to have the calls blocked. I had to buy a phone that can block numbers to stop them phoning.


Irene, no obvious info on the 0787 number so could be legit (maybe wrong number).
But goggle the 0161 and plenty of info on that one. They apparently got fined £90,000 by the ICO for blighting the public with thousands of unwanted marketing calls in March this year.
Like 0141 numbers there are a load of 0161 numbers listed.

Peter - Swansea says:
15 June 2013

You may be able to find out who these calls are coming from by going to http://www.whocallsme.com, and typing in the number Anyone who Knowes the number will then reply and let you know who the call is coming from, and if it is a scam call.