/ 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.

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.

I have just been called from 07873 691439 also ………… i reckon another marketing call or scam call

Rhoda says:
14 June 2013

The worst thing about nuisance calls..is that I’m am so sick and tired of them, I always answer phone with a grumpy voice ….and then have to apologise to friends that I sound in such a mad mood, it makes them wary of me …and I am normally a very friendly person

g.chase says:
14 June 2013

Why not perasuade all WHICH members to keep a record of all dodgy calls,
ie Tel No, Time, Date.

Rayn says:
15 June 2013

They waste my time so I waste their time.
I always say I will get the person they want and then just leave the phone off the hook until they ring off. Longest time so far is about15 minutes.
Alternatively I say the person they want is on anaother number and I then give them the number of a dubious massage parlour that I got from a newspaper.
I have noticed the number of nuisance calls appears to have reduced over the last year!!

This is becoming such a serious problem that I am considering just cancelling the phone part of my landline (which I need for broadband) and telling everyone that I won’t answer my phone and to text me and I will call back (on my mobile).

If BT and Ofcom don’t do something about these nuisance calls and scams, it will kill off landline telephone calls.

I don’t see why I should continue to provide the enemy internal access to my home.

I’ve heard of them. They seem to be a group of companies specialising in Health, Accident , Holiday and every insurance racket you can think of.

I get the feeling that they are the jack of all trades and masters of none and would have nothing to do with them. They use high pressure sales, either run or utilise a calling centre cold calling everyone without regard.

I’d have nothing to do with them.

Rod says:
21 July 2013

When you get called by a compt that are affiliated to e2 save your are not changing networks. You still stay with whichever provider your with.. E2 save are not a network !!!! They do upgrades on your existing contract

J.Smart says:
25 July 2013

Unsolicited calls are becoming a serious problem for me and my husband. We have TPS, and are ex-directory, but every day for three weeks, we have had several calls from companies which know that our house -insurance or car- insurance policies are due for renewal.. Clearly, our existing companies are selling this information.
We have several calls every day from “Householder Choice” in the Philippines, and they ring off partway through the call, then ring again later, up to 5 times a day.
In retirement we have enough pressures on us, and the usual assortment of age-related medical problems, and after demanding lives of professional, community and voluntary service, we’re worn-out and really need peace and quiet. We never get a quiet day, ever, and any mood of relaxation will always be dispelled by unwanted phone calls. It’s impossible to relax and feel safe in our own home, and I think it’s significantly damaging to our well being.

Arthur says:
25 July 2013

Does anyone know who sponsors TPS? Registering with them seems to have little effect on nuisance calls!

TPS is funded by the companies involved in direct marketing. You can find this information on Wikipedia very easily. I suspect that there may be a reason why it’s harder to find on the TPS site. 🙂

dorothy macfarlane says:
16 August 2013

I trust no one Idivulge nothing lately I have been bombarded with calls from a particular number always asking if they are speaking to a name they give, as I recognise the voice I say goodbye and put the phone down We live in a very sick and troubled society not even sure if registering with you people such a good idea only time will tell but will continue to be vigilant and trust only God

dorothy macfarlane says:
16 August 2013

I have a theory that Individuals within certain organisations are selling databases to make money I know it happens in other countries so why not here

My latest way to cope with these calls is to not listen to the speech about “how he wants to help me with my Microsoft computer problem” or whatever, but to tell the caller I think he is working for a dishonest company which wishes to commit fraud on me and and that he should find a job with an honest company instead. I feel I am doing a little to fight back against these companies.

My wife has been caught out by e2save, who posed as 02.

She cancelled the order as soon as she could. 02 and Carphone Warehouse both acknowledge and deny these frauds as affiliates, depending upon which person you speak to on the phone. She is now on her third (free) call to 02 to complain about her personal data being farmed to dubious satellite companies. I’ll update tomorrow.

Marshmallow says:
7 November 2013

I have had a call from a company saying they were Sky (TV) and asking if I know that Sky now have a technical department. I said I thought they did but thanked them from letting me know. We went away for a few days and on our return found £90 taken out of our account by Tech Support. I also received a letter from them saying that all our household equipment was now covered – no explanation as to what for but maybe I’m a bit slow. I called the number on the letter and asked what cover this was and was informed that it was for technical support for anything “with a plug on it in the home, including the boiler”. Needless to say, I was somewhat shocked as I had neither agreed to take out extra cover on anything nor had I agreed any payment. They promised to send me information on the services they provide – I am still waiting for this even after 5 phone calls. So, a word of warning to anyone out there – don’t be fooled by this. When you call them, they do not give a company name and no one you speak to identifies themselves either. I am not happy as this was all a blatant lie by someone pretending to be from Sky.

I am afraid that e2save.com are still operating in the way described in the main article above: a free spare phone + a ‘renewal’ of my O2 contract, offered by a man claiming to speak on behalf of O2. As it happens, after checking with O2, I was able to cancel this quickly and to notify O2 that I am not changing my contract. The questions which arise are why is this sharp practice allowed to happen not only by Carphone Warehouse – the owners of e2save.com – but also by O2 with whom, it is claimed, e2save.com have a ‘partnership’? Of course I should have checked that my renewal date was coming up very soon before agreeing over the phone to anything. (The trouble is that my renewal is due very soon.) How is e2save getting my details from O2? This is sharp practice and should be stamped out.

Chantel says:
6 February 2014


yes I have and repeatedly asked if this was with O2 as my actual contract is with phones4u and not O2 and was assured over and over this is just a reduction on my current providers side and nothing will change

Now i get an email saying a new sim only sim will be sent out with the monthly payable fee.

I replied to cancel this straight away is there anyway I can prevent any further issues about this?