Imagine that you have just picked up a call from an unknown number and the calling person ask you questions that are uncomfortable, even intimate. Are you ready to handle such a telephone call? In this post we are going to demonstrate, how can a scammer put a psychological strain on the called party and how it is possible to defend yourself against such an unwished conversation.
Below you can find a list of psychological tricks that not only scammers use, but also tricks that may be used in a legitimate business. Some of the psychological practices belong under social engineering, whose aim is to obtain confidential information about the second person by manipulating and/or deceiving the person.
Let’s go. Scammers or telemarketers may be:
- Asking introductory queries to create a trustworthy atmosphere or to make an impression it goes about some survey – Scammer: “What do you use more, a razor blade or a shaver?”
- Pretending you already know each other – Recipient: “They called my mobile, asked for someone else then persisted in asking my relationship to them.”
- Inciting the called party to gain sensitive information – Recipient: “What sorry?” Scammer: “You took it out to cover your mortgage?” Recipient: “Sorry I think you have the wrong person.” Scammer: “You do have a mortgage?”
- Asking questions to gain your consent – Scammer: “Can we agree on this?”
- Manipulating the recipient towards answers the caller needs to get – Recipient: “Women offering some food supplements, she said my name and sure name and asked if it is me. Then she claimed that she has it from previous order. I have never ever ordered something like this and also I am not going to order it.”
- Keeping the called party in the conversation, be persistent – Scammer: ”Do you save money?”, Recipient: Yes, Scammer: “Are you interested in your money?”, Recipient: “Not that much.” Scammer: “You are really not interested in your money?”
- Equivocating information about themselves – Recipient: “Told me his records showed I had a frozen pension but became very vague when I specifically asked him who this frozen pension was with.”
- Backtracking to answer your questions – Recipient: “I asked him specifically which of my pension schemes he was talking about and he started backtracking.”
- Using empathy for persuading you – Recipient: “She said she is impressed of my knowledge and that I will most probably know the product she offers.”
- Targeting specific groups of respondents, their characteristics and needs – Recipient: “I had an impression that they hang up if they hear the person on the other end of the line. If there is an old voice, they start with their hunt. Older and retired people can be easily talked down to fear of many things.”
- Pushing you in something you would not normally do – Recipient: “They offer lowering your energy prices, there is no option to reject.”
- Providing misleading information – Recipient: “Worker who introduced herself as 02, while she was not an 02 employee, she was working in the call center. She does not know Terms and Conditions of the products she offered, thus she provided intentionally distorted and incomplete information.”
- Lying even where the lie is transparent – Recipient: “He assured me this was not a sales call, which of course it was, so another lie in 30 seconds and they want you to trust them with your money.”
This is not a complete list of psychological techniques, there are much more psychological methods how to make the telephone scam successful. In one of its next posts, SHOULDIANSWER will publish some more tactics that does not occur that often.
How to effectively defend yourself? Provide the caller with an assertive answer, clearly demonstrate you are not interested. Below you can find a few psychological tactics how to discourage a scammer to continue in the communication. As reported by our clients, these psychological methods worked at least for the moment:
- Try to ask what company the caller is from.
- Pretend you cannot hear the caller.
- Let the person talk, he or she soon realizes that no one listens.
- Answer in Japanese or just say something that the person will not understand.
- Tell the caller, if he calls you from that number again, you will report it to your national authority such as DNC registry or TPS service.
- Start to be really rude, the person on the opposite side will most probably hang up.
- And more …
Even if these psychological tricks are inventive or even to smile, they does not have to discourage the scammer from calling you again. All the above attempts how to quit an unsolicited call will not help, as the caller will most probably try to reach you again. In some cases you have greater chance you will not be contacted anymore, but with SHOULDIANSWER you can be sure about it.
SHOULDIANSWER protects you against all unsolicited phone calls. Our service is widely used not only by introverts, extroverts or everybody who is not assertive enough, but also by people willing to invest their energy into some more meaningful activity than playing a psychological game with scammers when answering unwished telephone calls.
SHOULDIANSWER can be downloaded for free at Google Play.