As the above Twitter post suggests, I had to deal with a scam phone call earlier today. I was very unimpressed when I was asked if I was, “Miss King?” by a woman speaking with an Indian accent.
“This is a Miss King, what is this regarding?” I replied.
“Your computer has been infected with malicious software and-”
“No it bloody well has not. I know a lot about IT. You’re blatantly a scammer,” I could still hear the sounds of the call centre in the background, “Now why don’t you just f**k off,” and then I hung up.
This was the first time I had received such a phone call, and a quick bit of web searching led me to this blog entry on the Guardian from last year. That blog post (plus comments) and some chatter on Twitter seems to suggest that somewhere down the line personal details that have been collected by the companies that we buy technology from (be it a PC or our internet connection) are sold by unscrupulous individuals onto those who have less than honest intentions on what to do with these details. Or at least details get passed on when you call for support on products and inevitably get connected to a call centre in another country.
It’s a shame that when David Cameron visited India last year to try and boost trade ties between India and the UK, he didn’t have a word with relevant individuals or organisations in India about stopping scam phone calls. ‘Course it doesn’t help when international companies contract call centre work out to poorer countries and then fail to pay the staff there enough so that selling on personal details doesn’t seem as profitable.