Cold callers getting more sophisticated

Cartoon of a lawyer chasing after an ambulanceEarlier today while drinking my coffee I got a call from a woman who told me that there was some sort of payout waiting for me as a result of a vehicle incident that wasn’t my fault. I told her as soon as she mentioned that she’d been told of such an incident that in fact she hadn’t because no such incident had taken place. I asked her for details of the alleged incident, such as the date and location, and the registration number. She gave me a number (the number of my car) and a date (February 2015, suspiciously close to when I bought the car) but couldn’t furnish me with the location.

Normally, I tell these sorts of callers that no, there was no incident and can you please stop calling me as I’m not interested but this woman managed to keep me on the line which is a first for these sorts of people. I explained that if there had been a report of an incident, the location would have been included because it’s a fundamental detail in any insurance claim. I’ve filled out a few of these forms in my driving career and you always have to state the location. But no, she just said the only details she’d been given (as was standard in her industry) was a name, date, phone number and registration number. The date did ring a bell, partly because that month I did actually have a minor incident in a truck — not my car — and partly because someone did hit my car when it was parked in a locked workplace car park around the time she mentioned and caused minor damage to one of the doors. But I’m not sure exactly when. If I could get some money out of the people responsible I’d be glad, but I don’t know if it went as far as an insurance claim. I asked my agency to ask the client to investigate and have whoever had the CCTV footage of the day in question to have a look at them. But it didn’t go any further, to my knowledge, and the incident I was involved in with the truck was settled then.

So, I told the lady that she should go and ask her colleagues to get the details of the ‘incident’ so we can see if it matches what I know, because if she was acting off a real insurance claim, those details would be available. She agreed to go and ask her colleagues and get back to me at some point in the future. I said, “no, call me back this afternoon or tomorrow” as it must be easy enough to find these things out.

That was 12 hours ago and I’ve not heard anything back from her.

So, it looks like insurance claim cold-callers won’t take no for an answer anymore — if you just say no, they will use some trick to keep you on the phone. If you don’t know that you’ve had an accident, you haven’t. Really, you’d remember it. The easiest way to deal with them is to hang up.

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