Cyber Confidence: One Question to Rule Them All


“Hello, is that Mrs Jane Smith?” 

Mrs Jane Smith does not recognise the number or the voice calling her, and she’s savvy enough not to confirm her identity. How does she get out of this one politely?

“Ah…” she hesitates then quickly blurts, “if you’re selling something I’m not interest—

She’s cut-off mid-sentence.

“Mrs Smith, I’m not selling anything, and all I’m asking is just a minute of your time.”

It could well be a sales call, or just a market research survey but with Australians losing $340 million to scams in 2017, politeness may cost Mrs Smith more than just “a minute of her time”. Scamwatch reports the average loss as over $6000.

Avoiding and turning away these calls requires quick thinking and creativity…and no, blowing a whistle down the line is NOT the best course of action. Of course, you can have lots of fun trying different ways to avoid telemarketers and scam callers and you can deal with them as you choose. However, the real problem is not the call but rather identifying whether or not the call (or even an email, or letter) is legitimate.

In this case, there is only one question you need to ask yourself:

Am I expecting this? If not, hang up.

Simply say, “thank you I’m not interested, please remove me from your database”.

However, if you feel the call is indeed legitimate you should STILL VERIFY the call by telling them that you will phone the company directly. Then obtain the company’s main number from their website.

So remember that one cyber confidence check, “Am I expecting this?” followed by verifying the authenticity of the contact, and you will protect yourself and your organisation.