While this buffer is not new to many, no doubt there are plenty of other people out there who are not yet familiar with the unexpected benefits of stonewalling scammers …
Once upon a time, I used to answer every call I received, regardless of whether I knew the number or not. Maybe it was auto-pilot from days gone by when none of us knew who was calling. Maybe it was based on a belief that I should. Maybe it was curiosity as to who was calling. Or maybe a blend of these.
It was never really a problem though … until my details were accessed in two separate, high profile data breaches.
Then the calls and text messages started. Albeit reluctantly, I considered changing my phone number. Fortunately, before taking that hugely inconvenient step, I happened across a warning that changing your number is a lottery. After all, the reason many numbers become available is because people ditch them for the same reason I wanted to. What if I went to all the trouble, only to discover the nuisance factor of the new (a.k.a. secondhand) number was a lot higher? Okay, not choosing that.
What to do?
Stop answering all calls from numbers I don’t know.
I was reluctant at first, preferring to avoid playing phone tag with those I need to speak with, however, this has turned out to be a small price to pay for the unexpected benefits – benefits I was totally unaware of and would likely never have come across if not for the scammers. How cool is that?
Just one example of many, I received a work-related call where I was required to be across a range of information and be super sharp with it. That call came first thing one morning before my brain was fully in gear and without the details fresh in my mind. The message requesting I return the call was my cue to review, make some dot points and call back at a time when I was right on task and ready. Zero fallout! Had I answered the call in the first instance, it would have caught me by surprise and it would have been a train wreck.
Wow, what a re-frame. It’s like my voicemail’s a free personal assistant, intercepting my calls! And it has my back! How did it not occur to me before? I’m liking this new reality!
So, scammers, I get the last laugh! No doubt it would be much to your annoyance that I am immensely grateful for your calls.
… And that’s something I never imagined I would say!
How does it get any better than that?