Wednesday, 20 June 2007
The problem when you receive a phone call from someone purporting to be from your bank is how do you know if they really are calling from your bank. This gets particularly tricky if they start asking you questions to identify yourself and you're thinking 'but you called me - why should I give personal data to someone I don't know?'
One way to raise the level of trust in this situation is to give your trusted contacts, like your bank, a unique phone number to call you on, rather than your usual home or office number. You can do this by signing up for a FleXtel number and setting it to display the CLI (phone number) of that FleXtel number when you receive a call on it, rather than the CLI of the caller.
So your phone rings, you see 0870 xxx xxxx on the display and you know that's the number you've given to your bank. No one else has it, so unless it's a very random call from someone who correctly guesses you have an account with XYZ bank, the call is likely to be a genuine call from your bank.
You can also set your FleXtel number to send you an email showing the number of the caller which you can check later. Even 'withheld' numbers display part of the caller's number (minus the last three digits) allowing some identification (e.g. approximate location) of the caller.
And best of all ... this strategy doesn't cost anything because there is no charge for FleXtel numbers.
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