Woman’s bid to end nuisance phone calls

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A harassed homeowner who for the last 12 months has been driven to despair by nuisance calls pretended she had died in a bid to put an end to it.

But even such dramatic measures from Gillian Norfolk, who lives in Pudsey, failed to stop the scammers from calling.

The retired BT operator still receives up to five calls a day from men and women claiming to work for Microsoft Windows.

Callers claim her computer has a ‘virus’ and she needs to give them remote access.

But John Mitchison, manager of the Telephone Preference Service, has confirmed this as an attempt by criminals to steal personal information.

Now Ms Norfolk wants to warn others about the criminals who could ruin your life.

She said: “These calls show up as international calls. I cannot ignore them as I have family in Australia, Algeria and Spain, who might be trying to get in touch.

“I’ve tried ignoring [the scammers], I’ve answered then left the phone off the hook, I’ve quizzed them to find out who they are, and told them to stop calling.

“Then one day I told them that Gillian Norfolk had died.

“It’s terrible, but I just wanted rid of them.”

She added: “[The other day] the man calling got aggressive. He asked me why I had not returned his call.

“He said: ‘You promised to call me and you haven’t’.

“He said he’d call back at 4pm and I needed to have my computer on this time.

“I’m not stupid. I’ll never let them into my computer, but there is a chance someone else might.”

One caller told Ms Norfolk his name was Ricky Watson and gave his number as 0208 144 9472. That number is believed to divert calls abroad. See the award-winning Consumerwatch pages in tomorrow’s YEP for tips on how to handle nuisance calls.

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