My mum’s always been a tough cookie, willing to fight for her rights and smart enough to know when someone’s pulling a fast one.
So when she messaged me to say she’d had a good old chat with my colleague "Sarah" from MSE, I literally ran out of the office to call her and find out the full details.
It’s not that "Sarah" is the office gossip or had any important information for my next of kin – far from it. There is no Sarah in our 41-strong team at MSE Towers.
My mother had fallen victim to a hoax whereby scammers call unsuspecting members of the public pretending they’re from MSE to gain information and money.
But I almost can’t believe this "Sarah" had the audacity to continue pressing my mum for information even after she’d told her "my daughter works there too".
As the details of their conversation unfolded, I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, and I was angry and disappointed.
My mum had given her address, mobile number and briefly discussed her mortgage and utility details. (Thank you, "Sarah", but no, she didn’t want to switch provider for a better deal.)
But luckily, she hadn’t disclosed any confidential or financially sensitive information.
When I told her she should never discuss any personal information with random callers or people who come knocking at the door, plus the fact that there are scammers piggybacking on MSE’s reputation, her first response was: "How was I supposed to know?".
A fair point made and that’s why these imposters continue to prey on the unsuspecting public. I just never thought it’d happen to my nearest and dearest.
My mum knows to expect a lot of spam texts, calls and letters, but it could have been far worse.
We can all be vulnerable to scammers at times, especially when our guard’s down. If you don’t know them, don’t give them anything which could potentially incur costs, fees or any loss of money.
Have you been a victim of one of these spam callers? Please leave your experiences below or in the MSE Forum. Also help us get rid of these pests by emailing any information you have to firstname.lastname@example.org.