Many small, medium and new businesses advertise their personal mobile phone number or home landline on business cards or websites.
However here are few reasons why this is not always the best way to advertise your business…
“One Ring Scam” – this is where you receive a call which rings your mobile only one ring. You will see a phone number starting 070 and will likely call back. The 070 number looks like a mobile number but is really a “Personal” or “Follow me” number which can cost 30p to £2.50 per minute to call from mobiles, 4p to £3.40 from a landline. When you call the number you will just hear it ringing, but what is really going on is that the remote system immediately answers the call which starts costing you, but plays back a ringing sound. Therefore the longer you keep “ringing” the more it costs you. Sometimes the call sounds like it connects, saying something like “Hi thanks for calling back I am interested in…” then cuts off making you call back and costing you more…
Spam Texts – A mobile phone is the easiest way for the spammer to send information to you that can be fraudulent or spurious. Texts can purport to be from friends asking for you to call them or banks advising your account has been locked or other services advising your account has been locked or compromised. All will likely show a phone number which will be expensive to call or as the “One ring spam” play ring sounds to keep you on the line. Texts can also hold web addresses which can take you to spurious websites which can download Malware to your phone.
Never call 070 or numbers you do not recognise or follow web links
Voicemail scam – like Text and “One ring” mentioned above, a voicemail is left which asks you to call a costly phone number, see 1) and 2) above with why you should not call back.
Identity Theft – A lot of services use your personal mobile phone number as part of security, so advertising your mobile number means you are giving away one element of your security.
Smartphones Wi-Fi hacking – Never! Ever! Connect to “Free” Wi-Fi. Free Wi-Fi is notorious for being monitored by hackers and those in the know. While your device may not be hacked, anything you access on free Wi-Fi can be watched, so any password or Pin you access can be logged.
Solution: ensure your smartphone (and mobile devices) are set to not connect to unsecured Wi-Fi so you can be sure they don’t connect without your permission.
Watch out for calls from known numbers they may not always be who they appear to be. There are simple ways for unscrupulous people to appear to call from Banks or any phone number. You may recognise a number or have them in your contacts, so may see “Incoming call from HSBC”. While you may be aware not to give out your Pin, you may confirm details as you feel the bank has called you which can be part of your security elements. If the call appears to come from a friend, you may answer “Hi Pete, how’s it going?”, Firstly have confirmed the name of the person being spoofed and that they are likely a friend.
Be wary of any incoming call – do not give any information that could identify you.
Watch out for texts asking you to vote or answer simple questions for an item you may have purchased. These are usually scams and can be an attempt to capture your other security elements.
Think what you would answer to “Rate your last communication with HSBC bank 1 to 10?”, if you are an HSBC customer and replied “8 out of 10″ you have confirmed you are an HSBC customer to the sender, and you have lost another element of your security.
Never call phone numbers from Texts, emails, are voicemail received from banks or service companies. Always call the number you know or look upon the company’s actual website. When searching on the web ensure sites have “Secure” or the padlock symbol against the web address. There are plenty of websites that show fake phone numbers for companies but are 0844 or 0870 numbers that forward to the right number but cost you much more.
A safer, flexible and more professional solution is either advertise with a Business Landline Number or Business Mobile Number. Calls to your business number are then forwarded to your personal mobile or landline so you keep your personal numbers private. We can also add a Call Whisper to your business number, a phrase only you hear so you know the caller has originally called via this number before you answer it on your personal landline or mobile.
Further information on business numbers can be found here , call Mark or Pauline on 01392 241666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.