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A very nasty surprise - be ready if it happens to you

(103 Posts)
Applegran Wed 23-Sep-20 12:20:06

One evening I had a phone call. On my phone it said "Private caller" - not unusual, and I answered. It was a man's voice and he said some truly horrible and threatening things - it was such a surprise that I was both shocked and confused. I rang off. He rang again several times and I answered, foolishly thinking it might be family calling. In these calls he said among other things that he could see me in my kitchen. No he couldn't - I was in the hall, but if it had been a lucky guess on his part, it would have made it even more scary for me. Finally I didn't pick up the phone and the calls stopped. I have reported this to the police and my phone provider is on the case to try to trace the caller. This has never happened to me before - or since, and I guess it is very rare and the caller picks random numbers to ring, so I think it very unlikely that many - or any - Gransnetters reading this will have this happen to them. But it could happen to someone and I wanted to warn you in advance - the caller doesn't know who you are, or where you are and can cause you no harm. Later on line I got this advice - if you get a threatening phone call, put the phone down and walk away for several minutes and then ring off. The caller won't want that to happen again and is far less likely to call you again. I hope this never happens to you - and it probably won't! But in the unlikely event that you do get a call like this, I hope this helps.

lemongrove Wed 23-Sep-20 12:27:09

That’s really horrible Apple and bound to leave anyone feeling upset and wondering if the caller knows them.As you say, likely to be somebody just ringing local numbers and waiting for a woman to answer.😡

Antonia Wed 23-Sep-20 12:33:02

I experienced something much the same, many years ago. A man called, telling me my DH had been seeing someone else. He gave some details, and it caused huge problems between myself and DH, who denied it.
A few months later, the man was arrested for this. He had been calling lots of women in the same area. It was all horrible.

nanaK54 Wed 23-Sep-20 12:38:11

How awful for you Applegran, sending kind thoughts flowers, there are some truly sick people in the world

Septimia Wed 23-Sep-20 13:04:01

I had a couple of nasty calls a very long time ago.

In one they were asking questions about, I thought, my Bro-in-law who was living with us. The questions seemed to relate to work and, as he'd just been for an interview, I started to answer them. After a while they seemed to go off the point and to get more personal to me so I stopped answering, getting a mouthful of abuse as a result.

The second purported to come from the head/deputy head of my son's school, saying that he'd had an accident. I don't know what they were going to ask but, since I'd collected him and brought him home for his lunch, it was clearly a hoax and again I got abuse.

It's not at all nice, Applegran but, as you suggested, more often than not these people don't know you. The calls are just as much as scam as the ones, e.g., that tell there's a problem with your internet. If you listen to what's actually said it's convincing but not quite accurate.

CherryCezzy Wed 23-Sep-20 13:07:49

It's an extremely unpleasant thing to happen Applegran. Our local community paper had a warning about a couple of years ago as it was happening in my area. The advice was the same as yours, put the phone down for a few minutes but don't hang up. Come back and hang up a few minutes later.
That's truly horrible too Antonio. To create such suspicion and attempt to cause antagonism between couples is really low. I'm glad the man was caught!
Many years ago I had a very similar experience to you Applegran. It was horrible because I was waiting for a very important phonecall at the time so I kept picking up the phone in case it was the caller I was waiting for. The call I was waiting for never came as the despicable individual was so persistent it was like a denial of service. Like you though I knew what he was saying, that he was watching etc. was untrue because they were impossibilities. In the end a whistle was deployed! It didn't happen again.

Dinahmo Wed 23-Sep-20 13:13:57

Have a police type whistle close to the phone to use whenever you get such a call. It'll hurt their ears, if nothing else.

Dinahmo Wed 23-Sep-20 13:15:19

CherryCezzy Apologies for repeating what you said. I hit the send button just as I read your final sentence.

CherryCezzy Wed 23-Sep-20 13:20:45

No worries Dinahmo, better two (or more) people say it than one ☺️ It works.

Daddima Wed 23-Sep-20 13:21:36

We had a neighbour who was an ‘ever so prim and proper’ elderly maiden lady. She had a call from someone asking if she wanted to ‘ see his c*ck’. She was quite unfazed, and replied, “ Why, is yours different from everybody else’s?”

Applegran, I don’t mean to downplay your experience, and it’s good of you to share it to warn others.

BlueSky Wed 23-Sep-20 13:23:57

When I was a young mum I had a ‘dirty phone call’. I was so shocked that I actually said “Pardon???” He repeated what he had said and I put the phone down horrified. Luckily it never happened again.

BlueSky Wed 23-Sep-20 13:25:29

Daddima good for her!

Jane10 Wed 23-Sep-20 13:28:50

An audiologist explained to me that using a whistle down the phone doesn't work as the frequency just doesn't transmit at the volume required.

mcem Wed 23-Sep-20 13:33:44

Try googling 'Who called me'. May or may not help in these cases but is useful in flagging up suspected scam or cold calls.

Jaxjacky Wed 23-Sep-20 13:50:41

Had the odd one when we had a house phone, went only mobile about ten years ago and none. It’s very unsettling, particularly if you’re on your own.

lemsip Wed 23-Sep-20 13:59:11

I had a phone call during the night and was told there was a man with a gun outside and stay away from windows 'police are on way' really scary. After 10 minutes I rang the police and of course I wasn't the only one to have rung them after getting this call. Police said a person rings any area code then any random numbers and connect with someone. they call it 'fun'.

another time, someone rapped on the front door in the night!
I went down and called out sternly 'who is it' and was asked if it was some random address. I said no and they ran off! I rang the police who came out straight away. They said it was someone checking if anyone was in prior to breaking in! I left lights on all night downstairs from then on and now live in a flat!

CherryCezzy Wed 23-Sep-20 14:52:45

Jane10, I'm not disputing an audiologist, perhaps on volume, but the whistle worked for me. I'm glad it did.

Dee1012 Wed 23-Sep-20 15:01:55

A couple of years ago, my son had several very strange calls from the same number...it kept coming up on caller display. The caller would go from rambling to aggressive in the space of a few minutes.
My son spoke to the Police about it, a few days later he had a call from Police in another part of the country who thanked him for the report. The caller had been traced and was actually admitted to hospital in a severe mental health crisis.

H1954 Wed 23-Sep-20 15:02:38

Some years ago, when I lived alone, I received a call on my mobile. It was some bloke asking why I didn't turn up to meet him as arranged the previous evening! Well, the previous evening I was actually at work so couldn't have met up with anyone so I told him that he had the wrong number. I expected him to say "oh, ok, sorry I bothered you" . However, he was adamant that he had the right number and read my number out correctly. Again, I insisted he was wrong and I promptly cut the call. Moments later he called again and started getting a bit narked, so I cut the call again. Yes, you've guessed it, he called again so I hastily grabbed my personal alarm, answered the call and then immediately set the alarm off.........he didn't call again! Best £10 I have ever spent!

Ramblingrose22 Wed 23-Sep-20 15:07:08

I had a dirty phone call once. I put the phone down but still found it upsetting. Luckily they never called again.

As lemsip has suggested these idiots just call random numbers when they're bored.

"Whocalledme" won't help if they remember to withhold their number.

If someone told me they could see me inside the house I'd challenge them to say what I'm wearing. If there was silence or they declined I'd tell them that's because they can't see me.

If someone told me they knew where I lived I would challenge them to tell me where.

I am sure they'd ring off. They don't expect challenges, just someone gasping with fear.

Liz46 Wed 23-Sep-20 15:07:53

I answered the phone and a man asked if he could have a pair of my pants. I whispered to my husband and he took the phone and said ‘you can have a pair of mine if you want’.

MellowYellow Wed 23-Sep-20 15:08:13

How horrid for you. I had a similar call and since then I've never answered the phone to anyone unless I recognise the name on the screen because it's someone in my phone's address book. Very occasionally 'Private number' turns out to be the library or a physio ringing me but they always leave messages.

Daisymae Wed 23-Sep-20 15:20:16

The best advice is to put the phone down and walk away. I would never engage with anyone in these circumstances.

welbeck Wed 23-Sep-20 15:22:16

with my current landline, i have been saved from all these unwanted calls.
i think it is BT call guardian and intercepts unknown numbers, so they have to state their business and it then calls me with what they said and i can choose to take the call, or send to voicemail, or block the number.
it was money well spent, and not very expensive.

BlueBelle Wed 23-Sep-20 15:24:38

I once had a nasty sexual call I was actually in bed with my live in partner it was quite a nasty suggestive call and unfortunately there was nothing I could say to my partner that could make him believe it was absolutely nothing to do with me he was convinced I was having an affair
We split up some years later but I expect to this day he thinks it was me betraying him