Getting your own back on cold callers!

These days, it seems I get more junk and spam phone calls than phone calls from my friends and family! It is enough to make you want to bin your phone all together. Calls on the land-line are especially annoying as it is a difficult number to change. A lot of the calls I get are scammers, people trying to get your money any way they can. I am fortunate, I grew up in an age where we were taught about the dangers of these sorts of calls but there are plenty of people, particularly of my grandparents generation, that get duped into giving away their life savings. There are many different types of scam, some include trying to get the victim to hand over their bank card and trying to push double glazing that gets paid for and never delivered. Part of the issue is that the more we wise up about the scams, the more clever and convincing they are becoming. And sometimes you don’t even need to fall for a scam to fall victim to a scammer. With things like ransomware clicking on one wrong link is all it takes for them to hold your computer and everything on it to ransom.

My most recent caller caught me at a particularly bad time. I am frustrated at the moment due to only having one arm (the wrong one at that) available after breaking my scapula (shoulder)… leaving me in a sling and in considerable pain. In reaching for the phone I leant on my bad shoulder… which HURT. And then I get told, in very broken English, that my computer has a virus that could make me lose ALL of my data in an irretrievable way unless I paid him £249.99 upfront and gave him remote access to my computer so he could remove it.

I figured I had two options.. one tell him his mother should be ashamed of him for trying to scam vulnerable women and hear him hang up… or have some fun with him. I went with the latter. Mostly because the scammers are used to being insulted so it doesn’t phase them in the least, and partially because I was bored.

To begin, I pretended to start hyperventilating and crying. I started yelling about how all my precious pictures were on the computer and that I couldn’t bare to lose them. I pretended I was getting my bank card when instructed while simultaneously telling him I couldn’t breathe and that I needed an ambulance as soon as we were done talking. I read out the first two numbers of my card, while he was telling (begging, really) me to calm down. Then I turned it up a notch, and demanded to know what this virus was called and then asked him if it was contagious and if I was going to die or if I needed vaccinating. He genuinely sounded worried about me actually bless him. I read out the next (fake) two numbers of my card before crying about my parents having to bury me so young and my daughter having to be without her mother, and I asked him why this virus attacked me and what I did wrong. He was telling me to take deep slow breaths and I could hear the chatter in the background die down a bit. He kept saying “you won’t die, you won’t die, don’t worry” over and over. I was genuinely starting to cry with laughter a bit at this point, which was probably why I was so convincing.

Finally, I decided enough was enough, I had had my fun. So I ended the call by saying, in a suddenly calm and serious voice “Well, this was fun. We should do it again sometime!” then ended with “You let yourself down, you let your mother down, you let your country down…” *click*.

Job done!

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Mini-break Paradise!

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I am in a great mood at the moment, because I have just gotten back from an incredible 4 day holiday with my father and daughter. I worked it out and in the past 10 years I have had 15 days away (I mean out of the county, I have spent a few weeks with my grandma who lives less than a mile away but that doesn’t really count)… so this break was seriously needed.

What made it all the more special was that I got to share it with my daughter. Since she still lives with my parents getting the chance to go away with her for a few days is special. Though I must admit I am extremely lucky and my parents have never put any restrictions on me seeing her so I have always had plenty of access. I actually have an amazing kid… and I am very lucky to have her. She is smart, intelligent, funny, witty, gorgeous, probably a little sarcastic and she definitely has her mother’s temper… but I couldn’t be prouder!!! She is the one thing I did right and I know I made the world a better place by having her.

Spending time with my dad was pretty awesome too. We don’t get munch 1 on 1 time these days and we have always gotten along well so it was really nice to spend time together. The only person missing was my mum, who unfortunately had to work.

We went to North Norfolk, which is roughly a three-hour drive away. I know it isn’t going half way round the world but having a break from my crazy life is worth it wherever I go. It is a gorgeous area, with loads to do. The cottage we stayed in had acres of woodland around it that we could go exploring in, we had pretty good weather (despite torrential rain on the way up there), so spent some time on the beach, as well as going to a local horse sanctuary, the sea-life centre and an amazing boat ride to see seals in the wild. We saw an incredible variety show and had fish and chips by the sea.  It really was an incredible break.

The amazing thing is this holiday has made my depression feel lighter, my pain feel less consuming, and I feel better able to cope with the world. Even dealing with a particularly large spider was okay! Sometimes getting out of your life, even for a few days, can work wonders. I know I certainly feel a ton better.

Here are a couple of pictures I took. x

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You have to remember the good times to overcome the bad… so this is me, remembering the best of times! Having mental health problems is like swimming against a strong tide. Sometimes it feels impossible, you can get swept off course without really noticing and it is exhausting. A strong family and/ or support group, however, is the life boat. The one that pulls you back on track and is always there to rescue you. Well… I am lucky enough to have a whole fleet of life boats! I feel like this holiday readjusted my course properly though. So I am feeling pretty good at the moment which is why I wanted to share it with you all!