And you expected politeness to put the scammers off? These numbers are spoofed and sometimes even real ones are used. It doesn't matter if it is a real VM number or not (actually it isn't - VM identify their calls using 0345 454 1111, but even that is no guarantee of authenticity).
Why did you even engage with them? That simply validates that your number is responding and the scammers will keep pestering you until you stop responding or they move on.
Moral of this story? Don't recognise the number, let it go to voicemail or unanswered.
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The scam calls you are receiving are part of an automated process used by the scammers which involves calling very large volumes of different phone numbers. Each new scam call uses a false caller ID (either made up or stolen from a genuine phone user who is unconnected with the scam). The fake caller ID changes regularly which is why you have received calls seeming to come from multiple different numbers.
These scam calls are mentioned regularly here. VM do not initiate unexpected outbound support calls in this way nor do they ever require remote access to customer devices so any call claiming they are from VM and suggesting this is a scam call.
You are stuck between a rock and a hard place while you are waiting to receive an important incoming call regarding vaccination. If your vaccine call is coming from an NHS service, then these are often presented as 'withheld' numbers on caller ID which adds to the problem of differentiating them from scam calls where the number may also be withheld.
Leaving the calls to go to answering machine thwarts the automated scamming process as the call does not connect with a real person. As a result, the frequency of the calls may well subside over time as the automated dialling process will demote any answering-machine-only numbers in its cycle of dialling and concentrate its efforts on numbers which are being answered by real people. If you do pick up a scam call, then the best approach is to hang up immediately to show you are not willing to engage with them in any way. The scam only succeeds when the scammer is able to persuade the recipient that they do actually have a problem with their broadband connection/computer. The scammers are well practised in doing this.
The only way to regain some kind of normal use of the landline is to screen out the automated scam calls as described below
My partner picked up the last call and shouted alot at them. Very fierce she is.
Don't know what she said but no further calls have been received today.
The 1st caller (scam) claimed to be able to prove that she was from Virgin. Which is worrying.
If they ring again I'll just politely say...'I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare...' I am of course kidding....or am I?
In the end the Doctors didn't have a cancellation so got to do it all again tomorrow.😫