ThinkJessica Campaign: Fighting Scam mail

I’ve been contacted via GMTV by the founder of the ThinkJessica campaign, which has been set up by the daughter of the victim of a hideous scam mail to try and stop something similar happening to other people. She wants me to record the voicemail message that people get when they call it up.

Before I explain my dilemma, here’s the original email contact… (I hope she doesn’t mind me reproducing it):

“Dear Martin

I launched the Think Jessica Campaign on GMTV (July 08)

Following that I have had a lot of media coverage on ITV, GMTV, BBC TV & Radio, National News Papers and links from many government websites including Help The Aged and Age Concern.

More recently I have spoken at the House Of Commons and was also invited by the Attorney General (Baroness Scotland) to attend the NFSA launch. (We were both interviewed on GMTV on the day of the Launch)

This link to an interview I did on Breakfast should tell you what its all about.

Basically we are raising awareness to scams and warning people not to reply. The terrible consequences suffered by victims who have had their names but on suckers list can be read in the gallery

We are looking for a recognizable (trusted) voice for our recorded message phone line.

This phone number is going on posters in Banks/Building societies across the country, The NEW poster is currently being designed but it is sharp/clear and will get the message across

SENDING CASH to release a prize/unbelievable offer

STOP… RING THIS NUMBER (min rate BT landline call charge)

Please could you help us warn all those who may be tempted to part with there cash, by recording the phone message for us.”

Now of course this sounds a fantastic cause and very worthy of supporting. I’ve written before about my anger of sales calls to my grandma and this is something I want to support. My problem is the phone message is an 0871 number, something which as people will know from the saynoto0870 guide, I’m not exactly a fan of. So, what to do?

I called…

Funny what writing a blog can do. I stopped myself at that point and decided the best thing to do was pick up the phone and talk to Marylin about this issue directly. After talking to her, I found her inspiring: she’s a battling campaigner, doing this on a shoestring as a one (wo)man band, determined to make a difference after what she’s been through. And she’s already made progress…

I spoke about the 0871 issue, which is in her words “not something I knew about, I’ll try and get it changed”. I’m not sure quite how easy that will be for her in the short term, especially with no funding just yet (I suggested a few avenues to try, including the MSE Charity). Yet with the number of scams increasing I think it’s best we just get on with it; the damage they do to people’s lives far outweighs the phone number issue.

Comment and Discuss