Revenge is sweet when you scam the scammers
Acorn TV’s Brit drama Cold Call really should come with a viewer warning. This miniseries is a million times more scary than most horror movies, purely because it focuses on the deepest fear of many people today. With phone scams, email phishing, identity theft and bank fraud becoming ever more prevalent, I had palpitations just watching the first episode. But our inner dread is what makes Cold Call so relatable as well as compelling - as the main character finds her bank account wiped out in an instant, we can all share in her desire to take down the fraudsters. Big time.
The four-part series was produced by Acorn and first broadcast in the UK on Channel 5 over four consecutive nights in 2019. In a bizarre real-life twist, actress Sally Lindsay revealed to The Evening Standard that she herself was targeted by phone scammers just a week before she signed up to star in the drama. How spooky is that.
As we all know only too well, bank robbers no longer need to dig tunnels, plan elaborate heists or wear balaclavas to steal your life savings; they simply pick up the telephone. We’re all just one careless conversation or click away from financial ruin.
Cold Call reveals how dodgy (but highly sophisticated) call centers are just part of a chain usually linked to international organized crime syndicates. When Manchester mum June Clarke loses her job and is struggling to support her family as the sole breadwinner, being scammed is the final straw. Aided and abetted by old school friend Des (Daniel Ryan from The Bay) she sets out on a dangerous hunt to retrieve her stolen dosh, whatever the cost.
The wealthy perpetrator behind June’s scam (Line of Duty’s Paul Higgins) initially comes across as charming and respectable, as fraudsters often do. As the story develops, he turns out to have troubles of his own and is actually rather likable. But enough to make you feel sorry if he gets his just deserts? Nope, me neither.
And so his victim June resorts to increasingly desperate measures to get both her money back and sweet revenge. With each episode Cold Call’s plot becomes darker and more sinister as the danger escalates. Does June realize the risks she is taking and who she’s really dealing with? While we may question the wisdom of her actions, we can also relate to her hunger for vengeance.
And deep down, we’re all cheering her on.
All episodes of Cold Call are streaming now
on Acorn TV.
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