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  • Introduction

    Phone scams have become the most common type of scam, in previous times you would be called by companies trying to sell you double glazing or a new kitchen, but with the advent of TPS (telephone preference service) this type of cold calling has all but disappeared. Scammers now call people up randomly hoping to catch someone unawares.

    They have many ways of calling you, some will use  computer systems to create automatic calling codes, sometimes your phone will ring and no one will be there. However  the act of you answering the phone tells them that they have hit an active number and  this will elicit a call back at a later date or time.

    They can also use stolen data from the "DARK WEB", data that has been hacked from another source and then is sold on to these scammers.

    From the hacked data they may have some basic info about you.

    They will try to pretend they know who you are, but they don’t. They need you to give them information about you so do not engage with them

    The most common types of calls of this nature are -

    HMRC, National Insurance, 

    Bank or Building Society, 

    Car insurance claims, 

    Subscription services (Amazon etc.), 

    Delivery companies.

    We will go into the detail of these particular scams in later in this section.

    You can try to reduce the number of these calls by using various methods of Call Blocking (see below), but please remember these illegal callers are not interested in following the law and will continue send out calls & messages regardless of what system you may use.

    Call Blocking

    The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) official register for landline and mobile phone numbers.  It allows people and businesses to opt out of unsolicited live sales and marketing calls.  It’s free and easy to register a telephone number.  Doing so will reduce the amount of unwanted sales and marketing calls you receive but will not stop illegal scammers.

    If a number is registered with the TPS/CTPS organisations are legally required not to call it.  Of a company breaches these rules they can be fined.  Organisations are required to check the TPS list at least once every 28 days.

    Most of the main UK telephone providers (BT, Sky, Talk Talk and Virgin) offer call blocking technology of various degrees for their landline services.  Some of these services are free but the more complex ones are charged for.  Is is best to contact your provider and discuss the best option for you.

    BT - Call Protect

    Sky - Caller Identity Services

    Talk Talk - CallSafe

    Virgin Media - Anonymous Caller rejection

    You can buy landline phones with some level of call blocking technology, but you should check compatibility with your provider.

    You can also buy additional kit that you plug in at home like TrueCall (see video in video section)

    Most smartphones have a level of call blocking.  If you have an I-phone or Android phone check the help pages on your phone manufacturers web page on how to set up call blocking.

    Do's & Don'ts


    Hang up your phone, and using a different phone if possible & call HMRC, your Bank/Building Society or Insurance company to check for any concerns against you. 

    Make contact with the relevant company through their website & contact centre, or visit your local branch.

    Call a neighbour, friend, family or the Police if concerned about a caller.


    Engage in  a conversation with them

    Give them any personal details e.g. Full name, address, D.O.B, N.I number or Bank account details

    Access your account and transfer any monies to any account details given by the caller

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