How many times have you rushed to the phone only to be greeted by someone trying to sell you something you didn’t want? Or opened a text from a stranger claiming to know about your recent car accident?
Almost all of us have received nuisance calls and texts at some point and a recent study reveals the extent of the problem. New findings from Which? reveal that thousands receive 26 nuisance calls per month and one in ten receive more than 60. And unfortunately, it’s the elderly who often bear the brunt of nuisance calls, receiving an average of 39 per month – with a worrying one in five receiving over 60.
While for most people nuisance calls are merely an annoyance, for the elderly and vulnerable they can harmful and dangerous. Just last month it was revealed that hundreds of mobile phone owners had been hit by a new 0845 scam in which people, many of them elderly, return premium rate missed calls and are defrauded out of hundreds of pounds. And in a particularly disturbing recent case, a conman tricked a 75-year old woman out of £200,000 by posing as a bank fraud investigator.
So what can be done to help protect yourself and loved ones from nuisance calls? Here are five tips to help make them a thing of the past:
- Don’t call back missed calls from unknown numbers or click links sent to you in text messages or emails from unknown senders. If someone wants to speak to you, they will leave you a message!
- If someone calls requesting personal or banking details, look up the number on your bank’s website or your credit card and call back
- Register the callers with Ofcom’s Nuisance Call tool: https://ico.org.uk/concerns/marketing/.
- Register your number with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS)
- If you’re worried about older relatives and friends who might get confused by these scams, consider using a phone service that screens inbound communication. Fuss Free Phones’ live telephonists screen inbound calls and texts and only connect legitimate callers
In summary, the safest bet is not to engage when it comes to sharing personal details with unknown callers. If they really need your information for a legitimate transaction, they will send a letter or inform you via appropriate channels of communication.
Call the Fuss Free Phones team to learn more about how its call centre staff are trained to mitigate nuisance calls and scammers.