Each year, many people fall victim to fraudsters, intent on stealing personal and financial information.
Scams take many different forms, but the most common is for fraudsters to cold call. The fraudsters sound convincing, professional and may claim to represent a business you know, for example your bank. They may pressure you to act quickly, either because they want to trick you into believing you will miss a golden opportunity to make money or that you will suffer some sort of loss.
Never give personal or financial information out to anyone who cold calls you on the telephone. Be cautious and if in doubt, hang up. In all cases, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
To remind yourself, your friend or family member never to part with bank or personal details to a stranger over the phone, we have a free scams sticker pack. To request a sticker pack, please contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 1232 329 to request one.
What should I do if I get a scam call?
it's important to be aware of phone scams and how to handle them. Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect yourself:
- Don't reveal personal details. Never give out personal or financial information (such as your bank account details or your PIN) over the phone, even if the caller claims to be from your bank.
- Hang up. If you feel harassed or intimidated, or if the caller talks over you without giving you a chance to speak, end the call. It may feel rude to hang up on someone, but you have the right not to be pressurised into anything.
- Ring the organisation. If you're unsure whether the caller is genuine, you can always ring the company or bank they claim to be from. Make sure you find the number yourself, don't use the one provided by the caller and use a different phone line if possible.
- Don't be rushed. Scammers will try to rush you into providing your personal details. They may say they have time-limited offer or claim your bank account is at risk if you don't give them the information they need right away.
How can I avoid phone scams?
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS)
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a free service. It is the official central 'opt out' register where you can record your preference not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls.
It is a legal requirement that all organisations, including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties, do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS unless they have your consent to do so.
You can register on the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) website or by calling them on 0345 070 0707.
A trueCall device is a small piece of equipment that plugs into your landline phone socket and blocks unwanted calls automatically. Instead of you trying to work out what's genuine and what's not, it lets your friends and family straight through to talk to you but blocks everyone else.
Some people in Buckinghamshire or Surrey such as elderly people or those with long-term health conditions may be able to get a trueCall device for free. All you need to do is call Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards on 0300 123 2329 to find out more.