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: email@example.com 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 to your landline or mobile phone.
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.
There is 'Snow Room' for scammers this Christmas! Christmas is a great time for getting together with wider friends and family. Having conversations with vulnerable family members or friends about scam and nuisance phone calls is the first step in helping them get the support they need through trueCall.
Some people in Buckinghamshire and Surrey, such as those who are vulnerable and susceptible to unsolicited, nuisance or scam calls, may be able to get a trueCall device for free. To apply for a free call blocker please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our colleagues at the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.
Do you get annoyed when you fill in a form and have to enter your phone number even when you know that the company doesn't really need it? What are they going to do with it? Who will they give it to?
Your privacy is valuable – protect your phone number with trueCall38. The solution: enter their phone number 0333 88 88 88 88 (that's three threes, eight eights) as your phone number, and if, or rather when, they call, those cold call culprits will hear their short but sweet recorded message:-"trueCall38 is handling my calls. I prefer not to be contacted by phone, so please contact me via my email address. Goodbye!"
Note: Some online forms are very fussy and won't accept the full trueCall38 number. If the number is rejected then enter 0333 8888 888 (three threes, seven eights).