Phone Scams: Prevention and Detection

phone scams

Phone scams are a growing arena for the exhibition of the country’s burgeoning criminal talent. Scammers of various hues, persuasions, and colours aggressively learn and put into play new-fangled notions of scamming all the time. Therefore, it behoves us no end to be mindful of reporting phone scams to the number of governmental and autonomous agencies that are willing and standing by to help us at all hours of night and day. Reporting phone scams thus benefits us and the entire community of honest consumers that calls this country its home. 

What do we make of nuisance calls?

When a caller attempts to sell you something or beseech you to back a certain case, and the call is completely unsolicited, we have a nuisance call on our hands. These marketing calls are foisted upon you and are no more than product/service promotion. 

We have to watch out for two types of marketing calls. First, live marketing calls: when a real person makes unsolicited calls; automated marketing calls – when you answer the phone, these are just pre-recorded marketing messages. 

Live marketing calls

The law on live marketing calls 

The ICO or the Information Commissioner’s Office is The UK’s independent authority established to bolster information rights in the public interest. The agency engages in the promotion of openness by public bodies, besides data privacy for individuals.

The ICO implements the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, which deal with the way organisations make live direct marketing telephone calls.

Live marketing calls cannot be made to anyone registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) or the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS). Such calls may be made if they have conveyed to the caller that they wish to be the recipients of such alls. Live marketing calls ought not to be made to anyone who has told the caller expressly that they do not wish to receive marketing calls.

An organisation has to solicit your consent to target you with live marketing calls regarding claims management services. These might encompass any number of reasons, including and not limited to reclaiming PPI, personal injury claims, claims about sickness whilst you were on holiday etc.

Strict rules apply as to who can make a live marketing call to you regarding pension schemes. In the hypothetical case of an organisation wanting to make a live marketing call about pension schemes (for instance, transferring your pension funds), they must indubitably be a trustee or manager of the scheme or a Financial Conduct Authority authorised firm. However, they are permitted to make such calls to you conditional upon your having agreed to receive them. The exception to the rule obtains where there is a clearly defined customer relationship.

How do I sidestep nuisance live marketing calls?

To stop nuisance live marketing calls, you can:

  • Register with the TPS cost-free (you can register mobile numbers besides landlines). The TPS is a central register, reflecting the individuals who have chosen not to receive live marketing calls anymore.
  • Register with the CTPS in case you are a company. CTPS is directed at companies and corporate entities in much the same way that TPS targets the service of individuals. 
  • Scrutinise a privacy policy whenever you submit your phone number. Expressly let me be known to the entities you deal with that on no account do you wish to be called just so that you could market you something. 

What ought you to do if you are receiving live nuisance marketing calls?

You have conveyed emphatically to the caller that you are quite positively against being at the receiving end of marketing calls from them. If nothing is amiss with the organisation, they ought to stop making those calls then. 

You are free to let your concerns be known at this point to the ICVO, in the unusual event of the corporate entity keeping up with the making of unsolicited calls despite your having requested them once that they ought to desist. 

A TPS registration sets you free of unwanted nuisance live marketing calls. If the organisation persists in calling you 28 days after registration, you can complain directly to the TPS. Conversely, you can convey your worries to the ICO as well. 

Phone Scams: Automated Marketing Calls 

Let the law have its say!

The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 regulates how organisations make Automated Marketing Calls. The ICO implements the same. Only if you have a pre-existing agreement with an organisation may they make such calls to you. 

Do Nuisance marketing calls persist still?

The Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA) regulates products or services levied to users’ phone bills or pre-pay accounts. Small wonder a few of the calls you get request you to phone a premium rate number. Such calls you may report to the PSA. On the other hand, you might find reaching PSA-administered premium rate number range details more purposeful. 

For any number of sundry nuisance automated marketing calls puzzles, you would be doing the right thing by calling up the ICO (0303 123 1113 ).

Abandoned/silent calls 

Not too often but less frequently, you might chance upon a cll that you respond to. But there’s utter silence at the other end. These are Abandoned/silent calls. We introduce here the name of the Office of Communications, a Parliament mandated entity. Avail of advice from Ofcom, at 0300 123 3333.

It would not be a digression to mention the alternative dispute resolution services here. This body has the power to resolve consumer complaints as regards problems with their home phone, broadband, or mobile phone. 

Still, it is perfectly in place to mention that Ofcom is competent, besides ICO, to deal with cases of silent and abandoned calls. 

Conclusion 

Some agencies can render great advice and guidance when you are at a loss for reporting phone scams. There’s ICO, Ofcom, and the trusty Action Fraud. It’s when you let down your guard that you end up at a loss for words. Scamsters and unscrupulous fraudsters are very persistent. They could be lurking around the corner. However, when you take pre-emptive action, you just might be able to sidestep their artifacts. Prevention is the cure, and reporting phone scams is the duty of honest folk seeking to make this country hot enough for scammers’ feet. If you get stuck to any kind of scams you can contact FAR

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