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Person dialling telephone

Eight scam calls happen every second

Did you know that more than three in five (63%) of us have received a suspicious call in the past 12 months – and four in ten (43%) have been targeted in the past month alone? In fact, telephone fraud has now become so prolific that the majority of UK consumers have had a call. But what is telephone fraud and how can you protect yourself?

Telephone fraud is where fraudsters attempt to dupe people into transferring money directly into criminals’ accounts, or hand over bankcards, personal information and PINs over the phone, or to couriers. 

Scammers claim to represent a range of familiar companies and organisations, including the police, banks or utility companies.

2015 research from MoneyHelper has shown close to one in ten (7%) or 3.5million adults have fallen victim to a scam call since 2010. Of those, 6% went on to transfer money, 6% to hand over personal information, and 4% to pass on bank details.

It has been estimated the amount of money extracted through phone fraud in the first half of 2015 has doubled when compared to the same period last year.

Here’s how they do it and how you can spot it.

Vishing , telephone spoofing and ‘no hang up’ scams

Close to one in five (19%) of adults have received a scam call where someone was impersonating a genuine organisation in the past year. One in 20 (6%) said the call came from the same number as the organisation the scammer was trying to impersonate.

This is known as ‘telephone spoofing’, and is where scammers use software to mimic the caller ID number of the organisation they are impersonating. This exploits the trust we traditionally place in a specific telephone number, such as our banks.

Another common telephone scam is vishing. This is where criminals use automated systems (IVR), and Voice over IP (VoIP) to con you into revealing personal information like bank account details. The call may appear from you bank and they may follow a script that sounds real.

Over the past 12 months, more than a third (36%) of us have received a ‘suspicious automated call’ that was so believable that one in ten (13%) didn’t realise they were speaking to an automated service.

More than one in twenty (6%) of UK consumers say someone has tried to gain their trust by asking them to call the telephone number on the back of their debit or credit card.

Known as the ‘no hang-up scam’, this is where the fraudster keeps the line open, spoofs a dial tone and the fraudster’s accomplice answers and impersonates whoever the victim thinks they are trying to call.

According to the Financial Ombudsman Service, many consumers lose substantial sums of money to vishing and no hang-up fraud.

In many cases this can amount to tens of thousands of pounds, with the Financial Ombudsman highlighting 185 complaints involving losses of up to £4.3 million.

Protect yourself against number scams

The first step is knowledge, and knowing about the common scams that fraudsters are trying to use to steal your money can stop you being conned.

Here are some particular tips for number scams.

  • If in doubt hang up
  • If you do feel the need to call back, wait at least 10 minutes before calling back on an official number
  • Never give your personal details or transfer money to someone who has called you out of the blue

Nine tips to avoid scams

There are some general signs that you should look out for too.

Here are nine things that, if they happen to you, should set off alarm bells.

  • You get a call, text, email or letter out of the blue
  • The caller tries to put you on edge by highlighting that you are at risk
  • The caller doesn’t know your name or state what financial institution they are calling from
  • You’re asked to give personal details or passwords – your bank will never ask for full passwords, or your PIN code
  • You’ve never heard of the competition you’re told you’ve won
  • You’re asked to make an advance payment
  • You’re pushed to make a quick decision – scammers don’t want to give you time to think
  • You’re told to keep it a secret
  • You’re told they will call to collect ‘compromised’ cards

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  • Linwood / 26 July 2018

    Строп 2ск advodka.Com

  • Jyne C Mills / 23 July 2018

    I've had someone phone me to day to day said that they are going to block my nuisance calls. I said that I don't have many and I own a Blocker on the phone. Then they went on to say international calls.
    They then they wanted to know my bank details . I put the receiver down they called me back. I asked them who was my service providers went through a list BT, Sky, Talk talk, Virgin. I said no to all. Then they asked me my expiry date I told them a wrong date then they wanted the other date which I gave them again a false date. I refused to give them my card number and now they have threatened to cut off my house phone. Please help can they do this??. It started off a woman phoned me . She called me back 3 times then a man came on said his name was David, I put the phone down on him he called back and said his name was Dennis??. I am sure it was the same person?. He got very abusive. I actually felt very threatened and can see why people give their details. I would have fallen for it but have been scammed on my computer and reported it to the police. I am quite shaken. Jyne Mills

  • Colin popple / 10 July 2018

    Hi I've just found this site 20 minutes ago and have read some disturbing stories my question is and I'm sure other people have the same question HOW do they get away with it ? for me it's little short of demanding money with menaces .bit harsh ? I think not

  • Colin popple / 10 July 2018

    How is the money these calls cost i.e. 9 p a minute how do they get the money u have used in replying to these calls

  • pedro / 26 June 2018


  • Malcolm / 20 June 2018

    I've had a plague of 'returned calls' from people I've never heard of today. One suspect number I checked was Guy's Hospital! I have just had my O2 number transferred from one phone to another and I'm wondering if somebody has access to the O2 database, otherwise how would anyone, other than my contacts, know my number had been moved?

    Simple answer to any suspect phone scam is to refuse to give ANY details without a written request* from the 'organisation' calling you. If they are genuine, they won't mind complying with your request (if, indeed, they attempt to call you in the first place).

    *If they send you an email, it should be addressed to you personally and you should ALWAYS check the sender's email address. Anything that looks even remotely iffy should be ignored. Also, check the English: it's quite often poor or contextually wrong.

  • West End Telecoms / 5 June 2018

    Thanks for sharing information with us.

  • Lisa / 17 May 2018

    I had one last week claiming to be from citizen advice he said his name was James and I was to give him £85 to get me out of debt. He knew my name and said he was working for citizen advice. I told him not to call me again and i hung up. I since contacted trading strandards and citizen advice they said they will look into this and also thanks for letting us know

  • Kenny / 4 May 2018

    The latest scam i had is from someone suppositly from 'the call blocking agency'? When asked the don't gave their name and when you ask other questions they hang up. The worrying thing that concerns me is this happened after i had spoken to BT about scam calls!! How did the scammer know I had been in touch with BT?? I'm still waiting on an answer from BT on this one!

  • Liz Douglas / 24 April 2018

    I've had a couple of dead calls as soon as I pick up they're dead the first I ignored but did 1471 I didn't recognise the number so ignored it. Now I've had a call that went dead I wasn't sure about the number (1471) called it but was told it was a wrong number I tried twice it looks like a normal number from my area. I can deal with any scams they can't get anything out of me but if they say, spoof my landline or mobile I'll get charged and have no idea. I'm just guessing here but a bit concerned?

  • J Woods / 24 April 2018

    I was nearly scammed today by a Brian Jones saying he was from HMRC to reclaim unpaid VAT.
    He had my name , Business name, address, and more importantly VAT number
    I was told I owed 2230.46 that had to be paid today by phone or bank transfer.
    I phoned my accountant on a different line to check this wasn't correct as I usually have a refund. and he verified it was a scam, but very frightening, He even brought in an enforcement officer and threatened me with a police arrest

  • Tom / 17 April 2018

    I just got a phone call asking if they were speaking with [my name]. I decided to ask where this professional sounding person was calling from, but they hung up instead. I called back, in case it was more legitimate. The first time and this second time, after asking for my name, the phone went dead for a second or two as if we we having connection issues causing the loss of sound, instead of static, but they still wanted to persist in knowing if I was [insert name here]. I persisted in knowing where they were calling from. The representative hung up a second time. I called back again, immediately. This time I told them it was me, and then asked who they were since I had affirmed but the person then said to confirm with my address, dob, and social security number. I told them, at that point that if they couldn't tell me what credit company they were calling from, then I couldn't and would have to go. I, then, hung up.

  • Free Court / 12 March 2018

    The role of ensuring that businesses operate within the law and clients are not short charged is for ever body. You must take action every moment that malpractice is identified. If you do not report a malpractice, the respective business will advance it to other clients. Besides, others might take the same malpractice and completely compromise quality standards. In other cases, business malpractices such as those involving sale of expired medication are a great threat to people's health.

  • zola / 23 February 2018

    i receive a phone call from the nhs to confirm my data for an appointment i missed . i gave my date of birth and email address thinking they were genial. never received confirmation for the appointment on my email. do i need to change my email address? what about my name and dob. i am very frustred not not knowing what are they doing with them

  • Christine Lees / 2 February 2018

    I was contacted by telephone today at 3pm by Homeserve demanding money concerning nuisance telephone calls. Apparently I agreed for them to block calls. This was over 2 years ago and its hard to remember exactly what was said but to my knowledge money wasn't mentioned, if it had been I certainly wouldn't have taken them up on their offer. These companies send know information through the post so you have no idea what you have or havn't agreed to. I Googled Homeserve and apparently they have been fined millions of pounds over the last few years for misguiding people as to what they were actually agreeing to. The blocking of these calls hasn't worked and when I mentioned this, was told they could only manage to block 70%, what good is that. I don't know what my rights are on this so I am holding out till I get more information. Has anyone else had the same problem with phone blocking and if so how did you resolve it.

  • robert dickson / 9 January 2018

    new one today 10.25 am from 01172138117 saying my broadband was to be cut off for 20 days. never let them go any further

  • Mary Webb / 14 December 2017

    I keep having the same number 02458 754868 call me when I hear a Asian voice (sorry) I put the phone down but this morning having nothing better to do I listened he knew my name he said someone was using my internet connection and my identity was in danger at that i put the phone down

  • In pain / 13 October 2017

    I get many of these calls, tell us how we can stop them at source. I managed to find the IT company who leased the VOP lines and hopefully got their Clint to stop calling me.
    One of the biggest problems is people in pain or illness. I was in a lot of pain recently and getting to the phone was very very painfull, it might have been the Doctor with help but no, just some crook with another boilers-on-benefits scam.

  • Andy Le / 4 October 2017

    I dont work! Because, I retired. I only play on the my computer.....

  • Andy Le / 4 October 2017

    I am sorry! I don't understand. please, help me.

  • Stevie / 16 June 2017

    I was called from a UK mobile number regarding debt advice (I had looked up advice about debt a few weeks earlier so it made sense to receive a call from a company trying to get me on their books. When I said I wasn't interested the man said "why did you look us up then" - I was livid - I asked to speak to his manager.

    He was equally rude - I explained that I understood they were probably bonused on sign ups to the service but there's a limit to how far you push to try to close. I said my circumstances could have changed and that it was none of their business why I looked them up and besides they were slow off the mark to call me anyway.

    When he became more rude I asked to speak to *his*manager - of course none of these men were managers. I asked for the company address and registration number - they just said Manchester and that it was none of my business regarding the company reg number - they were aggressive - I asked for their boss' name and number so I could call him to make a complaint at a later point as they advised he wasn't in.

    Then they told me to go to hell - I'm afraid I advised him to do something similar in expletive terms and he hung up.

    I can't call the number back - I'm really angry and I am sure this is a scam though of what nature I'm unsure. Can you tell me what these people are calling for - I suspect the fact that they kept me on the phone in spite of the fact I was angry and clearly not going to convert, they reverse charges.

    This call is very distressing - I am currently seeking a non molestation order as my ex- partner is harassing and threatening me - so I am waiting for calls from police and solicitors and half expecting him to attempt to call me from a different number which he does regularly - to have this stress on top just made me snap and I want to know how I can report these people.

    The number is - 074515234343 - I hate to sound all ITV/Daily Mail (it's not me at all) but these people are low lives - they genuinely have no regard for anyone else which is the mentality of criminality - they need to know that they can't continue to make money in this way - who is giving them these domains and providing them with numbers which you cannot call back? They ought to be regulated to.

  • Jennifer / 31 May 2017

    I hope I manage to deal with this type of call but do worry about when my husband or myself get older whether we may be more susceptible to these awful people. I often check the number and leave a comment, if I haave answered. Today though I have had several twice from the same number, none are registered on any of the scam numbers although one did come up as if it was a telephone number but that was about all I could find the others just didn't exist as I said checking on google. This is when I find it worrying!

  • John Martins / 21 April 2017

    I had a call today at 10.30am. The phone rang, when I picked up my phone it started ringing out a number where a woman asked if I was me, then went on to say they had recently sent me some information about equity release. I got rid of her and tried to see what the number was that had rung but it was blocked. Is this a scam to take money for the call ?

  • Andrew / 3 April 2017

    I was called on my mobile last night from 020 7946 0614 by an apparently irate "yellow cab" driver who claimed that either I or someone I authorised using my phone number to book a taxi and not pay. I am not sure if he claimed a journey was made, or was just summoning a cab. I just said my phone had been in my personal possession for several weeks, had not called booking a cab nor had I authorised anyone else to do so. He started making unpleasant threats about getting the money out of me, and I simply said "good luck with that" and cut him off.

  • G storer / 31 March 2017

    I received a scam call today I rang 1471 and got the phone number I tried to ring the fraud squad but after waiting for 30 mins and then another 30 mins I gave up reporting them Crime is on the increase you wonder why when you cannot report it

  • carol / 23 November 2016

    he called from this no: 0122569001 found it by dialing 1471
    i had a call on 23th of novemeber 2016 from an aidian sounding man, their was background noise like other people talking, we've had actually over 10 calls from i think the same man inventing reasons why he wants to speak to us. one call was about: paying for a TV saying our payments have been reduced, but we dont even pay for a TV. and another calls saying that our computer was displaying red error warnings, nd if we dont do anything about it we will lose our computer

  • Leti / 8 November 2016

    I get with-held calls from an Asian man who knows my name. I ask who is calling but he continues to ask me is this your name? When I say yes, he hangs up? What kind of scam is this ? Should I be worried? I am worried.

    OMG I GO THROUGH THE SAME THING !! But it's an Asian man

  • IPodie Fleming / 26 October 2016

    I get with-held calls from an Asian man who knows my name. I ask who is calling but he continues to ask me is this your name? When I say yes, he hangs up? What kind of scam is this ? Should I be worried? I am worried.

  • Shuaiba Ahammed / 28 August 2016

    Thank's for discuss on a useful topics. It's helpful for everyone.

  • C B / 26 August 2016

    I have had many silent calls lately.I use the 1471 service to get the callers number,but when i ring it (UK numbers) i get a message saying the number is not in use.
    Very annoying!!!

  • kenneth redmon / 7 July 2016

    Dating sites are the worst. They will get a number from google or broadband to match the area code they claim they are calling from. To fit their profile. It is hard to catch them doing this. Does anybody know a service that can tell you who you are dealing with when they do this? It is almost untraceable.

  • sultana / 24 June 2016

    i had a call from with held number saying am i expecting a parcel from abroad and asked me to confirm my address unfortunatley i did then he asked my name and then how many people lives in my house i was so naive and stupid and gave the information now im very worried as to what might he be doing with these info pls help

  • Anabela Matos / 7 June 2016

    I received a call by someone saying that was just a opinion call, she knew my full name, which is big, my address and started to ask several personal questions about me, as I was expecting one phone call about a research I answered some, but then she was just asking questions about me, not opinion statements about products as what was supposed to be. I asked what was the company name and what were all the data for, and she kept saying, don't worry it isn't to buy something but when I said that by law "you has to give me that information", she finished the call.

  • Mary Smith / 29 May 2016

    If you get an automated phone call from from a bank do not call the number provided.
    Call from ANOTHER PHONE a number on your card or correspondence with your bank and check if the "real" bank had called. In my case it turned out that the bank had not made any calls.

  • Matthew mcnally / 11 May 2016

    Im tps registerd i get a lot of these scam calls claiming to be everything from CAB to debt collectors fake loan companys that claim they operate outside tps hate to say it but allways indian sounding.
    I have found one usefull tool in identifing whos calling i use "who called me" app and a number blocker that dosent let them thro but still tells me they tried to call i had one call40 times in one day 30 the next and it just kept going unfornetly im yet to find away of reporting these calls to a govening body apart from calling 101 (police)

  • Tony Adams / 20 February 2016

    I am subject to cold calling on a frequent and regular basis, probably at least once a week. I am savvy enough to recognise spam calls, which often purport to be on behalf of my internet service provider and usually claiming to have identified a problem with my laptop computer's security - even when it's shut down!

    I treat ALL cold calls to my landline and mobile with the utmost suspicion - ALWAYS!

  • Helen Spencer / 18 January 2016

    I had a call from someone pretending to be a detective from the Police in Birmingham, who said he'd noticed unusual activity on my debit card. (As if!) He kept asking me to call the number on the back of my bank card and I just calmly said 'ok', but didn't call back. I'm sure some people who haven't heard about this scam would have panicked, especially if they were elderly.

  • Lindsay Susan Hallett / 23 November 2015

    I think a lot of calls trying to get one to invest in solar Panels for on the roof are scammers and a lot of these PPI firms trying to get one to check if one has had PPI. "We Fight Any Claim" are particularly nasty to deal with and as far as I am concerned are a big scam.

  • Jackie Tavernor / 23 November 2015

    I thought I was pretty savvy but was talked into giving some bank details.I was reassured( partly ) as not all my card number was requested but did not realise the digits on the back of my card are the same as the last 4 on the front. I was lucky, I did not call the number given me to check about the call I rang my bank fraud line who confirmed this was a common con and my card was cancelled before anything was taken. The call related to a service I do use and the caller seemed to have knowledge of the bank I use. I was quite ashamed that I had been fooled

  • ellen barrett / 23 November 2015

    I recent got an email asking what kind of debt I am in they seem to offer a similar plan to pay plan I have had a courier collect all statements birth cert and other stuff. I was told it is a free government scheme, I was worried my wages were to be stolen but were there on the 20th. I have a gut feeling it's ok but only ok. the man said I had to change my account. which led me to believe they will not have my new details only when I set up a d/d with new bank. are there any free debt services? gov run?

  • Jagdish Mehta / 23 November 2015

    Concerned about persistent harassment from 0843 & 0203 nos.; also, colleagues ( long-time retirees ) have been clobbered by horrendous 0843 PREMIUM CALL CHARGES.

  • Jan / 22 November 2015

    If you get an unusual number don't answer but google it...type in "who rang me" or "who called me" and a list of comments from others who have been called by that number giving details of who called you ie PPI, scammers etc. This has helped me with lots of unknown calls recently...then they are blocked!!

  • John Hales / 22 November 2015

    I cannot believe how basic these points are. How do so many fall for these scams.

  • Vicky / 22 November 2015

    The above advice is very good about callers. I was conned in 2013 when I was waiting to go into hospital for a breast cancer operation. I was very vulnerable at that particular time in my life and was told by the caller that it was Microsoft on the telephone and they knew I was having trouble login into my laptop which I was, that morning, I still think they were using something to interfere with the connection and login. I knew deep down, it's that gut instinct. As I typed my bank details and card number into the computer as advised by them, I deleted it once, and the man stayed on the telephone coercing me the whole time, even when I questioned him he remained calm, The outcome is I did sign up for something I didnot even need and I had computer insurance which I was paying monthly for. I lost that money as the banks said you gave them your card details and gave permission for them to withdraw the money from your account.
    So the above advice is great for all of us, I am certainly more suspicious of any calls I receive these days.
    In fact I received a phone call from a lady the other day saying she was from Money Advice, I told the lady that they would not ring me up out of the blue and she said they would but did put the phone down, they never rang back

  • Rachel pearse / 22 November 2015

    My mum has had £289 taken from her account shes 83 and was cohersed into giving bank details

  • ALI / 22 November 2015

    Very Helpful, thanks so much.

  • Jill Trenerry / 22 November 2015

    I receive endless emails supposedly from Paypal. I have never had a paypal account and
    have been in touch with paypal, they asked me to forward them to a special address but
    it hasn't stopped them. It has been going on for about 9 months !
    Incidentally I can't type my name as requested underneath - it doesn't work

  • Lesley V / 22 November 2015

    Most of the advice is common sense but people are in their own homes and not on their guard when called . Remember these scammers are professional and good at what they do. Also they target the most vulnerable- quite despicable

  • *******¥¥€$<~>|\_ / 22 November 2015

    Why are these scammers still on the loose. Is there not enough technology to outwit these lowlifers. Can we cut the lines to the countries where these calls come from or can the calls be filtered. I get about 6 calls a day and some drop the phone when I go to the bother of answering it. What's this about. Checking if house occupied!! This is maybe a scam too !!

  • Sue / 22 November 2015

    We had an 0845 number ringing constantly, we left the answer phone on, I dialled the number with 141 in front of it and there was a BT text call from a mobile number we didn't know saying there was an emergency etc, we didn't respond.

  • Patricia Hughes-Freeland / 22 November 2015

    Most helpful information. I have had quite a few 'doubtful'calls. Always ring off without giving any reason for doing so.

  • Mr. j. b .oliver / 22 November 2015

    Hi I have had 3 scams in one day . Check your statement regularly or check with the organisation . I am 75 years old but am computer savvy it's dangerous to be unwise (a life savings GONE !!!

  • Barry Pearce / 22 November 2015

    I think these people are scum, like the muggers who target old people with their pensions

  • George / 22 November 2015

    I registered my number with the telephone preference service, and haven't had any unwanted calls whatsoever in 6months. I also have a phone with bt call guardian built-in. If someone calls, before the phone rings to alert you, the caller has to state who they are. This along with caller display seems to work for me. I was concerned because I am a TalkTalk customer, but fingers crossed, everything seems ok.

  • Steve / 22 November 2015

    Obvious to some but not everybody, thanks for the concern

  • Roberta / 22 November 2015

    I gave received over 200 emails in less than 12 hrs all with a red warning notice on them. All companies that seem genuine but no products that I've enquired about. I also received a call from company saying there're from a lottery draw and pay £35 a month and in 3 month winnings will be in my bank
    In last 3 week 5 of my numbers came up, so ideally I should have about 60,000 appearing soon...............!
    What a laugh!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Peter / 22 November 2015

    I filter all my calls; the answer phone message starts after 2 rings. Most calls are automated voices or hang up when the answer phone message starts. Tell frequent genuine callers to state their name and you will pick up. After a 2 week absence I had 26 messages; 20 were sales or hang ups.

  • Mrs Brenda Smith / 22 November 2015

    I have phones with screens that tell me the number that is calling and the name if they are on my list. If I don't recognise the number or if it is with held or unavailable I don't answer it & let it go to answerphone. If they are genuine they will leave a message & I will call them back. But usually once the answerphone starts they ring off without even listening to the message. Job done!

  • Kathryn White / 21 November 2015

    Calls saying my laptop is faulty. A call wanting 8 nos. from my bank card for money to stop nuisance calls. A call from a mobile no. saying that the government will pay off 70per cent of my debts.

  • L Haddrick / 21 November 2015

    I've had lots of emails asking me to update my PayPal details. Whoever wrote it obviously doesn't have a very good command of English. Always be suspicious of grammar or spelling mistakes.

  • Anne Aitken / 20 November 2015

    I would really love not to get scams on my mobile, how do I stop getting them?

  • Chris Austn / 19 November 2015

    Missed the one where someone pretends to be from software company, says licence has expired or been blocked then gains your trust and you allow them access to your PC to fix faults, they then generate false faults load Trojans and lock up your PC, and hold you to ransom to unlock it, and steal your details etc. Recently shown on watchdog, two weeks later someone tried it with me, I told him he was speaking out of bottom of his pants and to politely go away. But Be aware.

  • F Paterson / 18 November 2015

    Just keep reporting these parasites to the ICO & TPS. Which? members can also do it through their handy tool. Any email purporting to be from a bank should also be forwarded to the bank in question through their SPAM link. A phone which blocks anonymous calls is also a good 'weapon' in this battle.

  • Robert Harris / 17 November 2015

    I received a call on Saturday from +0031302687771 claiming to be from someone connected with Microsoft or Windows and suggested that my computer had been consistently infected with viruses the last 6 or 7 times I had switched it on. I immediately told them to get stuffed as I had received a similar call about 12 months ago. At that time the person gave a convincing argument to me and demonstrated over the phone about these viruses by somehow manipulating my laptop. Naturally at the end of the conversation they wanted me to purchase some prevention from them. Fortunately I resisted the temptation.

  • David Keogh / 17 November 2015

    I agree with all the previous comments and I endorse the suggestion that our Government should take action (like in Germany) to make these nuisance calls illegal !!! Also, please do not be afraid to be rude to these scammers and tell them exactly what you think of them. Never mind 'God is watching you'. Just tell them where to go !!! I haven't answered my landline for many months but they are now calling my mobile. Fortunately I can save their number (if they use one) as 'Cold Call' and I am ready for the next one. Fight back or they will just keep calling you.

  • Linda Robson / 17 November 2015

    Like quite a few people who have commented I have also had calls from people claiming to be from BT and also Microsoft in both cases I told them I did not believe them and put the phone down, in the case of Microsoft he rang back and asked me why I had put the phone so I reiterated that I did not believe him .

  • Nigel B / 17 November 2015

    Great content, really helpful advice, but clarity of the message is diluted by too many stats, one key stat is enough to drive the message home. When compiling such things "More is Less"

  • Peter / 17 November 2015

    I have had a number of calls from men and women with Indian accents telling me they represent Google, and my computer is being hacked.
    This is a scam because Google would never ring you, also tell them if you speak to them you do not have a computer, then say goodbye

  • Lynne Pickford / 17 November 2015

    In June a woman phoned my mobile asking for my bank details, she said if I pay £1 a month, anything I order online I can have for half price. I told her I didn't have my card on me, as I wasn't at home. She said she would phone later. I told her I wasn't interested, and she hung up.

  • Christine Barrett / 17 November 2015

    I have had various calls, recently I received a call from someone posing as a BT adviser, I said I was not interested as I had all that I needed and put the phone down. I have also received calls from someone who said that they were from Microsoft and that I had a problem with my computer. I did not have a problem and again I put the phone down. I find putting the phone down sufficient action.

  • alex jamieson / 16 November 2015

    lf I was scammed and they were going to send someone round to collect what they wanted
    then I would invite them in lock the doors and batter the truth out of them with a baseball bat

  • Michael Boswell / 16 November 2015

    Very useful information.

  • Mr Muldoon / 16 November 2015

    Useful as ever , however I could do without the statistical break down of how many people have been effected. I have so much to read elsewhere that bullet points are always appreciated.
    The stats could be written elsewhere?

  • Suzanne / 16 November 2015

    Like Jaybee my mum keeps getting calls from a company claiming that they work for Microsoft, advising her that she has malware on her computer and she should let them log in to it in order to fix it. My mum does NOT have a computer. I answered the phone to these scammers one day and my solution was to keep them talking for nearly an hour whilst they thought I was trying to log into the computer, After A while I had to tell him there was no computer at which point I was sworn at and hung up on.

  • Kathie Eaton / 16 November 2015

    I have Caller Display. I combat any scams on the telephone by putting on a message on the answerphone to say I don't answer Unavailable, Withheld or unknown numbers. I only answer calls from friends or family and "if you are a cold caller, you are wasting your time"! My phone calls have dropped considerably!

  • Angela McCann / 16 November 2015

    I delete unsolicited texts. If I get an unsolicited phone call I tell the person to 'please remove my details from the database as I do not take unsolicited calls'. That gets rid of them!

  • Rob Austin / 16 November 2015

    Anything to keep the vulnerable (all of us) safe is a worthwhile activity, having watched a 96 year old fend off scammers I personally know how credible they can be

  • Judith Blackwell / 16 November 2015

    I have recently been hit by one of these scams. My computer broke down over the weekend so I used an online company to fix it. I checked a few and chose one that sounded reputable. I had to pay to have it fixed about the same as the local person who was not open at the time. They went through strict script including that they would never offer to refund the money. the reason being they had had people targeted saying they had gone out of business and therefore the money would be refunded. I got emails again warning of this. I got a phone call requesting feedback, and a couple of follow up calls. Then I got a call saying they needed to update my programs and needed to access the computer again. The number was similar to the one I originally called and I felt confident they were the right company.
    Strange things started happening on my screen including setting up an AOL email, supposedly to divert spam mail into. I was getting worried then the mention of refunding the money. Because I had Windows 8.1 or windows 10 it is a free service I was told. Open your online banking. suspicions got higher, eventually I opened my account using the secure key, number changes each time so they could not copy it. They then started looking at all my accounts. I got my husband to call the bank and eventually confirmed they could not get into my account, so I hung up. I got a confirmation message the money would be refunded in 2 working days. Still waiting. They a much more abusive message. Do you think that I would not be able to get back in because you hung up your f***ing Bi***. Now you have no computer, we have locked it and you cannot get into it. I have not called back, I am not going to let them hold me to ransom to have my computer opened. The original company are trying to help me get it open. If not I will get a new computer. They will not get any money. All I want are my photo's which they have deleted from my external hard drive, and they were on my computer in lightroom, thousands of them. All my travels.
    I learnt the hard way. Any ideas of who I can get to help me would be greatly appreciated.

  • Jaybee / 16 November 2015

    I have recently had a spoof email supposedly from Microsoft saying that I had a fault on my computer which would cause a crash soon. They said they could fix it if I gave them access to my computer which being worried I did. After searching my computer they said that I could get an immediate fix by paying directly a huge sum to them. When I said I could'nt afford it they dropped the fee twice. I was suspicious so told them I was cutting the connection. I have been worried since in case they had picked up any info from my PC. Can this happen? I have had no trouble that I can see. Now I would not allow this situation again but I was innocent and not suspecting. Take a lesson from me an elderly lady of 78 yrs

  • Carol / 16 November 2015

    My husband and I have caller id , we also have had a few scam callers . We now check numbers very carefully and put the numbers in our iphones to check them . We have switched off our message taking service because it answers the phone. I feel very sorry for people who do answer every phone call they get. A lot of older people are at risk most do not have caller id on their phones. They do not understand scam callers. I do not know what can be done. I do not under stand why I can not see my name or email when I try to enter them. please explain.

  • Ray Baldacchino / 16 November 2015

    Get Caller Display and if you don't recognize the number don't answer if you don't want to. Or tell your family & friends that your message service will answer, and that you will pick up the phone once you know who it is. Scammers will not normally leave a message but genuine firms will and when you phone them back, you will be able to confirm they are genuine.

  • Alison / 16 November 2015

    I am often practising my bassoon when these people ring so I answer and carry on playing.

  • Debbie / 16 November 2015

    If I don't recognize the number I simply don't answer, they have the option to leave a voice message if they choose not to then it can't be that important. I also will not answer any with held numbers either.

  • Mrs Florence Prince / 16 November 2015

    I never answer my phone unless I have had the ring codes from my family , any other calls go on to answer phone., but I am sure that it is easy to get scammed at any age but when we are older's even easier

  • Maureen Bennison / 16 November 2015

    Good advice. Always be alert, because there are evil people who only want to deceive, and take advantage of you.

  • A dean / 16 November 2015

    I had a call from someone wanting to talk to me about my talktalk account. 'That's very interesting' I said (as I no longer have a talktalk account). I asked him: 'Do you know that God is watching everything you do and one day you will have to account for all the wrong you have done?' He went very quiet then hung up.

  • karl terkelsen / 16 November 2015

    No mention of Authorised Financial Companies registered by FCA and should check Register first

  • DF / 16 November 2015

    The UK government should enact legislation like in Germany: cold call telephone sales are illegal unless you have previously ACTIVELY indicated that you WANT to be called. There are heavy fines and criminal prosecution for firms that ignore these laws. Life in Germany is more peaceful as a result - you don't get the phone ringing several times a day with these nuisance calls.

  • Fud / 16 November 2015

    I like to take these calls and give totally rubbish information i.e post code that spells out a sware word. Age 120 etc you get the idea but they dont get it till 5 mins later when money is mentioned i say all information was made up and i hope that scum like them have missed so many calls. But keep a whistle by phone if they get aggressive i warn them they will get hurt first.

  • vic young / 16 November 2015

    fully agree with this advice, i personally do not open, any e-mail i am not familiar with, a lot of genuine mailers will miss out , but it is the times we live in,

  • C. Hamilton / 16 November 2015

    My mother in law was robbed one year by people pretending to be the water company. During the robbery they took names of people known to the old lady and a year later called her telling her that they were going to make a delivery instigated by me, using my name. Luckily, my sister-in-law checked with me and it was identified as another cruel scam for a robbery.

  • Ayesha Hossain / 16 November 2015

    It's true I was victim of scam. I paid quick pay £350.00.
    Also I £2000 invest on carbon credit. Later come to know I was trap in scam.
    I lost all money.

  • david / 15 November 2015

    Unless I personally know the number of the person calling, I let the phone call go to message....I determine from that point what is real and who I want to talk usually works!

  • Bill Mattinson / 15 November 2015

    Re my post, the phone intercepts callers who are NOT on the approved list

  • Bill Mattinson / 15 November 2015

    One way of preventing these scam calls and other unwanted calls is to get a phone that blocks calls from callers who hide their number, or screens out numbers that are not in your list 'approved' callers. In the case of the later the phone will intercept the call and prompt the caller to state their name, the phone then rings and says ????? calling, you then can either accept the call, or send to the answer phone, or block it. Since getting one of these phones the number of unwanted calls has gone down from several a day to none. The particular phone I have is a BT 8500 Digital Telephone and Answering Machine with Advanced Call Blocker, which cost around £40 from John Lewis.

  • Anthea / 15 November 2015

    My wise Mum used to say 'believe nothing of what you hear & only half of what you see'. If you don't recognise the number on your phone display don't answer it. The phone preferencial service is only of use if the company respects your privacy; these scammers program in a batch of numbers whether they are ex-directory or not, they target you if you answer. If you suspect it's a scam just say you're the cleaner, you know nothing...

  • Andrew Lee / 15 November 2015

    I have been very lucky so far that I haven't fallen victim to these individuals. The most common feature for me has been emails claiming various accounts etc, are/have been compromised and that I need to click on a link within the email. I have had one recent call claiming to be from Microsoft who warned me that my computer had been hacked. When I challenged them to tell me the problem they hung up on me. I suppose they had expected me to become upset and for me to ask them how I could resolve the problem. Well.....I am not ready yet to get sucked in by these scum bags and will do all I can to ensure my family stay safe and don't fall for these tricks!!

  • Graham / 15 November 2015

    A couple of points regarding these calls. some are from automated systems and they dont usually have a full telephone number but something like 01251 which you wouldnt be able to dial anyway. the other shows as ''out of area'' on my caller display and no number . when I see these I either don't answer or answer and stay quiet. sometimes the line goes dead or I have had a male saying Hello but I didn't reply. talktalk say they can block calls that have called anonymously or the last number, this is ok except some genuine companies withhold their number eg doctors hospitals etc and you wouldn't want to block them and if you get a display saying 'out of area' you can't block that either because you need their number to block it. one more point about the telephone preference service is that it doesn't work on calls from abroad. KEEP ON YOUR GUARD

  • M. Hayward / 15 November 2015

    I agree with another poster that your pale grey font is hard to read, although the text is a good size and clear.
    We know telephone scams are as prolific and serious as you say in your first paragraph. Surely organisations should be putting a lot of pressure on the Government to do something about them. That would be great.

  • Karen / 15 November 2015

    All sound advice but you make no mention of the fact that even ex-directory numbers (like mine) get plagued by calls from random diallers There is no mechanism in place to stop those calls

  • Stanley Mutshiya / 15 November 2015

    Most of the tips are true. I have as you have said hang up my phone.

  • Daniel Vanhoof / 15 November 2015

    I have a simple yet very effective technique for dealing with scammers and they usually hang up in 5 seconds flat. I have 5 differnet language telephone answers and I change to the next one for every call I get. Sometimes I tell them the person they are looking for is not at home. Like I said, simple but effective.

  • Frank Owusu Gyawu / 15 November 2015

    Thank you for this woderful tips.

  • miss M Abboud / 15 November 2015

    Thank you for your information Very helpful

  • Anne Cartwright / 15 November 2015

    When this has happened to me I call my bank or whoever using the opposite phone off the one they called on, ie if they call on my moby I use the landline to call back. I would also ask them to collect the compromised card but call the police, from my other phone, to attend and collect the culprit.

  • Tony Hatcher / 15 November 2015

    Good advice. I recently moved house and changed phone broadband ant TV to BT. I got a call from someone in India purporting to be from Open Reach. Feasable as I had just moved. The lady was almost incomprehensible so she tried to switch me to an "advisor" from Microsoft working with BT. At this stage I began to question the caller saying I thought it was a scam. He became very angry and hung up. I then rang BT who confirmed it was a scam. So please be aware

  • Christine McDowell / 15 November 2015

    The advice is good however to avoid receiving calls register with the telephone preference service, this will not stop all calls but should reduce the number received. I usually don't speak, but just ring off. In relation to e-mail I don't open any ones I don't recognise. Also I have separate mailbox I use for orders and I always un-tick the box which states your contact details may be shared with other relevant companies.

  • DON MATTHEWS / 15 November 2015


  • Leslie Barrett / 15 November 2015

    Your text has not been edited. " call of the blue" Do try harder.

    Using a light typeface for text is inappropriate. Many scam victims are elderly with failing eyesight . Help them by putting text in Roman or Bold typefaces.

  • Marple / 15 November 2015

    Be aware of crooks diverting your phone number to a mobile phone.
    You think your phone is broken, friends tell you they phoned my number and spoke with someone else ,this creates a confusion with the phone company in my case BT this took hours on the phone to sort out as they said there was no fault ,but never said my number had been diverted,meantime the crook is withdrawn money from your bank account to this day I don't know how this was achieved. Fraud department at BT ,my bank and the police Fraud squad couldn't explain as it would expose the loophole in the system thankfully the bank made no quibbles and paid the money back into my account. So be careful if suddenly your phones stop working.

  • Ms Sharon Wynn / 15 November 2015

    I have changed my landline number with all these scam calls and I won't be giving anyone my number other than family I will not get court out with the scammers. Heard so much lately about this so I am very aware !!!

  • Ann Hall / 15 November 2015

    There is so much publicity about these scams now, I can't believe anyone would get caught out any more. Why do perfectly intelligent people go with complete strangers to their bank, draw money out and hand it over? If anyone gets a scam call, just put the 'phone down and if concerned about their account, go into a branch and speak to someone. It's not rocket s ience!

  • Ramya Perera / 15 November 2015

    I received many scam calls , I did not give any details, I told scammer off,
    Blew a whistle, then switch on answering machine, they don,t like leave a
    message, I am in neighbourhood watch where I live, we meet up every three
    month and discuss the on going scams just use common sense.

  • Peter / 15 November 2015

    You missed one of the biggest scams and that is the caller claims they are from "Microsoft" and that you have a computer issue ! They then try to take control of your PC and then want payment for fixing a non existent issue

  • Edward Glynbn / 15 November 2015

    It would be most helpful if these tips and the A-Z list were available in hard copy form. Or, possibly, as a download.

  • Gillin McInnes / 15 November 2015

    I am the manager of a Citizens Advice Bureau and we have had people in our community contacting us to say they received an out of the blue call from the CAB about their debt. This is very worrying as the fraudsters are using the good name of the CAB to try to win trust. We are putting an article into our local paper to warn people that we NEVER cold call people and that we have reported the fraudsters number to the police who are investigating.

  • david Gibbons / 15 November 2015

    charity commission, should note Charities that pass on/ sell details to other charities, and those who "Buy" equally noted and warned their charity status is threatened .I am told that info is obtained via Census etc, when clearly this is not so

  • Hugh Gilmour / 15 November 2015

    When they tell me I have won money, I tell them to send me a cheque then hang up

  • Tony Comley / 15 November 2015

    When I receive cold calls I just talk in French and that always works! They give up almost immediately.

  • Andy Pretty / 15 November 2015

    Why not call back on a different phone that they called on. That way it doesn't matter if they haven't hung up.

  • James K / 15 November 2015

    Given the ability of the government to monitor calls why not put that to use on this type of crime in addition to other Criminal activity

  • bill barnes / 15 November 2015

    we need to protect everybody by making people aware of scammers. these scammers need to be brought to justice.

  • Yvie Crothers / 15 November 2015

    I've been getting calls asking for a person with a different first name to mine but correct surname, the caller has an Asian accent. I say no one of that name lives here & they hang up. I then got a begging letter from a well known reputable charity addressed to the same wrong first name. It would appear that some charities are buying details or is this another scam by post? Needless to say the letter is in the bin.

  • Neville Sheldon / 15 November 2015

    Install a screening device on your landline. I was a victim of fraud crime and took advice of how to prevent a recurrence. Spurious callers know that you will not want to talk to them, so they abandon their attempt. The message I have on my device is as follows:
    " Please hold and do not ring off. Now putting you through. Calls to this number are screened in order to prevent fraud crime. Please say your name after the tone."
    Genuine callers say their name and my phone rings. If I wish to accept the call, I press the * key, or the # key to reject the caller. I can programme the device to allow known callers to come straight through. There is a spreadsheet facility to see who tried to call.
    It really does work.

  • Felicity Bailey / 15 November 2015

    Caller said they were phoning from Talktalk about my internet connection and said they were going to disconnect it - when I replied 'fine' they hung up (to my disappointment)! Shame it was a scam.

  • Al Hardy / 15 November 2015

    For the "no hang up" scam. Call the number on the back of your card from your mobile. You are doing two things then proving that it is a scam and you can tell the bank that you are in the process of trying to be scammed.

  • Brenda Pert / 15 November 2015

    It would also be a good idea for people who feel the need to call back to use another phone if possible.

  • Yvonne Reynolds / 15 November 2015

    It is wise to make sure your number has been placed on the Telephone Preference list as then your data cannot!!! be divulged under law. Another way is to have an unlisted number. All these are free of charge and easy to access and undertake. If someone calls who is not a friend or relative and you do not recognise the voice, ask that their request be placed in writing and sent to you, if they ask for your address, "They should know it" if they are the professional organisation they claim to be. DON'T GIVE IT OUT - then put down the phone. Write down the time and date of the call and who they profess to be and then phone the genuine company and tell them about the call. If you receive e-mail from your bank or another professional company, rather check out the telephone numbers and addresses and make sure to call and check up why they are sending you an e-mail of this nature. Banks and financial institutions that you are personally dealing with will always send you a letter in the post first about a problem and then mention they will be calling you. They will only take two letters from your password, and ask very general security questions before talking to you.

  • Karen Birkitt / 15 November 2015

    I don't answer my phone, I let the answer machine respond. I only answer genuine callers.

  • deniseliddle / 15 November 2015

    good i understand what scammers do

  • Joan Watkin / 15 November 2015

    I just tell them to bugger off and put down the phone, it works every time.

  • Keir Byars / 15 November 2015

    I think the telecommunications industry should pay back the money,lost to customer's scammed by callback to high rate numbers, as they supply and sell these number's

  • Guy Booth / 15 November 2015

    Recently, at my home, the telephone has rung, then the ring tone stops, then starts again, and whenever such a call is answered, the line goes dead. The procedure goes on for a day, or two days. It is tempting to lose patience and answer. But nobody is at the other end? Is this a way of ascertaining if you are at home? MY ADVICE IS TO KEEP YOUR ANSWERPHONE ON ALL THE TIME: friends and bona-fide callers will leave a message: fraudsters won't dare.

  • Mr M Bronstein / 15 November 2015

    Its about time the Goverment does something about this, instead of talking, and doing nothing

  • Claire Cywinski / 15 November 2015

    I have had numerous silent calls where the phone has rung, when I answer the phone there is silence. I have had someone saying that I am entitled to a cash sum award and someone who sounded Asian tell me that my computer is faulty and if I let him have access to my computer he will fix it. They are so far fetched and ludicrous they are now bordering on the bemusing. What I am doing which is what other people should be doing is once you have said 'Hello' and it is a call centre or an Asian sounding voice, this is what I do now and it works every time. I simply don't answer and remain absolutely silent, I don't speak and do not respond. Within seconds they are going 'Hello? Hello?' then they suddenly hang up. Since I have done that, the scam phone calls are getting less and less. Because I am not showing any sign of fear or giving them any ammunition to carry on the conversation, they end the call and hang up on me. That is what I am doing and it is working for some reason.

  • peter noble / 15 November 2015

    I think the info you have given is relevant simple and straight forward

  • Mrs.J.Lane / 15 November 2015

    Just to let you know,there are people also sending emails pretending to be from western union, America's F.B.I service & a place called Benin.

  • Rachel Ison / 21 October 2015

    My husband had one on monday. They told him he was under investigation from child protection but if he paid it would go away. My hubby put fone down and I tried to ring number back. It didn't exist. I rang BT but they didn't seem interested. The number was 07771 456250. BT did say it was a scam from abroard. Makes it worse as we do have our grandchildren under special guardianship so I rang our social worker. It frightened us to death.