How to prevent cold callers
17th August 2016
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.
Cold calling has increasingly become a problem over the years, with more bogus companies and callers causing stress, anxiety and worry for older people. It is often hard to sort the good from the bad and older people are increasingly falling into the cold caller trap which can lead to many being robbed of money and valuable possessions without conscious thought.
Unless you are buying products such as home stairlifts through a trusted provider, it is highly recommended that you seek advice from a relative if you are unsure as to who you should and shouldn’t trust.
The Office of Communications (Ofcom) says: “Nuisance calls and messages come in a variety of different shapes and sizes and can be inconvenient and annoying at the best of times.
“But for more vulnerable consumers they can also cause considerable distress and anxiety.”
There are several options that can be considered if cold callers have become a nuisance in the household and we have listed them below, as well as popular scamming messages you should look out for, for your peace of mind. There are many services that are free to use and won’t cost you a sign-up fee, or if you wish to update your existing landline phones, there are a wide range of products which can help identify cold callers before you hear the phone ring.
Free call blocking services
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS)
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a highly recommended call blocking service and gives you full control of who you do and don’t get a call from. By simply registering with the TPS making a complaint against nuisance number couldn’t be easier. After 28 days of registering with the service you will be able to use TPS against cold callers, marketing calls and others such as:
- Unsolicited text messages
- Silent calls
- Bogus TPS calls
There are several terms and conditions which should be considered before registering with the TPS which can be found on their website.
Take your Name off of sales calls list
It is easy to tick boxes on forms, sign ups and registers giving sales callers the right to contact you in the future about updates and offers on different products, without you necessarily remembering doing so. Whenever you by something through a website, try and untick any boxes that give permission for sales and marketing callers the right to contact you and you may see a difference in the number of nuisance calls you will receive.
Call blocking technology Products
Twenty first century technology is growing by the day, and so are the number of call blocking products available on the market. If you would like to upgrade your existing handset for your landline to something more up to date and can block cold callers and nuisance numbers before the phone rings.
Panasonic have a wide range of products to assist you in blocking out the cold callers so you can lead a more peaceful and independent life. Those such as the Digital Cordless Answering System (KX-TGC222E) offers a compact design with optimum call blocking technology, with a speakerphone if you find yourself needing to multitask and an eco-mode so you don’t use too much electricity when the device is docked.
Alternatively, Truecall offer products that are specifically targeted to prevent cold callers. The device enables friends and family to call, but blocks unwanted callers and quickly learns who you do and don’t like picking up the phones to.
Scam messages to avoid
Telephone lottery scams
Many older people like to take play scratch cards and take part in the lottery and it’s no wonder why so many report telephone scam messages on a regular basis. The way to prevent this from happening to you is to listen carefully to the phone call which you have received:
- The intended victim is usually told that they have won a large sum of money through the lottery. This is where many people get caught out – the callers can sound very professional and believable so try not to be enticed into the scam.
- The caller will ask for personal details such as: Full name, address, date of birth and bank details, so the ‘money can be deposited into the winners account directly’.
HM Revenue and Customs scam
Phishing, also known as the fraudulent act of emailing a person for the personal and financial information, is what is used to describe the perpetrators of scamming through email and text messages. These emails often include a link to bogus and fake websites encouraging you to enter personal details etc.
It is worth spending time identifying which of the sectors of HM Revenue and Customs will contact you through email and text, and which ones will contact you through post or phone. It is important to understand the differences as it can save you an awful lot of time and money.