|We have seen a spike in reports regarding fraudsters purporting to be from the Telephone Preference Service, cold calling you and offering a paid-for call blocking service.
Please be aware, the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is FREE. You should never be asked to pay for it, and the TPS will never make unsolicited phone calls in order to sign you up. Once your phone number is on the register, it stays there forever. You do not need to re-register and you certainly do not need to pay for renewal.
The TPS is the only official UK ‘do not call’ register for opting out of live telesales calls. There are other companies that offer a commercial alternative to the TPS and may charge for their service. However organisations making live telesales calls are not legally obliged to check against any of these alternative registers. You can sign up to the TPS here or you can phone them on 0345 070 0707.
As always, the #TakeFive rules with cold callers remain the same:
- Don’t assume an email or phone call is authentic
Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and address or even your mother’s maiden name), it doesn’t mean they are genuine. Be mindful of who you trust – criminals may try and trick you into their confidence by telling you that you’ve been a victim of fraud. Criminals often use this to draw you into the conversation, to scare you into acting and revealing security details. Remember, criminals can also make any telephone number appear on your phone handset so even if you recognise it or it seems authentic, do not use it as verification they are genuine.
- Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision
Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot; they would never ask you to transfer money into another account for fraud reasons. Remember to stop and take time to carefully consider your actions. A genuine bank or some other trusted organisation won’t rush you or mind waiting if you want time to think.
- Listen to your instincts
If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it Criminals may lull you into a false sense of security when you are out and about or rely on your defences being down when you’re in the comfort of your own home. They may appear trustworthy, but they may not be who they claim to be.
- Stay in control
Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information. It’s easy to feel embarrassed when faced with unexpected or complex conversations. But it’s okay to stop the discussion if you do not feel in control of it.
If you think you have become a victim of fraud, please report it immediately to Action Fraud. You can also phone them on 0300 123 2040.