Archive for category nuisance calls

tellows iPhone App – Activating Caller Identification for iOS 10

Dear tellows fellows,

The tellows iPhone app update is ready!

The latest version of the tellows app is not just able to identify your calls, it can also block annoying spam calls. To use the features of the tellows app with iOS 10, you need to activate the caller identification and protection first.

We tell you how to do it:
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Comment feature: Advantage as Registered tellows User

Hello tellows-fellows,

We developed a new feature for all registered tellows user. Comments posted by registered users cannot be deleted without a thorough examination by the tellows support team. We will contact you, in case someone wants to delete your comment.

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New release by Ofcom: PPI most common unwanted call type

Mid May brought a new study published by Ofcom getting down to the nitty gritty extent of these nuisance calls. This study involved 926 participants who kept a diary to record all unwanted calls received on just their land-line over a 4 week period between 13th of January and the 9th of February 2014. Critical findings were accumulated such as the number, type of number, whether the number was identifiable or not, frequency and type of organisation making the phone call.

Here is what the survey revealed..
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What makes unwanted calls go around the world?

With more than a thousand complaints registered to Which every week for ‘nuisance’ calls, fines for companies breaching TPS’s and Ofcom’s rules reaching fines up to £2m, how does this industry still remain afloat? Below we have listed a few points that is the hidden driving force, not always appreciated by a frustrated recipient understandably. Knowing what drives this industry of world-wide communications is knowing that there isn’t an over-night solution. But there are solutions! Keep up with our blog to find out what they are.

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Don’t fall for the scam claiming to be from SKY!

Reports from people receiving calls from possible scammers claiming to be from a Sky contact center still continue on despite the recent conviction for conspiracy of 14 people who used the same trick, as sentenced by the Swansea Crown Court.

The latest report came from the victim who was advised to wait for a replacement viewing card to be inserted in her Sky box. The next scam caller told her that she was also entitled for a refund for the overcharging of Sky. After the victim gave her bank details to the caller, she then discovered that large sums of money had been withdrawn from her account.

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What are nuisance calls and how can I avoid them?

According to Which?, a household in UK gets an average of 7 nuisance calls in a month. 8% of consumers in UK were bombarded by over 50 unwanted calls in a month and about 85% receive at least one spam call on a monthly basis.

There are two types of nuisance calls – silent calls and unwanted marketing calls. Ofcom deals with silent calls while the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) deals with marketing calls.

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tellows magazine for the UK – worthwhile information on nuisance calls and telephone scams

The tellows magazine is now here for download!

Based on information compiled from the tellows website, its blog and from concerned authorities in the UK, the tellows magazine provides the most important things you need to know in order to avoid being scammed over the phone.

How useful is this magazine to me?
You could be the next target victim of phone fraud. Even if you are registered with TPS, it does not spare you from the threat. In fact, 57% of those TPS-registered numbers are not satisfied since they still receive an average of 7 unsolicited calls per month, based on the UK Consumers’ Association report.

Statistics from the tellows website also shows that Greater London receives the highest rate of unwanted calls, followed by the North West part and Yorkshire. This does not mean that other regions are not being targeted, rather, reports and complaints in tellows website are actually coming from all parts of the country.

Caller Identification

That’s why it’s important for you to be aware of these scam methods and be proactive in guarding yourself and family against fraud.

tellows UK Top 10 scam methods
tellows has identified these top 10 scam methods based on the actual reports of users submitted to tellows website. These are: online payday loan scam, call back, job offer, fake telemarketer, spoofing, vishing, ppi, pc doctor scam, lottery and winning scam, pension liberation fraud.

One scheme would ask you to pay fees in advance so they can process your loan, PPI, pension, job and training application, or your winnings in a lottery or contest. Another kind would send out messages that sound like an emergency or would ring your phone incessantly just to make you call them back. While the last type would pretend to be calling from a valid number, or would use the name of a legit company and brand, as if offering their products and services.

Legal basics
The magazine also gives you an overview of the Data Protection Act and the three most important regulators and agencies involved in this area. Direct links on where you can send a complaint are provided, whether it is about an unwanted live telesales calls, automated marketing calls, silent or abandoned calls, or unwanted spam text message.

More on tellows
For an immediate, everyday protection, details about how the tellows website, its blog and smartphone app work can also be found in the magazine to solve your worries and doubts on unknown numbers.

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How to stop nuisance calls – the elderly as perfect victims

Nuisance calls are on the news again. Just a few weeks ago we told you about the findings of a study, that revealed highly startling news on the business practice of nuisance callers and the real extent of scam in the UK. The findings of Ofcom did not only show how nerve-wracking unwanted calls are in the eyes of most people, the results were also combined with a claim on improved and immediate action, which in detail means: a complete ban on cold calling. This week we will give you another clean proof on the necessity of action.

The current problem concerning nuisance calls
The starting point of the ongoing silent, abandoned, harassment and any other unwanted calls is the fact, that the existing mechanisms launched for protection and defence are not working at all. The Telephone Preference Service TPS as a free service for customers to opt out from receiving marketing calls, is not at all hindering businesses to use phone calls as a working method for any kind of promotion or scam. As the restriction is not broad enough, a registration of one’s number on TPS does only help to stop unsolicited calls with a sales purpose, which means that for example any kind of recorded message as well as research or silent calls are not under the control of TPS. As already mentioned in the blog on the Ofcom study, problems especially occur if the caller is calling from abroad, as there is actually no legal basis for taking action against this.

desperate man on the phone

Photo by Alon, flickr.com

Elderly people attracting the attention of scammers
Although it is well-known, that especially elderly people are likely to be taken in by fraudsters, there are still not a lot of options on how to deal with it, as a recent example in the Guardian shows. What bothers the most is, that there are no actual attempts that would help to improve this situation, except for claims of consumer organizations and so far unredeemed promises of officials. The only help might be to fall back on private companies offering services and products to deal with the unsolicited calls yourself. When it comes to elderly people, this means that younger relatives need to help out. As the example of the guardian writer shows very clearly, this is as necessary as frustrating. She shows us through her own experience with an elderly relative, that most of the techniques that would work for us – like just not answering calls from unknown numbers or not giving away personal information – are not as useful for elderly people. Particularly politeness, forgetfulness or just loneliness are the biggest problems here. Elderlies tend to answer all calls as they want to be friendly; they talk to the researchers as they need conversation; and they give away their bank account data as they trust the friendly voice at the other side of the phone. So what is best to do?

How to deal with scam and spam calls
Of course, a complaint is one of the first steps to do when receiving unsolicited calls. But this is not an immediate solution, it helps on the long run, not for the present. First of all, checking the possibilities that are offered by your provider makes sense. Some opportunities of blacklisting numbers or blocking calls are integrated in most of the systems.

But as the author of the guardian article points out as well, this is still not enough for the protection of elderly people. What she found might be the best solution for this problem in years, the trueCall device, blocking calls from unknown numbers completely, redirecting them to the answer phone straight away. Although this of course is not a free device, this product might be the perfect solution for a lot of different problems, as it can be used to block numbers, record important messages or even ask who is calling to decide right away if one should answer the phone. Although we could not test it, the mere existence of such a blocker means, that there are people actually thinking about how to solve the problem of unsolicited calls, as officials regularly fail to do so.

As many other applications, devices or web pages, also tellows works for the purpose of informing people on the dangers of unsolicited calls and hindering companies to scam. As long as the regulators are not able to take efficient enforcement action for the protection of consumers, it is up to tellows, trueCall et al. to support the fight on unwanted calls.

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