Scam calls on the increase, nuisance calls in decline


Hello tellows friends,

Have you received fewer nuisance calls lately? Research by Ofcom would suggest so.

According to this Ofcom research, fewer nuisance calls are being made to UK landlines. So we can all breathe a sigh of relief, right? No, unfortunately not. Scam calls are still on the rise, and they now account for a much larger proportion of the nuisance calls received.

What are the statistics?

Over a 4-week period, a number of UK residents monitored their phone calls, noting how many fell into different categories. In this time period, they received an average of 7.4 nuisance calls. This is an all-time low since Ofcom started its research in 2013. Compared with statistics from 2015, where participants received an average of 9.7 nuisance calls, this is a sharp drop. People are therefore receiving less annoying sales calls, which can only be a positive development. More nuisance calls than previously were also made using identifiable numbers.

Scam calls, on the other hand, continue to present a huge threat. Those who took part in Ofcom’s 2019 research believed that 26% of the nuisance calls they received were scam calls. This is an exponential increase compared to the 4% reported in 2017. Calls about PPI or Tech support were often also found to originate from abroad.

Worryingly, according to this research, an increasing number of respondents find nuisance calls ‘annoying’ or ‘distressing’.

What do the numbers mean?

Although we are receiving less unsolicited calls, the calls that we do receive are becoming more dangerous. This means that we should constantly be wary of scams and fraud when speaking on the phone. Despite the fact that we are receiving less cold sales calls, scammers remain an issue.

The statistics would also suggest that we are also becoming more vigilant. It is possible that similar calls were received both this year and in 2017, but now more people recognise them as scams. Maybe we are also getting used to the tricks used by scammers and are no longer fooled.

Why do scammers continue to be a threat?

Firstly, Ofcom’s research only explored the nuisance and scam calls received on landline phones. Nowadays, scammers are much more likely to call mobile numbers, given that landlines are becoming more and more redundant. What’s more, fraudsters often use other methods such as contact via email.

Scammers also constantly change their stories to catch you out. Perhaps they will tell you that you ‘have won a holiday’ or that you ‘have a broken computer’. Whatever they say is, of course, a lie. As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is…

If you receive a nuisance or scam call:

  • Do not hesitate to hang up the phone
  • Share information on the tellows website to protect others from the same caller
  • Inform the police or report the caller to Action Fraud if you believe that they could be dangerous

Your tellows team



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