Due to the increasing number of complaints regarding unwanted marketing messages and abandoned, silent phone calls, the UK Committee on Culture, Media and Sports has recently published its report on nuisance calls since it started its inquiry in July 2013.
Let’s welcome 2014 with our Weekly Top 3 – I guess this is a good way of starting the year to make sure that we can outwit, outsmart and outplay our enemies slash spam callers.
2014 is the year of the Horse, which according to Chinese culture, is a „symbol of speed and perseverance“ and people born in this year are – take note – „fabulous speakers who have a gift for getting through to other people“. Seems like this is the perfect recipe for the determined and creative spammers and scammers who pester us with everything illegal.
Hello tellows followers!
The theme this week is domestic utilities. These people call you at your home, whilst you’re at home, making you feel not at home. We hope we can save you a little time if the following come calling.
Have you recently become a landlord with Your Move? Prepare to be assailed with calls from these insurance telemarketers on 01392849890! With 4581 search requests, it seems that not all of you are convinced by their credibility either (tellows score: 4), so handle with caution! Sister number 01392849808 is also manned by telemarketers selling gas/water/electricity; estate agents Right Move and Reeds Rains appear to be passing on your details to ‘helpful’ third parties.
Estate Agents have given them my number, what a cheek! but try to prove it! First said they were offering a Estate Agent service to connect gas etc. when moving in. then once had me listening started talking tariffs, I swiftly told them I wasn’t interested and they put the phone down, but I know it won’t be the last junk call I’ll be getting. This should be illegal.
Next up, we have 02036170540, who’ll tells you it’s a survey then try to sell you energy devices for your home. They’re not likely to know your name exactly and for that matter, don’t seem sure of their own: they operate under variations on the ‘British Energy Council’ and ‘Domestic Energy Valuation’, to the ultimately vague ‘British Advisory Board’. It’s been searched 10170 times on tellows and you’ve left 41 comments!
SammyJ reports one of the classic telemarketing tactics:
Call at nearly 9pm, “im not selling anything”, then in the next breath, we want to help youoptimise your household energy bills!!!
As a sidenote, the ’20 seconds’ of your time they so politely request is a majestic underestimation.
Finally, with 19307 tellows search requests to their name and an impressive 36 comments, the people from 01233648537 phone on behalf of various organisations to do surveys – anything from water companies to Natwest (which seems to be the current activity). So – private survey company or con-ring? Sandra gives us a clue…
Missed call at 8.35pm on Sunday. They called again 5 minutes later and started off with natwest bank survey. When I refused to answer questions they said they also deal with Anglos water and started questioning me about monthly direct debit. Told them I’m not interested in speaking to them and hung up. Have tried calling me back twice now!
There are many legitimate companies that outsource independent survey organisations to carry out questionnaires for them, but it is ALWAYS worth checking the legitimacy, not giving out or confirming personal details, and remembering that you are not obliged to answer the survey. These people are requesting time from YOUR day!
Hang in there, hang up on them and hang it all and go on holiday if it gets too much.
Ciao for now,
Your tellows team
It’s a time of flux in the telemarketing world: laws are changing internationally and indeed, some countries are forging long-distance alliances to crack down on tele-tormenters. The UK government is currently considering following other countries’ lead and introducing radical consumer protection measures with regard to cold calling.
Since 2010, for example, German citizens have had to specifically opt in to receive marketing calls and telemarketing companies are now legally obliged to display their caller ID. Meanwhile in the US, October 16th saw revisions to the Federal Communication Commission’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) come into force, forbidding telemarketers to solicit using autodiallers or prerecorded messages without the express written consent of the phone-owner. This ‘express written consent’ is, albeit, something of a misnomer, covering anything from
permission obtained via an email, Web site form, text message, telephone keypress, or voice recording.
Nonetheless, it is a bold and effective motion in the fight against cold call harassment and the tough financial punitive measures ($500-$1500 penalties per call or text) are proving a strong deterrent.
The UK, meanwhile, is yet to see such a measure come into effect. With those who have signed up to the TPS (about 75% of UK landlines) often reporting receiving double the amount of sales calls received by those who aren’t, British phone owners are starting to lose faith in regulators’ capacity to keep ‘direct marketers’ in line.
User Jay the Kay, for example, says of 01904530013:
Called – very annoying as ring off when you answer – no idea how they got my (very private) number as only 4 people have it!!
‘Not happy’ is also somewhat irked about relentless and untimely calls from 01209219844:
Very annoying automated calls about pension, repeatedly calling at between 1am – 2am, leaving messages etc, cannot get it to stop, has broken my sleep so very grumpy
PhonePestReporter reported 01905744557 as ‘aggressive advertising’:
The PEST is: Domestic & General 🙁
They are a cold-calling pest phishing for new Loft Insulation contracts.
I have automated calls on a daily basis for 2 months now – 3 rings and they hang up – never leaving a message.
He (or she) goes on to voice the agonies of all those keen to see cold calling condemned to the past:
I wish the government would provide the regulators with some teeth to prosecute all these highly persistent phone pests making MULTIPLE nuisance calls. I changed my number relatively recently to avoid this, and I’m ex-directory and I’ve “opted out” so they should check before they call. I give my number out rarely to only be used by the individual companies I have to deal with. Therefore I know they have somehow acquired my number via some list processed illegally.
However, there is a ray of hope; the House of Lords are currently backing a bill which would see the UK go one step further than the USA and outlaw unsolicited calls and texts altogether. The Unsolicited Telephone Communications Bill has been provisionally passed and is to be submitted for a second reading. This strict set of regulations would mean that all telemarketers would have to gain the consent of their ‘marketees’ before calling; no mean feat when you consider the percentile of the population who’d voluntarily give the time of day to a PPI-pusher.
The regulation itself would be centralised and overseen by Ofcom, a gargantuan task necessitaing much closer surveillance than is currently, by all accounts, in effect. Moreover, such a drastic measure, as Lord Gardiner of Kimble notes, could be disastrous for the direct marketing industry. These are significant considerations which may regrettably cause the bill to stutter.
The APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group) on Nuisance Calls are nonetheless bravely pushing for change; be it a wholesale ban on unsolicited calls, or a much-needed enforcement of the current regulations, the winds of change may yet be whistling through the realms of coldcalling.
In the meantime, be sure to arm yourself by looking up unknown numbers on www.tellows.co.uk, reporting rogue or pest callers to the ICO or TPS and second-guessing any implausible claims an opportunist scam caller may make. Your phone line is your own! May others respect it.
Have a wonderful week!
Your tellows team
Small woodland creatures may be settling down for a winter’s rest but scam and spam callers have no intention of taking a break.
Here’s the latest in annoying:
The opportunists calling from 01612778191 have somehow tracked down your personal details and know you’re on a Vodafone Pay As You Go phone – and naturally they want to upgrade you. However, user lizzie claims that they are not Vodafone at all…
Vodafone have confirmed this company is not working on their behalf but cannot answer me as to how this company knows my monthly payment plan on PAYG
Beware of telemarketers and always always confirm that the caller is legitimate before signing up to anything or handing over any personal or financial details!
Meanwhile, 02070591411 are hailing users with survey requests. We’ve never heard of anything more general than a ‘Life Survey’ but I suppose you have to cater to all audiences. They also promise that Holy Grail of ‘no more nuisance calls’ if you complete the survey. Most amusing.
User +Alzir has been getting creative, but to no avail.
Five times in a week,I’ve tried everything from playing them music to swearing at them and they still won’t give up.
Finally, we have 08445715199, an example of the current plethora of spam-text-requests plaguing mobile phone users. You’ll get a text telling you that somebody has tried to contact you (despite a mysterious lack of missed calls in your history – oh well, you suppose, perhaps I was on the phone at the time). They demand that you ‘URGENTLY’ call them back, quoting a 6 digit reference number. Rest assured that hundreds of other people will have received exactly the same reference number and you will simply be put on premium-rate hold.
Handlebarchap fancies himself one step of the game…
text from 07463590467: ‘call us back on 08445715199 and quote this reference number’. DO THEY THINK I’M STUPID?? Wish these idiots would stop pestering me with their transparent con schemes!!
However, these texts can be quite convincing to the uncynical eye so we’re giving you all a heads-up nonetheless.
Don’t say we haven’t warned you.
Have a lovely week, watch your (digital) back and we’ll be back with next week’s top three!
Ciao for now.
Your tellows team
Hello tellows users!
A motley crew of pesterers and swindlers for you this week! There’s no rest for the wicked and therefore no rest for your phone either.
Caller number one, 01913009131, has got it all wrong. The idea with telesales is to keep the customer on the phone long enough to flog the product; this lot seem to have missed the point and will generally get about a sentence out before hanging up on you. This means we’re not 100% sure what ‘The Consumer Helpline’ are selling, but user Taylor gives us a clue…
askin if my partner had an acident last year. told him it was a long shot and hung up
I believe the correct term is ‘ambulance-chasers’.
Caller number two, calling from 02081509083, is a mysterious gentleman who seems to have trampled over colleagues and customers alike to achieve his financial goals. Under a plethora of identities and company names (most of them false, it seems), this caller has created himself a reputation that goes before him.
don’t touch this guy with a bargepole!!!! dodgy investments and a nasty habit of ripping you off and never paying you back. steer well clear.
pn__ gives us an ounce more insight:
villas, golf courses, murky dealings in Spain… not to be trusted.
If you hear any of the following names: Morgan Forbes/Pearl Island/First Capital Wealth/Hugh Herschell, alarm bells should ring! Remember, these sorts of people make money by being charming, so keep your wits about you!
Sombrely bringing up the rear is caller number three, a company called OTPL, on 0280697934, who are selling – wait for it – funeral insurance.
User Lynne’s experience:
phoning to sell funeral insurance from India apparently, multiple calls per day, very irritating
Like a gaggle of very persistent vultures, they’ll hover over your phoneline, calling you several times a day, for that extra dose of doom and gloom that we all need on an November day.
Keep saving these numbers under ‘time wasters’, or blocking them altogether if you can. Knowledge is power, so if you’re unsure about a caller, pop the number into tellows.co.uk and see what other users are saying about the caller.
Have a great week!
Your tellows team
Dear friends of tellows,
Another week and new numbers for you to be aware of. Although this week was rather uninteresting, we still found our Top 3 numbers which present a happy mix of different tellows scores: from a 2 to a 7. Not all the numbers are untrustworthy but that doesn’r mean that they can’t annoy you to death if they want to. The difference is that trustworthy numbers have the ability to negotiate the possibility of the removel if your number from the calling lists. You just have to demand it. Now let’s see which numbers were looked up the most this week.
1. 01142565286 with 6 comments and 4008 search requests. tellows Score: 6
2. 08003289393 with 1 comments and 3730 search requests. tellows Score: 2
3. 08003160492 with 3 comments and 1253 search requests. tellows Score: 7
Our first number 1142565286 is from Sheffield – United Kingdom and it belongs to Motorway Direct. “Car protect” is just one of their companies and they call the people in order to offer them a car warrenty. It’s a great coincidence that the call comes exactly at the time when your own warranty expires.
This number is from a company called car protect. don’t know where they have my number from and why they knew that my warrenty has expired. they didn’t answer when i asked for it sop i hung up
The second number 08003289393 with the amazing score of 2 is from British Telecom and it either calls it’s clients in order to inform them of important changes or new proposals, or they call potential customers to offer them their services.
This number is associated with BT either accounts or engineering and would only be calling for a legitimate reason.
And finally our third number 08003160492 belongs to the Littlewoods Company or to Kay& co, that’s still unclear, but it seems to be a courtesy call, like after an order, they call to confirm the details. The strange thing is that in some cases no one ordered anyrhing. So if it’s a normal call and you really ordered something, then you have nothing to fear but otherwise be careful of revealing personal information.
This is a number from the Littlewoods company! They wanted me to answer some question about an order of mine but ive never ordered something there. strange!
If you have received such calls, which in some cases are a little bit dubious, share this information with the tellows community. You never know, how many people might find it helpful. Have a nice week
Your tellows team
Dear friends of tellows,
as autumn settles in and leaves start to change their color, unfortunately, some things remain the same. Not a day passes by without users reporting unwanted nuisance calls on tellows. The most searched numbers this week include the following:
1. 01143072406 with 5 comments and 4717 search requests. tellows Score: 7
2. 02075363554 with 3 comments and 3514 search requests. tellows Score: 5
3. 01614867770 with 16 comments and 10225 search requests. tellows Score: 7
4. 01753441520 with 5 comments and 7394 search requests. tellows Score: 7
5. 01415676218 with 11 comments and 4543 search requests. tellows Score: 7
Rated by our users as rather untrustworthy with a tellows score of 7, our first number, 01143072406, has been a frequent guest on our top 5 list. Most of our users that reported the number have complained about unsolicited telemarketing calls by a well-known British energy and home services provider.
Our second place this week, the number 02075363554 has been reported by our users for unsolicited telemarketing calls as well. In spite of a neutral tellows score of 7, the majority felt bothered by the persistent calls from the number. User Jill reported:
Unsolicited have asked not to call previously
Calling from Manchester, our third number, 01614867770, has been ranking on our list for nearly a year and with a rating of 7 has been considered to be rather untrustworthy. Most of our users felt harassed by frequent calls regarding insurance issues. User Stirling32 commented:
As stated previously, calling on behalf of an insurance company to discuss an accident (very minor bump) had in 2012. Asked for personal details – including that of my family – before they’d continue with the call, which I refused until they confirmed some details to me. Of course, I was told that due to data protection, they wouldn’t divulge anything to me until I had to them!! […] Recommend ignoring unless you have five minutes to waste having a little fun with them….
The fourth place this week goes to number 01753441520, a new entry on our list and yet another number that earned a tellows score of 7 due to unwanted calls that our users perceived as harassment. Many of our users stated to have received calls in spite of being registered with TPS. User Johnny even wondered:
I’m registered with TPS and ex-directory as well. however, i still recieve unsolicited calls. what use is TPS if it doesn’t work.
Ranking on our final place is number 01415676218 with calls originating from Glasgow. According to the comments of our users, the number calls both on the land line as well as the mobile phone, all throughout the day and at unsociable hours without leaving a message. User Samantha decided to take action against the unwanted calls:
I started answering, they still call every day and I swear at them. I have put in a report to TPS, I advise everyone else to as well.
If you have received unsolicited or dubious calls or have any other information on a certain telephone number, do not hesitate to share it with our tellows community. Other than that, we hope you stay scam and nusicance call-free.
Your tellows team
Dear friends of tellows,
with another week coming to an end, we have another set of spam and scam numbers that have kept you and your phone lines busy throughout the past seven days. With a few new entries, this week’s list is composed of a mix of the usual suspects and newcomers. Let’s have a look:
1. 08000641087 with 9 comments and 9774 search requests. tellows Score: 6
2. 01143072000 with 15 comments and 8300 search requests. tellows Score: 7
3. 01482489200 with 4 comments and 1153 search requests. tellows Score: 8
4. 02392386688 with 3 comments and 1731 search requests. tellows Score: 6
5. 01625538490 with 8 comments and 6595 search requests. tellows Score: 8
Our first place this week, number 08000641087, is known to users on our Polish and German sites as well and has become a frequent guest on our list. Most of our users complained about having received several missed calls without any voicemessage left from the number. Additionally, user EVE reported that you can’t return the calls:
This number has rung my mother several times over the past few days,no ideas who its from because theres no message and you cant ring it back.
The second number today is 01143072000 calling from Sheffield. In spite of numerous comments and search requests on tellows, this week’s entry marks only its second appearance on our list. Even though the number with a tellows score of 7 is deemed rather untrustworthy by our users, its authenticity is highly debated. Whereas some reported a telephone provider behind the calls, others questioned the legitimacy of the calls due to the fact that they were also contacted abroad in the US and Turkey, for instance. User Buck commented:
The number called me.. No message left for me. Previous calls from same number that I won’t answer. Calls day and night. Good number search shows me where the call is made from, the location to the nearest 25 metres. Guess what, I am in Sheffield next week on business. Will be nice to meet the person won’t it.
Calling from Hull, the number 01482489200 ranks on our third place this week and is a newcomer to the list. Often allocated to a well-known telecommunications service provider in the UK, most have reported calls from the number as telemarketing and aggressive advertising. Additionally, most users questioned the authenticity of the calls like Petunia 70:
I said i didn’t know whether he was really from Talk Talk and asked his name. He asked for my name,address and birth-date. I said I would check with Talk Talk and ring him back.He rang off.
Another newcomer to our list, number four 02392386688 makes calls from Southhampton – the nature of which are rather disputed among users. While some regarded continuous calls from this number as nuisance, user L Scard rated the number as trustworthy, commenting:
got call from this number it was from spectrum housing group telling me when my job would be done,nothing horrible no sales talk just spectrum.
Finally, number 01625538490 from Macclesfield ranks as yet another newcomer on our fifth place this week. According to our users, the caller offers services to reclaim PPI for loans and credit cards. Most users have doubts regarding the legitimacy of the calls.
If you have recently received any calls from an unknown number that seem untrustworthy or dubious, do not hesitate to share your experiences on tellows.co.uk and help raise awareness about telephone spam and scam numbers. Have a nice weekend!
Your tellows team
Dear friends of tellows,
it has been another week filled with telephone spam calls. As always, we present to you the top 5 most wanted numbers of the past five days. This week the list is dominated by telephone numbers used for telemarketing purposes, but see for yourself:
1. 01143072406 with 5 comments and 4556 search requests. tellows Score: 7
2. 01782747000 with 4 comments and 2613 search requests. tellows Score: 5
3. 01415676218 with 11 comments and 4428 search requests. tellows Score: 7
4. 01133902114 with 4 comments and 3430 search requests. tellows Score: 7
5. 01383620466 with 8 comments and 1921 search requests. tellows Score: 8
The first number this week, 01143072406, is calling from Sheffield and, with a tellows score of 7, is rated as rather untrustworthy by our users. Reporting the calls as telemarketing, user Brian offered further information on the caller:
A woman asked about ‘Free Cavity wall insulation’, allegedly from British Gas. Just did not seem right. We’re with TPS, and now I’m annoyed. She was not aggressive, or pushy, but I do not want random people ringing me at home.
Similarly, the second place on this week’s list, number 01782747000 has been used for telemarketing calls – this time to bath-related tools and features. Some users, however, question the authenticity of the caller: user Delboy, for instance, wrote:
Can’t see how 01782747000 can be a legitimate company selling bath lifts, because if you phone it they try and sell you legal representation services. I think the previous poster is confused between care-knight and bath-knight. I’m sure batch-knight are a very reliable company, but care-knight are definitely the company behind these cold calls on 01782747000.
Ranking on third place, number 01415676218 is reported for telemarketing and silent calls. Dave commented:
This number rings mobile every night regardless of day. Have not answered it as suspect it is a telesales or something. Never leaves a message
Our fourth number this week, 01133902114, is calling from Leeds and has been reported as a telemarketer. Even though some users question the legitimacy of the calls, others have allocated the number to a well-known UK internet service provider.
Last but not least, number 01383620466 has been keeping the telephone lines of our users busy as well. User Pamela sums up the problem with the number in four words:
Silent calls, constant calling
If you have any further details on this or any other number, don’t hesistate to share them with the tellows community and help others to avoid telephone scams and spams. – It will be very much appreciated. Other than that, have a nice weekend free of telephone scams and spam!
Your tellows team