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.
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.
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.
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.
Investing in new technology, developing smart ideas, innovating, outsourcing, call centers – the buzzwords of our business-minded con artists. They’re professionals and they know their stuff. 7 in 10 receive nuisance calls, texts and emails everyday, yet these large-scale scam operators are never penalized because apparently they are just “annoying” and not yet causing “substantial distress” to people.
You, as the target market of these fraudsters, should know better than their old tricks. Update yourself with these words of advice:
- Don’t give any personal information to strangers or to businesses – remember, they should already know your details!
- Ignore employment agencies asking for payment in advance
- Check your bank and credit card statements regularly and let your bank know immediately if there are any entries you don’t recognise
- Often, you can’t get lost money back, particularly if you have handed over cash. But you have more protection if you paid by credit card or a debit card.
For our weekly top 3, the approach of our scammers is always a hard sell. Strategies are aggressive and their tactics include cold calls and unsolicited pitches – as if they are really selling some products or services BUT actually no. They are disguised as telemarketers who just want to get your bank details or other personal info. Worse huh!
If you are one of those people affected by the £300,000 UK-wide mobile phone insurance scam, well here’s some good news: the men behind it have already confessed and admitted that they masterminded it. From October 2005 to April 2010, Christopher Surman, 47, Wayne Ghosh, 43, Andrew Patterson, 32, all from Swansea, and Omar Mapara, 33 from Yate, South Gloucestershire, conspired to cheat customers of mobile phone providers by selling insurance policies that were unauthorised by the Financial Services Authority and were invalid.
I hope it’s really a good news for you guys. Let’s continue to help our crime busters by reporting unjust and deceitful conducts.
And for our weekly top 3, these scammers really don’t learn their lessons. Tsk, tsk, i think they really want to go to jail?? They should never get away from this.
Dear tellows fellows,
reap the benefits of your patience for our tellows app is finally available for Android users! Up to now the only way to look up numbers was to open our webpage, meaning, looking the calling number up was only possible after the call.
Thanks to our new tellows Android app you will discern the trustworthieness of the incoming call on the first ring of your phone. The tellows Score provides the means to decide whether to answer the phone or deny the call.
Update (2018): The tellows app can now also block unwanted spam calls!
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