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Scam watch: ‘I was targeted after a car accident’

A member received scam calls following a minor road mishap – here’s how to avoid falling into the scammer’s trap.

A Which? member wrote to us when scammers targeted him following a road accident:

‘Several months ago I had a minor car accident. No one was hurt and damage to the other car was minimal, with none to mine.

‘A few days ago, I rejected a cold call and over the next few days there were two others, one of which my wife answered.

‘She was told that it concerned an accident that I’d had. A day or two later, I got a text that said: ‘Great news. We have £2,866.21 in your name for the accident you had, to put in your bank.”

Our advice

Calls promising compensation for car accidents are common nuisance calls. Most people who receive these haven’t been in a car crash, so it’s easier to dismiss the calls. But as you were involved in an accident, it’s good you recognised it as a scam.

The scammers will try to catch your interest with the large lump-sum payment, then lock you in with a seemingly easy claim process. This is just a ruse to get your personal information or your banking details.

No third-party insurance company would ever contact you about a car accident involving you or a member of your family, and you should always question any out-of-the-blue promises of money.

If you want to stop these calls, register your number with the free Telephone Preference Service (TPS), which logs your preference not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls.

Have you received the car accident scam phone call? How did you deal with it?

Comments
Guest
Ray Orchard says:
5 January 2019

We had a no injury accident a few years ago. The other driver agreed he was at fault and his insurance paid for the repair. We were constantly approached by various companies, who knew the date of the accident, saying that we could claim several thousand of pounds for inconvenience and injury and could claim up to 3 years after the event. We pointed out the claim was sorted and that they were encouraging a fraud. The calls continued for approx 2 years after the accident. We perhaps should have spoken to the other persons insurance company and accepted a nominal figure to ‘close the books’ on the claim.

Guest
Christopher Jones says:
12 January 2019

I received a call about the”accident I had had recently” To which I replied “Oh yes are you talking about last Tuesday or the one on Friday last week?” The caller put the phone down quickly. A few weeks later I had a similar call to which I made the same response. This time however, the caller put me through to a supervisor , so I had to put the phone down! Being retired I have some spare time available to waste the time of scammers.

Guest
John Shaw says:
5 January 2019

We had a no injury accident 2017 (other driver admitted fault and claimed for whiplash). Damage to my car was sorted, but I had a succession of calls to home & mobile numbers for months afterwards, first from a claims company saying because the other driver had soft tissue injury £4000 had been set aside for me in case of a claim. I declined and said I had already stated we had no injury and was not going to lie. All other callers one by one were not answered pending a voice-mail. When none was left I blocked the number from my phone, only to get calls from very similar numbers. The ones I answered I told I don’t work with ambulance chasers – always ended the call instantly. I assumed they were insurance companies and were interested in getting commission for processing my claim.
What made me uncomfortable were the arrangements for the courtesy replacement vehicle. I said I only needed it for the coming weekend (true), but they pushed hard for me to have it as long as I wanted till my car was fixed. It came with a roof rack at a crazy rate per day – I said I didn’t need it but they insisted it had to stay on. The delivery man was friendly and helpful and advised me there were lots of minor scratches which I should note. The collection driver was brusque and off-hand, marked the ticket – car too dirty, not inspected – even though I had washed it so the minor scratches could be pointed out. The conditions laid out heavy penalties for any damage. None of this came over as “Courtesy”. All struck me as explicit profiteering at the expense of the other company.

Guest

My husband was waiting for someone to cross at a zebra crossing when a car went into the back of him. For months afterwards we received calls from ‘solicitors’. I played one along to see if they were random calls. They were not. They knew it was my car, not my husband’s, they knew the date of the accident, the registration numbers of both cars, and even my husband’s date of birth. I was left in no doubt our details had been sold on by someone connected with the insurance company or from the garage or replacement car service. I phoned the ICO and they said this happens frequently. Some months later I received a call from my insurer. They said they received an injury claim from passengers in the car that caused the accident, however the driver had been alone. I never heard from the insurance company again. I just hope they never paid out.

Guest

If your husband’s car was stationary it is difficult to see how he could have contributed in any way to the accident.

In other circumstances, a claim on your insurance could result in you paying higher premiums for years to come and since insurance companies supposedly share information to prevent fraud you might pay more even if you switch companies. It would be interesting to have some input from the insurance industry.

Guest

I presume these were calls from people trying to “help” a claim for personal injury to the occupant(s) of the husband’s car on which they could make their percentage/fee. We are innundated with an industry making money out of compensation claims, whether legitimate or fabricated, for accident, PPI and we now are seeing encouragement to claim for “mis-sold” interest only mortgages. Can all these claims be truly legitimate?

Guest

The TPS can’t stop calls from outside of the UK or from companies that don’t follow to their recommendations. And GDPR doesn’t help much either as most of these companies hide behind fake company names and phone numbers.

Guest

I am plagued constantly by 020 numbers who perhaps call me two or three times a day. Although I can blacklist each of these numbers they seem to be able to change their number at will. It has got to a point now that I wish someone would write an app that blocks telephone numbers beginning with a certain area code. I have got to a point now that if an incoming number isn’t in my contact list I don’t answer and if the call is important they will leave me a voicemail.

Guest

You cant directly block -020 as that is (at present ) an area code I tried it and blocked a whole area .
You can try blocking VoIP calls if you have a blocker .

Well this is interesting Smartguy -while researching this I found a US company that will supply FAKE numbers of -020 London numbers . There is no way I am going to post it here but this is their advertising blurb –

Fake London phone numbers are recommended for drama use, such as those involving TV shows and radio entertainment, however you can also use our random phone numbers when providing documented examples on websites or in printed literature. In addition, you’ll probably find us handy if you ever want to withhold private contact details when completing test surveys and registration forms.

Our data is provided to us by London-based industry regulators, communications providers, and local authorities. Fake phone numbers randomly generated by ***********are unallocated numbers that telephony companies cannot assign to customers in London under current legislation. This is to protect residents against the potential influx of phone calls that they may receive should their telephone numbers appear in a movie or film.
Notice who supplies them !! Now you can blame UK companies for a lot of this .
By the way they will supply EVERY major town & City in the UK .
I have archived the company in case of arguments but as stated I will not make it easier for scammers by posting the company. They supply Canada-USA-Australia and more but also have a disclaimer posted .
This is not illegal in the USA and not yet in the UK.
The only way you can contact them is by email its a .org company.

Guest

Ofcom has a special list of authorised phone numbers for use by film and TV producers in making movies and programmes where it is necessary to use or show a number without potentially generating calls to a subscriber’s line.

There is no need for parasitic agents to trade these numbers and they are not “fake”, they are merely reserved in a special category of the numbering scheme. A film or programme maker needing to use such a number would probably be best advised to approach Ofcom in the first instance to get the rules on how the scheme works and ensure that their use of a number is legitimate.

Guest

As you have probably guessed the company actually advertises under that moniker John and its them that calls them “fake ” but that’s just a way of softening the advertising impact and many are taken in by it .

The company supplies worldwide block dialing numbers that scammers use but doesn’t advertise it up front .
If you remember correctly I have posted several companies in the USA who supply scammers with this service but if I posted their URL,s it would upset the British public and probably Which ? so I am not going to do it.

Guest

I agree with you, Duncan. I can’t think of any reason to report or promote here any American product or service that would be of little use to a UK resident and possible cause legal difficulties for them. Which? is for UK consumers. People that wish to go elsewhere for solutions to their problems are free to do so but there are usually difficulties in compatibility with UK laws and procedures [as people have discovered with importing goods liable to VAT and customs duty]. I feel it would be unreasonable for Which? or ourselves to be expected to keep up to date with and give reliable advice on such matters. It is sometimes interesting to know what goes on in other countries as possible examples of how to improve things here but it is always difficult to ensure that comparisons are like-for-like. Given that we are much better connected to the European continent and the British Commonwealth I would prefer to know more about arrangements and experience in those countries if it is relevant. The common language makes it too easy to use American references when we are actually poles apart in most practical matters [and I think most of the population wishes to remain so!].

Guest

Fascinating. I googled ‘buying fake telephone numbers’ and got a page full of ads for…buying fake ‘phone numbers. This was the first result.

Guest

Fascinating indeed. From this site:
“About Us
Fake Number’s phone numbers are recommended for drama use, such as those involving TV shows and radio entertainment, however you can also use our random phone numbers when providing documented examples on websites or in printed literature. In addition, you’ll probably find us handy if you ever want to withhold private contact details when completing test surveys and registration forms.

Our data is provided to us by industry regulators, communications providers, and local authorities. Fake phone numbers randomly generated by Fake Number are unallocated numbers that telephony companies cannot assign to customers under current legislation. This is to protect residents against the potential influx of phone calls that they may receive should their telephone numbers appear in a movie or film.”

Why should anyone call a number mentioned in a film? Is it difficult to distinguish entertainment from real life?

Guest

That wording seems identical to the ‘advertising blurb’ that Duncan referenced in his comment above. See –
https://conversation.which.co.uk/money/scam-watch-car-accident-compensation-call/#comment-1555651

It is obvious that it is USA-derived since it uses the term “telephony companies” which is not UK usage; we usually call them “telecom companies” or “telecom/telephone service providers”.

I don’t know, but it is possible that the use of any phone number supplied by that agent without regulatory approval is illegal. I also cannot work out the money side of the operation; there must be a payment [or some other obligation] involved somewhere along the line for using a ‘free’ “fake” phone number.

If this is making scamming and other criminal activity easier it should surely be shut down forthwith.

Guest

In relation to privacy on the web John , remember I said that all our data gets transferred to the USA and some disbelieved me ?
I joined another US investigation website and they had data on their website on this .
While US citizens are covered by US Federal Legislation on data collection –exactly as I have been saying –Foreigners –US ! arent .
For my disbelievers John- read-

EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Renewed, Privacy Commitments Ignored: The European Commission has renewed the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, a framework permitting the flow of European consumers’ personal data to the U.S. Oddly, the Commission cited the FTC investigation into the Cambridge Analytica scandal (which has produced no outcome) and the appointment of three members to the PCLOB as support for renewal. The report also overlooked the failure of the FTC to enforce the 2011 Consent Order against Facebook, which ultimately compromised the personal data of several hundred million Europeans. And the Commission had little concerns with passage of the CLOUD Act, renewal of Section 702 of FISA (permitting bulk surveillance of Europeans), and other shortcomings cited by EPIC comments and the European Parliament. The Commission did recommend an Ombudsperson for Privacy Shield (which was required in the original agreement), and encouraged the U.S. to ratify the International Privacy Convention. (Dec. 19, 2018).

I have a webpage of data on this and all the EU negotiations in detail –archived.

Guest

I know that a lot of companies’ and other organisations’ data gets transferred to the USA for storage under various protocols and that data users are obliged under the GDPR to include that in their data privacy statements if they do that, but not all organisations send their data to the USA, some store it within their own IT systems and others send it elsewhere [which also have to be disclosed].

I am not naive enough to believe that it is entirely immune from access by third parties and is not hackable but the bar set by the GDPR is very high and any UK company that suffers a data attack or the misuse of confidential customer/client data as a result of insecure storage would face a pretty hefty fine from the ICO.

Once again you are introducing false jeopardy in relation to your supposed “disbelievers”. Nobody can believe anything when in possession of only part of the relevant information. Impressive though your archives might be, without seeing the context of everything included it is impossible to make a judgment on the implications. I have neither the time nor the inclination to undertake such scrutiny, moreover nor I do think it is necessary. It is an imperfect world and we have to live with some of the imperfections.

You have included a quotation [not marked as such], which I have read although I am not much the wiser, but where is it from? The source of a comment is often a useful guide to its provenance.

Guest

If you dont believe the European Commission fair enough John-
Summary
On February 29, 2016, the European Commission and the Obama Administration released the proposed EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. The Privacy Shield aims to replace the Safe Harbor framework for commercial data flows between the EU and the U.S., which was struck down by the Court of Justice of the European Union in October 2015. The Privacy Shield agreement is to serve as the basis for an “adequacy” decision by the European Commission that the U.S. has a satisfactory system regarding data protection, including addressing issues related to government surveillance and consumer privacy.-

U.S. Defends Privacy Shield, But Fails to Comply with Privacy Commitments: The Department of Commerce has told the President of the European Parliament that the US is in compliance with the Privacy Shield, a pact that permits US companies to obtain the personal data of Europeans. The statement follows a resolution of Parliament to suspend the international arrangement if the U.S. did not comply in full by September 1. The Parliament cited the Cambridge Analytica data breach, the reauthorization of FISA Section 702 without reform, the failure to stand up the PCLOB, the passage of the CLOUD Act, and the absence of a Privacy Shield ombudsman. The Commerce Department disputed the Parliament’s findings but failed to show progress on the issues identified. EPIC highlighted similar problems with data protection in the United States in recent comments to the European Commission. Almost six months have passed since the FTC reopened the investigation of Facebook’s compliance with the 2011 consent order, which followed a complaint from EPIC and other consumer privacy organizations. (Sep. 5, 2018)
Background
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued the final ruling in Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner (Case C-362/14) on October 6, 2015. The Court’s decision invalidated the Safe Harbor EU-U.S. data transfer arrangement. The European Commission seeks to replace the Safe Harbor framework with the Privacy Shield proposal.

As a consequence of the Schrems decision the negotiations between the European Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce continued on the revision of Safe Harbor. The goal has been to reach a solution for the continuation of data flows which provides legal certainties for individuals and businesses alike. The new framework must meet the legal criteria of EU law, including the Schrems judgment, and provide for adequate safeguards for the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection.

The Court interprets that ‘adequacy’ means that the third country must ensure, through its domestic legal order or international commitments, a level of protection which is essentially equivalent to that guaranteed within the EU.

The Article 29 Working Party, composed of privacy officials across Europe, set the end of January 2016 deadline for the European Commission and the U.S. to create an alternative to Safe Harbor before initiating coordinated enforcement actions.

On February 2, 2016, the EU Commission and the Department of Commerce announced that they reached a political agreement on the framework, the so-called Privacy Shield. Despite the announcement, they did not make the text of the agreement public until February 29, 2016.

According to privacy and consumer groups the framework in the published form fails to provide adequate protections against commercial misuse of personal information and bulk surveillance.

The Article 29 Working Party issued its opinion on the Privacy Shield draft adequacy decision on April 13, 2016. They announced that there must be changes in the proposal. The Article 29 Working Party in its opinion cited the complexity of the redress mechanism, the lack of independence of the ombudsman, as well as the broad uses of personal data that would be permitted under the arrangement. According to the privacy officials the US does “not exclude massive and indiscriminate collection of personal data”, the Ombudsperson “is not sufficiently independent” and “does not guarantee a satisfactory remedy”. The Working Party has also concluded that “onward transfers of EU personal data are insufficiently framed”.

There is more but it takes up a lot of page space.
As you can see this is no “rumour”/ gossip etc but official fact.

Guest
DerekP says:
6 January 2019

Duncan – quite of lot of the above text seems to appear on non-official websites.

I did manage to find one official EU website:

europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection/data-transfers-outside-eu/eu-us-privacy-shield_en

But that didn’t seem to carry your exact text. Was your text a “mash up” of text from many sites or just a verbatim quote from one particular site?

As other have already asked, why do you refrain from posting the source urls to these long texts? Don’t their authors and publishers deserve some credit for their production?

Guest

Because everybody here judges by the source as apposed to the news .
IE- BBC & the Guardian that imposes a fixed view judging on the same level as them .
As the Guardian has been caught telling “porkies ” and the BBC puts forward government policy I dont see them as being on the moral high ground.
If you judge “onsite ” by the clothes somebody wears that’s bad biased judgement to me.
What I posted is official policy are you saying its a lie Derek ?
Do you honestly think any of those two, media are going to either broadcast the above or put it on the front pages of their newspaper ?
I know all about redacting info from the public this country is worse than many it condemns for the same actions, just think what isn’t being publicised at this moment yet it should be .

Guest

The BBC does not “put… forward government policy”, Duncan. It frequently questions it. And that’s even assuming the government actually has a discernible policy – I’ve seen no evidence for that in some time.

Guest
DerekP says:
6 January 2019

Duncan, I never held out either the BBC or the Guardian as being paragons of truthful reporting.

I was just asking why you don’t acknowledge your co-authors when you post your long missives here.

Guest

Derek when hunting for whats going on behind the scenes a lot of investigative websites (usually American ) obtain detail that this country blocks or makes hard to obtain , the US security services are now complaining about links on those websites that dodge their snooping because they are not direct .
I read a full page of software programming they brought out to block this behind the scenes, it gets harder by the minute to do investigative journalism in this country , ask journalists what our government are doing behind the scenes .
By the way you know all the palaver about Heuwei ? I have found out the NSA dont like them either , they can spy/implant data to snoop on iPhones & Android but they cant on Chinese Heuwei smartphones -not happy bunnies .
In China the all singing and dancing smartphone by Heuwei is half the price of an Apple .

Guest

Duncan – of course I believe the European Union [most probably the Commission in this case] but there was nothing in your comment to tell me that it was a statement by the EU. And the same is true of your subsequent and even longer quote. It looks like a quotation from an American media source to me and it is loaded with jargon and cumbersome terminology [as well as dates without years!]. It is very difficult to distil the essence from it and put it in its proper context. Trying to substantiate things with heaps of verbiage doesn’t work. If I knew what it all meant I would be prepared to regard it as factual.

All we really want to know is that, under a cast iron protocol, data transferred to the USA for storage will be protected absolutely from unauthorised access and misuse other than as prescribed by law in respect of the law enforcement agencies and security services. Is that the case or not?

Guest

The source of a comment is part of the evidence for its credibility or provenance. Sensible people don’t believe everything in the newspapers or on a BBC website but taken together a number of independent sources add weight to a story. Even better is a statement from the organisation itself [e.g. the EU] and not a paraphrase quotation that seems to be hearsay [although, on balance, I guess it is probably correct]. If we find something on the web it is already in the public domain so there can be no harm in identifying its origins.

Your case is that all our personal data ends up in a mega-server cloud storage facility in America where it is vulnerable to interception and attack by rogue states or scammers. That could all be true but the question is – what can we do about it, and what is the superior alternative?

If cloud storage operators did not ensure sufficient security for their clients’ data, companies would look elsewhere for storage and there would be a poor return on the investment in the storage system.

Guest

Duncan – You say “ask journalists what our government are doing behind the scenes”. Has it occurred to you that the answer might be “not very much”. Because you find something in an obscure place does not mean it isn’t already in an open place. It’s usually best to look there first.

It is easy to get obsessed with the notion of secrecy and believe that everything going on in government is a conspiracy to deceive and delude the British public. We have a robust press and news media that expose lots of things using the FoI powers and other resources.

I like to know what might be going on behind the scenes but when I start exploring it often becomes clear that there’s nothing there – it’s all out in the open if you know where to look.

I have made a number of FoI requests to local authorities and government departments and have been impressed by the diligence and comprehensiveness of the answers received. I know what you are going to say – “Well that’s as maybe but you don’t know what you are not being told“. Obviously there are some things that have to remain as state secrets but it’s surprising what is available if you ask the right questions.

Have you made any FoI requests that have been balked?

Guest

So you are saying its not true John ??
If so just say-its a lie and they never reached that agreement under the previous US President .
Its one thing criticizing my comments its another when agreement , under the cover legislation, is reached between the EU Parliament and the President of the United States of America .
John this country is heavily repressed in what can say about at least one Middle East country while tearing others to bits .

Guest

No, I am not saying it’s not true, Duncan, but I would like to know who wrote it and where it appears. It was obviously not written by the EU or the EC. It is probably a paraphrase of an EU or US document or statement or a report from a press conference or something. I have already explained that a slab of convoluted text does not mean much out of context and I obviously do not understand it as easily as you clearly do.

My two questions from previous posts remain –

1. All we really want to know is that, under a cast iron protocol, data transferred to the USA for storage will be protected absolutely from unauthorised access and misuse other than as prescribed by law in respect of the law enforcement agencies and security services. Is that the case or not?

2. Your case is that all our personal data ends up in a mega-server cloud storage facility in America where it is vulnerable to interception and attack by rogue states or scammers. That could all be true but the question is – what can we do about it, and what is the superior alternative?

Finally, what is the meaning of your last sentence above in this context [i.e. data protection]? [John this country is heavily repressed in what can say about at least one Middle East country while tearing others to bits] It’s a riddle, but if you mean Israel, or Saudi Arabia, or Iran [or some other country] why not say so and substantiate it? No – please don’t bother – it’s not a UK consumer issue.

Guest

Okay John I will give you an answer on the question you keep asking where did I get my info from-
No not a US radical website .
No not the “Soviet Weekly “–aka-Socialist .
No not a “Lefty ” website.
No not the SPOGB website.

How about the full “Stars & Stripes ” – hand on heart as”Old Glory ” is raised -dyed in the wool -full on – American Establishment backed by every US President – NYSE “approved ”
CATO Institute in consultation with-
Adam Smith Institute (UK)
American Enterprise Institute (US)
Centre for Policy Studies (UK)
Competitive Enterprise Institute (US)
Institute for Economic Affairs (UK)
Manhattan Institute (US)
Mercatus Centre (US)
Politea(UK)
The Heritage Foundation (US)
every one beloved by the Tory Party -Central Office- MT & TM and practically all Tory voters ,even a certain party .-
long list of far right contributing authors as well –
Should I be posting this ? well I have always held the view that this is a FREE country –
As I have given due reference to the original authors and organisation I dont see a problem in posting it
So I wasn’t “hiding ” the original but I notice the reaction to it as some thought it was a lefty website . Now they know its “Tory Party approved ” whats the criticism now ?
I have the FULL document archived (off-line as well ) in case of attack.

Guest

The truth always falls at the first hurdle when it comes to politics .

Guest

I have just realised this Conversation is about car accident compensation claims so I don’t know how it got turned into a debate about privacy protocols for cloud data storage. I thought we were in The Lobby!

Guest

While privacy is a point I did not post it on that basis but on the basis of proving my point on US companies suing local councils because they favour local companies but most of all the completely undemocratic line of denying local voters who voted in a certain party to carry out their wishes their wishes on how ,who,and what their council/local government should be run .
Allowing them to be sued by big business USA and so imposing a large financial penalty directly on all the local council tax payers.

By the way as this legislation was not carried through (TTIP) a much more advantageous one for the USA is being talked about in trade talks on Brexit including chemical food .
But I will stop there and talk about car accidents from now on .

Guest
emmbeedee says:
5 January 2019

I had a similar experience two & a half years ago. I had an accident which sadly was entirely my fault. Damage to my vehicle was minimal & I didn’t claim. The other vehicle was damaged & understandably, the other driver claimed. I reported the accident to my insurance company, giving my mobile as my contact number.
Subsequently I received numerous calls to my mobile urging me to claim as the other driver had apparently claimed for whiplash. I refused to claim as I was not injured in any way & when I asked where they had obtained my details from they all said “the Insurance Database”. They said the claim was listed as outstanding because I hadn’t claimed. I complained to my insurance company but they did not seem to be too concerned.
With regard to unwanted calls to our landline, we have a very simple, very effective & cheap way of dealing with them. We have an answerphone, set to answer after two rings. When a call comes in, my wife, who is normally sitting in her armchair alongside the answerphone, looks at the little screen on the phone. If she recognises the caller, she picks up the phone. If not, she lets it run on to the answerphone & listens to the call. If it is a call we need, from say the hospital, she picks up, but otherwise waits for the caller to leave a message.
In the vast majority of cases, no message is left. In fact, they ring off as soon as our message commences. This system works so well that we haven’t had a nuisance call on our landline for years. I assume that our number is probably listed by the scammers as answerphone only, but whatever, the system works for us. My wife often comments that the answerphone is the best thing we have ever bought!

Guest

That deserves a “thumbs up ” Emmbeedee (MBD ?) .

Guest

That’s a great way to scan for the scammers – I’ll start passing this trick on. Thanks!

Guest

I get these calls sometimes, and ask the caller for the police incident number and / or insurance reference, so that I know we’re talking about the same incident. They (invariably, naturally) don’t have one, and are usually nonplussed. I say that if they don’t have an incident or case number, they can’t be bona fide. End of call, as they then hang up

Guest
peterhemsley2@ticali.co.uk says:
6 January 2019

I have a BT8500 phone .This has a built in security feature in that only a number in the phones directory will get direct access and the phone will ring. Any other caller is asked to state their name, after which the phone will ring. When answered the system will ask if you wish to accept the call from ————? This has cut down most , if not all of the cold callers.
Other phones are available with this facility.

Guest
DerekP says:
6 January 2019

Peter, that sounds great. When I was a young engineer, all my big bosses had PA’s or Secretaries who performed that (and other) functions for them.

Guest
Neil says:
6 January 2019

Surely this as much as anything warrants a Which? investigation as it seems to make a complete mockery of GDPR legislation, and clearly on a huge scale.
After a minor shunt back in September I started, and still continue to receive a barrage of calls from wide variety of phone numbers, often several calls a day. All of those calling know, when questioned, my mobile phone number, my full name, the name of the other person involved, the date, my car registration number and the rough details of the incident.
My insurance company absolutely assures me that they have only shared the details as necessary to resolve the claim (e.g. instruct a repairer), and yet it is only this company that I have shared these details with, and made it clear to them that I do not wish my details shared for marketing or other purposes.
So someone here is in clear breach of GDPR legislation, but it doesn’t seem possible to find out who.
As others have posted above, the main suspect seems to be the national database that is used by insurance companies to try and tackle fraud being itself accessed by unscrupulous companies. The irony of ironies is that these unscrupulous companies are then using the details on the database to contact people and persuade them to make fraudulent claims.
Which? – surely you should be looking in to this?

Guest

Hi Neil,

The response to this piece has certainly been interesting and it looks like there’s a fair few people who’ve been targeted after making an insurance claim, which is suspicious. I agree that it’s something that’s worth looking into, so watch this space.

Please continue to share your experiences!

Guest
Neil says:
9 January 2019

Many thanks Amelia, I’ll watch with interest! Happy to provide more details directly to Which? if needed. Hearing the news today about further clampdowns on cold calling reminded me, I have challenged a couple of the callers to say they shouldn’t be cold calling, and they say “you must have ticked a box somewhere saying we can”. I am absolutely sure that I have not done that with my insurance company (and checked with them to confirm and they agree), yet this is the only organisation I passed all the personal details to that these firms seem to have.
However one of the cold callers (helpfully!) suggested that their “permission” was normally related to people having used a price comparison site at some time in the past. I’m always very careful to tick/untick to avoid permission for any marketing contact, but I know some price comparison sites can be a bit ‘tricky’ as to how they handle this. However, I also know that no comparison site would have had the information the callers are in possession of, so whether firms are taking the view that anyone who inadvertently ticks (or falls to untick) a box anywhere on any site at any time has, as far as they are concerned, given universal permission I don’t know, but I suspect they rely on people being unclear about what new legislation actually does or doesn’t allow them to do. What’s become clear to me is that the extra powers of GDPR and cold-calling clampdowns are one thing, but pinning any specific cold-calling company down to a specific breach looks like it could be much harder to do!

Guest

I too had an accident which was no fault of mine in Dec 2017. No one was injured and I have been driving my new car since January 2018. All last year I have been plagued by people from the so called accident support service who won’t go away even if I am rude to them. They call on my mobile as I have call guardian on my land line and no matter how many times I report their number they come back with a new one. Mercifully I haven’t heard from them since Christmas so perhaps 12 months is what it takes

Guest
B.Pigott says:
8 January 2019

I had a phone call about “my accident”. I had had an accident-broken an ankle after falling down a step but I was pretty certain this was a scam. As soon as I said I had had an accident, though did not say it wasn’t a car accident. I was immediately transferred to another person who totally lost interest when I said I was not a car accident and I was on the TPS. I’ve never heard from them again and do not seem to get many odd calls.