A member got in touch to tell us they’ve been receiving at least one call a week from a ‘market research’ company requesting personal data. Have you had a similar experience?
At least once a week for the last year, a member had been receiving calls from a company asking who their internet service provider is, the operating system they use, whether they use cash or card, their age and, once, even who they bank with.
The member had been playing along, providing silly answers until they hung up, but they always called back a few days later.
Have you had a similar experience?
Scam call centre lists
It seems the member’s number had found its way on to the contact list of a scam call centre. The aim in this initial call is to gather enough information about you to attempt further scam calls.
If you answer the questions truthfully, you show yourself to be trusting – a quality fraudsters seek in potential victims. The follow-on call would likely take the form of a fake alert ‘from your internet service provider’, claiming you have a virus on your computer or a problem with your broadband.
Once you become suitably panicked, the fraudster would persuade you to install ‘remote access software’, which allows them to see whatever you’re doing on-screen. Their final act is to claim your internet banking was compromised by hackers and have you log in to your account to move your money ‘to safety’.
While you do this, the fraudster is noting all your online banking passwords and security details, so they can ransack your account. It’s a truly diabolical scam which leaves your entire online and banking life compromised.
Scammers are unlikely to remove your details from their lists if you ask them to. So you’ll have to take matters into your own hands.
Registering your number with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) at Tpsonline.org.uk is a good first step to stop unsolicited sales and marketing calls – it’s also free.
Organisations are legally required to avoid calling TPS-registered numbers. This won’t stop scam calls though, so speak to your phone company about call-blocking solutions. You can also buy standalone devices such as the trueCall Call Blocker.
Report scam calls to Action Fraud at Actionfraud.police.uk, or if you live in Scotland you can report scams to the Police by calling 101.