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Nick Gunga

Chief Customer Officer, TalkTalk

For many people, their landline remains a vital lifeline that connects them to friends, family and wider community. Unfortunately, phone scams are a serious and growing problem affecting UK business and consumers. Read our top tips for avoiding nuisance calls and recognising scammers.

With scammers constantly updating their techniques, telecoms companies must be determined to tackle them head on and stop customers from falling victim to them.

We know nuisance calls are just that – a nuisance – and we want to put an end to it. Protecting the customer is incredibly important and, landline providers need to be committed to eliminating the disruption caused by unwanted callers.

Landline providers need to be committed to eliminating the disruption caused by unwanted callers.

Top scammer tactics to watch out for:

  1. Pretending to be from a trusted brand – Mentioning a well-known company or brand in their introduction means you’re much more likely to believe the call is genuine and less likely to hang up.
  2. Starting with an automated message – Some scam calls start with a message claiming that fraudulent activity has been detected and asks you to ‘press one to speak to an agent’ or ‘press two to terminate your line’. Using automated messages is easier for the scammers because they can wait for their phone to ring rather than wait for you to answer.
  3. Encouraging you to share personal details – By quoting some personal information, the fraudster encourages you to share more personal details that they could use to put you at risk.
  4. Creating a sense of panic – Scammers may describe a problem that needs immediate action, because adding a sense of urgency means you won’t have enough time to question them.
  5. Making the call sound plausible – Bringing another person into the conversation, playing the background noise of a busy office or just reminding you of that big brand they – supposedly – represent are all techniques to make the call sound credible.
  6. Convincing you to install software – that allows them to control your computer remotely. The most common programmes used are Supremo and TeamViewer. If you are asked to install either of these programmes, it could be a scam.

New tech puts you back in control of your phone

CallSafe for TalkTalk customers can automatically identify regular callers, such as friends and family, and ensure that those calls go straight through to you. New callers, however, will be screened before the home phone rings.

The technology will:

  1. Check to see if the number is on a list of unwanted callers. If so, it’s automatically blocked, and your home phone doesn’t ring.
  2. Manage any other callers with an extra step. It will ask the caller to record a short introduction before your phone rings. You’ll hear this message when you pick up your home phone and have the choice to either answer, ignore, or block the call.
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