Telephone Scams

Recently, there have been several reports of unsolicited calls asking for credit card details.  Please be very vigilant and do give sensitive data over the ‘phone.  Genuine companies such as your bank and service providers will not ask for this information.  Scam calls seem to target elderly people, so please warn any you know about the danger of revealing sensitive data.


A first step to avoid nuisance or scam calls is to register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). They will add you to their list of numbers that don't want to receive sales and marketing calls. You can also call them to register on 0345 070 0707.

This will not stop every sales call, but most companies that have made a genuine mistake will end the call as soon as you say TPS.

Overseas callers, including those that mimic UK numbers will ignore TPS.  There are several systems available from British Telecom and other service providers to screen out or block nuisance or potential scam calls. You can discuss them with your service provider, or check their web site.

Most modern handsets provide the facility to block specific numbers.  The problem is that overseas nusiance callers can use multiple numbers and memory gets full, and you may need to pay your service provider extra for number identification.  

It is possible to buy devices that plug into your telephone and contain known nuisance callers that are blocked automatically.  There are many available from online stores such as Amazon. The devices can have thousands of additional blocked numbers added by simply hitting a big red button, or by dialling in a code and the number to be blocked.  The editor has reduced nuisance calls from roughly ten per day to one per week by installing one of these devices.  It is also very satisfying to hit the big red button and cut off the nuisance caller.

Please be wary, and investigate the many ways of effectively blocking nuisance and spam calls.  

Further information from Citizens’ Advice at

And from Ofcom at: