Nowadays, phone scams are incredibly common. Here are the top 10 UK scam calls that you should steer clear of.
Learn how to protect yourself and evade these phone scams. It can be challenging to distinguish between a scam call and a legitimate call because these calls could be either legal or illegal. Your best line of defence against these calls is to ignore them.
Knowing some of the most typical phone scams will help you defend yourself.
1. Bank Phone Scams
Scams involving impersonation are expanding. Over 30,000 cases totalling £129 million in losses were reported in the first half of 2021, according to the trade association UK Finance.
The phone scam frequently starts with a warning that appears to be from a bank or building society about allegedly suspicious activity on your account, like an unusually large transaction.
2. Boiler Room Phone Scams
These phone scams guarantee investors an impressive return, but all they get is a significant loss. You receive an unexpected call from someone offering you a lucrative investment opportunity. Most likely, you'll hear that you need to move quickly and send the money over right away.
Victims frequently give up tens of thousands of pounds. Your money may be gone forever if you give it to a boiler room because the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) does not licence them.
3. Energy Price Cap Scam Calls
By posing as energy companies, thieves are taking advantage of households impacted by the most recent increase in the energy price cap. The assertion is that additional financial assistance and refunds, including grants higher than the £400 government offer, are available.
Once they have your information, thieves may be able to use it to access online accounts, impersonate the victim to commit identity fraud, or engage in other types of fraud against them.
Energy providers can tell when they haven't been paid correctly for the energy used, and they will bill the person for it, forcing victims to pay more for their energy.
4. Health and Covid Phone Scams
There are also some health frauds to be aware of. The NHS app offers vaccine passports without charge. If you have received both doses of the vaccine, you are free to access your passport.
However, by peddling fake vaccination passports, criminals are preying on unsuspecting victims.
Additionally, scam calls, texts, and emails are being circulated that ask recipients to provide their bank account information to schedule an appointment for the COVID vaccine or booster, which is provided free of charge by the NHS.
5. Home Buying Scam Calls
There are many different types of home buying phone scams, but the most prevalent one involves hackers breaking into an email chain between a lawyer and their client.
When the funds for the house purchase are ready to be transferred, they can change the law firm's bank account information to their own by doing this. An email claiming to be from the law firm will be sent to the home buyer, informing them that their account must be used instead because the details have changed or it is being "audited."
Once the money reaches their account, the scammers withdraw it, making it impossible for the banks to track it.
6. Pension Scams
In 2020, victims of investment and pension scams lost more than £78 million.
To steal people's money, con artists pose as legitimate investment companies. Since the introduction of pension freedoms in 2015, which gave anyone over 55 access to their retirement funds, pension fraud has significantly increased.
7. Technical Support Phone Scams
The caller in this scam typically says they are from a reputable company, like Microsoft or Apple, and that they have found an error on the victim's computer.
Given that the elderly lack technological know-how, the situation is ideal for elder abuse. Younger people might find Microsoft's phone calls suspicious, but the elderly might be more accepting.
These calls are always fake. Microsoft and other tech companies do not make cold calls offering technical support.
8. Fake Charity Calls
Following natural disasters or other tragedies, charity fraud is common. Criminals depend on people's willingness to help. Don't give money to unauthorised requests for donations to avoid supporting criminal activity. Instead, conduct research to identify a reputable charity using websites like Charity Navigator and Guidestar.
9. Lottery Scams
Don't believe it if you receive a call claiming that you have been chosen at random to win a foreign lottery. These calls are fake, and you can tell because they usually claim that you must pay taxes or other fees to the government to receive your winnings.
10. Family Members in Peril
These phishing calls frequently target senior citizens. Granny receives a phone call warning her that they are in danger. Maybe they need bail money because they are in jail, or maybe their car broke down.
Hang up and call the caller directly if they claim to be a family member in a difficult situation. If you are unable to reach them, call a different friend or relative who may be able to confirm their whereabouts.
Contact the police or the courts if someone seems to be having legal issues. The most crucial thing is to let senior family members know to be wary of calls from relatives asking for money for things that are out of the ordinary.
Criminals frequently use phone scams to defraud people of their money. Find out how you can stay safe and be aware of some of the most popular phone scams.
Don't divulge private information. Even if the caller claims to be from your bank, you should never give out personal or financial information (such as your bank account information or your PIN) over the phone.
Hang up. Terminate the call if you feel harassed or intimidated, or if the caller interrupts you without giving you a chance to respond. Although hanging up on someone may seem rude, you have the right to refuse any pressure.
A call blocker device is strongly recommended to block phone scams. Our call blockers are meant to keep you and your family safe from unwanted phone calls and to let you have peace of mind at home. Browse our products, or get in touch with us so we can help you.