With almost 50% of people in the county receiving between five and 20 nuisance calls per week, telephone scams are still causing major problems for consumers.
The issue has become so widespread that over 85% of people admit they are losing trust in having any telephone contact with businesses and organisations.
A survey has revealed that the most prolific types of scams this year are:
- Virus Hoax – being called by so-called ‘Microsoft Windows Support’ who inform you of a virus on your computer and asked for your passwords to fix it.
- PPI refunds – being told you are owed money for mis-sold PPI payments and asked for an admin fee to proceed.
- Prize scam – you are told you have won a large prize and are asked to pay a processing fee or call a premium rate line to claim your prize.
- Bank account problems – someone claiming to be from the bank informs you of a problem with your account and requests security details including your PIN.
- Noise rebate – discovering a place you once worked has been condemned as being too noisy and you are entitled to a rebate and then asked to provide personal details.
Of those, 51% only lost between £1-£50, but 13% lost between £1,000-£10,000 and 4% were scammed out of over £10,000.
As well as feeling the financial sting, almost 70% of respondents felt that there wasn’t enough support available for victims of phone scams.
Kris Hicks, Head of Marketing at CPR Call Blocker, who conducted the survey, said: “Scam and nuisance phone calls continue to be a major problem for consumers in Kent and it’s often the most vulnerable people in society who are falling victim to telephone scams.
“It’s a worrying trend that nearly 90% of us prefer to be contacted by post or email rather than by phone when in reality most telephone contact is perfectly legitimate.”