Posted on 21st September 2018
Our officers who work in Clay Cross, Wingerworth, Holmewood, North Wingfield and the surrounding areas are raising awareness about how to deal with nuisance or unwanted phone calls following concerns from some of their local residents.
It is after a number of people have said they regularly receive phone calls which cause them worry and distress, some of them scams and some from marketing companies.
Recent telephone scams reported to us have included telephone calls from a scammer claiming to be a Derbyshire police officer, and demanding money for an unpaid tax bill which would lead to their arrest if it was not paid.
There have also been reports of people receiving calls from NHS workers, who have been asking people for their personal details.
PCSO Mario Montisci said: “There are very few people who don’t own or have access to a mobile phone or landline, and I think most people would say they have received nuisance or unwanted calls or messages at some point.
“For some of our residents, especially older or more vulnerable people, they cause quite a bit of concern, with calls ranging from unsolicited sales call through to fraudulent phone calls where they attempt to get the victim’s personal details and money.”
When answering the phone to someone who you don’t know and are not expecting to call, you should:
- Never give out personal or financial information (such as your bank account details or your PIN) over the phone, even if the caller claims to be from your bank.
- Hang up if you feel harassed or intimidated. If the caller talks over you without giving you a chance to speak, end the call. It may feel rude, but you have the right not to be pressurised into anything.
- If you're unsure whether the caller is genuine, you can always ring the company or bank they claim to be from. Make sure you find the number yourself and don’t use the one provided by the caller.
- Don't be rushed. Scammers will try to rush you into providing your personal details. They may say they have time-limited offer or claim your bank account is at risk if you don't give them the information they need right away.
There are also some steps you can take to avoid getting nuisance or unwanted calls. The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a free service which allows you to opt out of any unsolicited live telesales calls. This should reduce the number of cold calls you receive but may not block scammers. You could also talk to your phone provider about any call blocking or privacy features that they offer.
PCSO Montisci added: “By sharing some advice and information on how to handle calls we hope to prevent people from becoming a victim of crime, and also help to potentially reduce some of the distress caused.”
To register for the Telephone Preference Service visit www.tpsonline.org.uk and click register, or for a mobile phone text 'TPS' and your email address to 85095.
If you are concerned that you have been contacted by a fraudster, or have been a victim of a scam phone call please contact us on 101, and report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 20 40 or online at www.actionfraud.police.uk.
Age UK offer more advice and information on the issue online at www.ageuk.co.uk