With more people now working from home than ever before, you may have recently become more aware of the number of nuisance calls to your landline or mobile phone.
Robocallers are likely to have increased during lockdown, as they do not rely on human call centres.
Many of these calls are computer generated making them cheap and difficult to trace. The pre-recorded messages are often designed to scare people into handing over money or personal details—this includes the Amazon Prime scam and HMRC scams. These calls will often ask you to “Press 1 to speak to someone”.
HOW TO STOP UNWANTED CALLS
• BT: The free BT Call Protect service monitors nuisance calls and sends them straight to junk voicemail. BT says it blocks 99 per cent of pest calls.
• Sky: Free service Talk Shield stops fraudsters by insisting all callers provide a name.
• TalkTalk: CallSafe screens and blocks unwanted calls for free.
• Plusnet: Call Protect is free and blocks unwanted calls from a list that you can add to.
• EE: Landline customers can block up to ten numbers at a time using the free Choose to Refuse option, which bars the last call answered. Dial 14258 and press ** when asked to confirm.
• Virgin: You may be able to blacklist, silence or block calls, depending on your phone.
• Mobile phones: Download free apps such as Truecaller, Whoscall and Hiya to block dodgy calls and alert firms to possible scammers.
• Complain: By making a complaint about a robocall, you can help to stop them. Experts recommend directing complaints to three bodies: the ICO, by calling 0303 123 1113, visiting ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint, or writing to ICO, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF; the Telephone Preference Service, by calling 0345 070 0707 or visiting tpsonline.org.uk/complaint; or Ofcom, by calling 0300 123 3333 or visiting ofcom.org.uk/complaints