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Scammers 'twice as likely' to call your landline than your best friend

Monday, June 13th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Brits are twice as likely to receive a landline call from a scammer than their best friend, new research shows.

A study by TalkTalk and advice service Get Safe Online found that 72% of those surveyed had received a scam call in the past month.

Only 36% had a phone call from their best friend and 64% had received a call from a family member.

Overall, 2.5m UK households received a scam call last month. 63% got a suspicious email and 43% a suspicious text message.

But worryingly, 43% of those surveyed by TalkTalk said they wouldn’t be able to spot a scam.

The findings come after Action Fraud announced that it now gets 8,000 reports a month from people targeted by phishing scams – the highest-ever recorded figure.

To help people protect themselves against fraud, TalkTalk and Get Safe Online have launched an awareness and education campaign called Beat the Scammers.

TalkTalk, the target of several attacks by cyber criminals last year, is offering advice and guidance on scam protection on its website.

It has also introduced new guidelines outlining the information it will never ask customers for and improved privacy calling features to block more scam calls.

TalkTalk’s privacy calling features already allow customers to see who is calling them, block the last number that called and prevent calls from withheld numbers.

It is now expanding its ‘report and block’ service from telephone to online, making it easier to report suspicious or nuisance calls.

Suspicious callers will be investigated by a dedicated team and prevented from reaching all TalkTalk customers, the company said.

'Sophisticated crimes'

Tristia Harrison, TalkTalk Consumer’s managing director, said: “We know we have a responsibility to help protect our customers and we’re determined to play our part in combating this growing problem.

“Traditionally the onus has been put on individuals to stay vigilant. But these increasingly sophisticated crimes are now affecting the whole country on an unprecedented scale – no one business, agency or individual can beat it on their own.

“We need nationwide action to take the fight to the scammers and make sure the online world is a safe place to play, work and stay connected.”

Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, said: “A lot of people fall victim to scams because they never think it will happen to them; we can’t let the criminals have the upper hand, so are pleased to be working with TalkTalk to raise awareness of this growing menace.

“If you get contacted out of the blue by a company you trust, asking you to act urgently, you should be suspicious.

“Criminals create panic to override your common sense; always trust your instincts and think twice before handing over any information.”

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