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Advice on blocking phone scammers


By David G Scott

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With numerous people in Caithness falling foul of scammers, a new campaign will highlight how nuisance calls can often be blocked using features available on existing telephone contracts.

Advice Direct Scotland (ADS), which runs Scotland's national consumer advice service consumeradvice.scot, is launching the appeal to householders in an effort to reduce the number of those who fall victim to scam callers over Christmas.

ADS spokesman Colin Mathieson said: “For some people nuisance calls can be exactly that – but for more vulnerable individuals they can be extremely upsetting and lead to falling victim to fraud.

“There are many people under the impression that to block such calls coming through you either have to go to a lot of effort, access technology which is hard to understand, or pay a fee to someone.

"In fact, many major telecoms providers already have services included which block certain calls."

The Stop Scam Calls campaign will encourage consumers not to suffer in silence but to take simple action to activate the call blocking service already provided by many telecoms providers, including BT, Sky and TalkTalk. This service is included in most monthly packages and is therefore at no extra cost.

Advice Direct Scotland warns that scammers are on the prowl over the festive period.Picture: Adobe Stock
Advice Direct Scotland warns that scammers are on the prowl over the festive period.Picture: Adobe Stock

It is hoped that will encourage people, particularly those more vulnerable to fraudsters, to activate such services, rather than be under the impression they have to install new programmes or pay for additional cover.

Many existing packages can be used to activate services like blocking overseas calls, calls where the number has been withheld and phone numbers the user has identified as being suspicious from previous experience.

Mr Mathieson added: “This Stop Scam Calls campaign seeks to alert people to this simple step in the hope that fewer will fall victim to this practice.

“We don’t want people to suffer needlessly and, at Christmas, many people will be at home and expecting phonecalls from relatives and loved ones – utilising this technology will at least ensure the wrong kind of calls won’t get through.

“We would urge anyone concerned about nuisance calls to speak to whoever they have their telephone contract with to see what options they have.”

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