New scam uses promise to end nuisance as further scam
A report by the National Trading Standards (NTS), shows that the number of scammers claiming to be from the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is on the up, and they're making cold calls in a bid to swindle you out of money, for call blocking devices that don't do anything.
Louise Baxter, from the NTS scams team, said: "This is a sad and cynical scam that targets people who are actively trying to protect themselves or vulnerable relatives. Please remember that the TPS never cold calls and its service is always free."
The report states that scammers are using subscriptions to get money, so people are drawn in with a free trial, but ultimately, signed up to costly regular payments which are nigh-on impossible to stop. There's also energy scams doing the rounds, where people are fraudulently selling solar panels.
The NTS teams, according to the report, have stopped £252m worth of loss to consumers and businesses in the last year, and prevented over 2.5 million unsafe or non-compliant goods from entering the market. That said, mail scams have still cost victims more than £13m, and around 200,000 people are now included on what have been called 'sucker lists', which are circulated by ne'er-do-wells.
NTS chairman Lord Toby Harris said: "We face a growing threat from criminals that set out to target consumers - including some of the most vulnerable people in society - and honest businesses. And it's not just money they take from innocent people.
"Many victims feel they have lost their dignity, their self-confidence, their sense of security. For small businesses, entire livelihoods may be lost and this, in turn, damages the economy."
"I am hopeful that in publishing this report more people will be inspired to take steps to protect themselves, and vulnerable loved ones. I'd also remind people to report anything suspicious to the Citizen's Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06."