The government has today launched a consultation to ban cold calls for financial products such as sham cryptocurrency schemes, mortgages and insurance in a bid to crackdown on scam calls.
Commenting, Myron Jobson, Senior Personal Finance Analyst, interactive investor, says: “Scam cold calls have become a begrudgingly accepted part of everyday life, causing financial and emotional distress to those who fall victim. Any effort to prevent fraudsters from infiltrating their way into people’s lives is welcome.
“Scammers are adept at tapping into the cultural zeitgeist and exploiting the fear of missing out disposition to create believable stories that convince you to give them your money or personal details.
“As well as a pounds and pence cost, falling victim to a financial scam has a broader psychological and emotional impact that can linger and cause distress well after the scam is over. Victims may feel violated and anxious, as their privacy is invaded, and they fall victim to deceitful tactics.
“Trust issues may arise, making it difficult to discern legitimate calls from potential scams. There is anecdotal evidence that fewer people are answering their phones from numbers they don’t recognise in a bid to dodge scam calls. The danger is many legitimate and important calls from pharmacies, doctor’s offices or schools, could be missed as a result.
“We must remain alert to potential threats that come in all different shapes and forms. We often overestimate our ability to spot a financial scam when, in reality, even those who consider themselves financially savvy aren’t immune to increasingly sophisticated scams.
“Unfortunately, with so many fraudsters hiding in the shadows and escaping detection, the onus is on individuals to avoid falling prey to financial fraud – there is no getting away from it. We all need to be on our guard.”
Tips on how to spot a scam cold call
Beware of unknown or suspicious caller IDs, especially if they claim to be from well-known organisations.
Scammers often use urgency to rush you into making decisions without thinking.
Requesting personal information
Be cautious if they ask for sensitive details like passwords or financial information.
Be wary of unexpected offers, prizes, deals or opportunities that seem too good to be true.
Scammers might be rude, aggressive, or refuse to provide clear information about their identity.
Be cautious if they ask for payment via unusual methods like gift cards or cryptocurrency.
If the call is from a legitimate organisation, independently verify their contact information before providing any information.
Hang up if unsure
If you’re unsure, hang up and call the company using their publicly listed contact information.