Telephone Scams

Many of us would rather not receive unsolicited telephone calls, whether from genuine business or scammers. You can reduce the number of sales and marketing calls you receive by joining a free register provided by the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

Common telephone scams include:

  • Bank / Building Society Scams

    Scammers might call you to con you into handing over your bank card. If a caller claiming to be from your bank says that your account is at risk, don’t agree to send them your bank card or give it to a courier they say is coming to collect it. Your bank will never do this.

    Sometimes the scammer will give the number of your bank to call back, but when you put the phone down they stay on the line. This means the line isn’t broken so that when you think you’ve called your bank you’re actually still speaking to the same person. If you get a call like this always check the line by first dialling the number of someone you know. Remember, your bank will never ask to collect your card or send a courier to collect it.

  • Debt Recovery Scams

    Scammers contact the victim via telephone or letter and claim they have bought a debt with their name on it from a reputable company or utility supplier. They threaten court action if the fictitious bill or fine isn’t paid quickly.

  • PPI Scams

    There are many different Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) telephone scams. Victims often receive a call from someone claiming to be from a claims handling company. The victim is told they have been awarded compensation, but need to give their bank details and make a payment to release funds.

  • Courier Scams

    Scammers call the victim, claiming to be from their bank, to tell them that their debit or credit card needs collecting. The scammer then instructs the victim to hang up and call their bank, in order to verify this is a genuine request. However, the criminal stays on the line, tricking the person into thinking they’re calling the bank. The fraudster will then ask the victim to disclose their pin number, before sending a ‘courier’ to collect the card. The victim is told the card is going to the bank to be changed but actually the scammer keeps it and uses it to buy goods or take money from the victims account.

  • Spam Texts

    Spam text messaging is on the increase. The messages are often about reclaiming a pension or debt management, for example. Never respond to a spam text and always delete it. If you’re receiving unwanted marketing texts you can report them on the Information Commissioner’s Office by calling 0303 123 1113, or visiting You can also report unwanted texts to your mobile phone provider.

If you receive suspicious phone call…

Remember, you don’t have to get into a discussion over the phone with anyone. Never give out personal information, such as bank or credit card details. These could be used fraudulently.

Keep your business your business. Just say “No thank you, I am not interested” then hang up straight away.