Call-blocking tech for those plagued by nuisance calls

Vulnerable people will be able to have call-blocking technology installed in their home as part of a £50,000 Scottish Government fund to protect those most at risk from nuisance cold calls.
A fund has been set aside to help people plagued by cold calls.A fund has been set aside to help people plagued by cold calls.
A fund has been set aside to help people plagued by cold calls.

A total of nine out of 10 Scottish households receive an unwanted call within a one month period, while Scots receive more nuisance calls than any other part of Europe, according to Which?, which, with Citizens Advice Scotland, has launched a campaign to urge Scots to protect themselves from nuisance phone calls, and to fight back by reporting them.

Experts believe that a history of organised crime in Glasgow, combined with targeted campaigns to Scots from companies which are not scammers, but are breaking legal rules by contacting customers to offer services such as energy efficiency measures, explain the reason that Scots are more likely to fall victim to nuisance calls.

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Thomas Docherty. head of public affairs for Scotland at Which?, said: “If you look at the three most common nuisance calls: claim management, PPI and energy efficiency measures, then it is the energy efficiency schemes which there are a lot of in Scotland and that Scots are seen as more key to, due to the types of housing.”

Susan McPhee, head of policy for Citizens Advice Scotland, said: “Nuisance calls are far too common today, and affect huge numbers of people in Scotland. One of our roles in the CAB network is to safeguard peoples’ rights as consumers, and one of those rights is that you don’t need to put up with phone calls that you don’t want.

“Nuisance calls include any kind of unwanted sales or marketing call. People find these irritating or even distressing. But in this campaign our message is that you really can fight back. There are simple actions you can take to cut the number of calls considerably, and even stop them altogether.”

Economy Secretary Keith Brown has also written to the UK Government urging greater action to reduce the volume of nuisance calls, including exploring a model which automatically opts people out of unwanted calls.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government’s action plan includes developing a strategy for tackling scams in general and developing best practice for organisations involved with any new public-facing Scottish Government schemes to adhere to.

Consumer organisations have urged register with the Telephone Preference Service, which allows opt out of receiving unsolicited sales or marketing calls, while victims should also ensure that they report nuisance calls.