More than 30 million nuisance calls are made every week, with accident claims firms being the most common thorn in the public’s side.
Research by BT, shows that during a typical week in December, around 39% of nuisance calls made were concerning accident claims, ahead of PPI calls and computer scammers.
The top nuisance calls (13-19 December 2016) are as follows:
- Accident claims - 12,288,022 calls - 39% of all nuisance calls
- PPI claims - 2,903,946 - 9%
- Computer scams - 2,673,665 - 9%
- Personal data request scams - 1,434,890 - 5%
- Silent call - 987,989 - 3%
BT adds that the average person receives four nuisance calls a week and around 60% of people surveyed say they find these calls stressful. More than a quarter of people are also concerned about their parents or grandparents being taken in by scammers.
To combat the problem, BT has today launched a new voicemail service, which allows its phone customers to divert unwanted calls to a junk voicemail box.
Numbers which make very large volumes of calls each week will be added to a blacklist and diverted before they reach the end customer. The free service uses data from the millions of calls made on the BT network each day to detect bothersome callers.
Users will also be able to add numbers to their own personal blacklist by dialling 1572 after receiving such a call. If a large number of customers add a number to their individual blacklist then BT can add this caller to its national blacklist database.
BT believes up to 15 million nuisance calls could be diverted each week by the new scheme.
Matt Hancock, minister of state for digital and culture, says: “Nuisance callers are a terrible blight on society and government and industry are working together to crack down on them. We’ve forced companies to display their numbers when they call you, made it easier to prosecute those involved in making the calls, and increased the maximum fines up to £500,000.
John Petter, chief executive of BT consumer, says: “We’re declaring war on the companies that regularly pester our customers with nuisance calls on subjects such as PPI and personal accident claims. We’re giving our customers the means to fight back against the millions of unwanted calls for free.”
One of the best ways to protect yourself from nuisance calls is to sign up to the free Telephone Preference Service (TPS). See our tips on How to protect yourself from cold calls and texts.