We’ve all been there, unfortunately, engrossed in our daily tasks, enjoying some downtime, or maybe even waiting for an important phone call and then your phone rings; it’s a cold caller.
Cold callers often ring you to offer unsolicited services which you may not even have the need to acquire, such as compensation for an accident you may have had, claiming for payment protection insurance, or even for a loan.
Asides from the inconvenience and annoyance that cold callers pose to unsuspecting receivers of these phone calls, there are a few other things that you need to be careful of when you receive unsolicited calls. In this article we will look at the dangers cold callers pose to receivers, particularly the companies who offer loans over the phone.
|In this article you will find:|
|What is cold calling?|
|How do cold callers get my information?|
|Why are cold calls dangerous?|
|Should I accept a service that I’ve been cold called with?|
|What do I do if I’ve been scammed?|
|How do I stop cold callers from contacting me?|
What is cold calling?
As we touched upon briefly in the introduction, cold calling is the unsolicited phone call from a company in an attempt to get you to purchase a product or service with them, this differs completely from what is known as ‘warm calling’ which is when you receive a phone call about a service which you have shown previous interest in. Cold calling isn’t a new technique that sales companies employ, in fact, cold calling is one of the oldest forms of marketing and sales, along with door to door sales.
The services that these companies provide, whether it’s compensation or a loan, a lot of the time they’re phoning to offer you a service which in all likeliness isn’t even suitable for you. As most have little to no prior knowledge about you except for your name and telephone number, instead, they ring a lot of their contacts in the hope that someone will be suitable for their services. And although cold calls aren’t illegal in the UK, they can be annoying, time wasting and scary for some vulnerable people, especially when cold callers employ forceful, rude or harassing techniques for to you use their services.
How do cold callers get my information?
Cold calling companies are able to purchase or extract your information from other companies that you’ve already had dealings with or an account with, this is why you should pay attention when you sign up and share your details with a company as this practice is completely legal, and here’s how:
Normally at the end of your signing up page submission form, you’ll have to confirm whether you’re happy to be a part of third-party telemarketing schemes or if you’re happy for them to share your details with other companies. If you don’t want to be called, it is vital that you ensure that you opt out of letting these companies share your details, that way you ensure that you won’t have any of your details passed on to cold callers.
Why are cold calls dangerous?
The problem with a lot of cold calling is that it’s hard to establish whether they’re a registered or FCA regulated firm. Therefore you aren’t sure whether or not they’re offering you a legitimate service, as many loan scams operate by using cold calling techniques. They often call you posing as a legitimate company saying that you have been approved for a loan, you’ll then be asked to hand over a ‘transfer fee’ before they can give you the loan. However, they never transfer the loan amount into your account as they aren’t a legitimate company.
Should I accept a service that I’ve been called with?
If you are serious about following up a loan application with a company, then it’s best to go online and contact a company yourself, this will allow you to do the research and a background check on the company to make sure they are regulated and legitimate before you go through with it and hand over your personal details.
This is because, unfortunately, there are a lot of cold calling loan scams out there and with very little ways to clarify if a company is legitimate or not, by doing your own research and approaching the company yourself, you’ll be sure to know that you’re happy to proceed with the company and don’t have any queries or anxieties.
What do I do if I’ve been scammed?
You should never give your details out over the phone to a company who legitimacy you cannot clarify, especially not any sensitive information, such as your bank or card details. However, if you have handed out your bank or card details and do believe that you have been scammed by a company that cold-called you, then you must contact Action Fraud or the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, so they can advise you on what the appropriate steps to take next are.
How do I stop cold callers from contacting me?
There are a number of different ways that you can get cold callers to stop contacting you:
1. Tell the company that’s cold calling you to remove your phone number from their contact list.
If you’re fed up of having the same company phone you multiple times each week, repeating the exact same script, then you’re permitted to kindly ask the company to remove your details from their system, and they should oblige with your request. Failure to do so can result in you having the right to take out further action against the company.
2. Contact the Telephone Preference Service and register your phone number with them.
The Telephone Preference Service is a completely free to use service, which is run by the Digital Marketing Association. You can contact the TPS and register your landline or your mobile on this service, companies should adhere to your request and not contact you with any sales or marketing calls.
3. Use your mobile phone or your phone provider to block the calls.
You can block numbers that constantly call you; you can do this by either blocking the numbers in the settings on your phone or by contacting your phone provider to see whether they can block cold callers or certain numbers from contacting you. Although not all phone service providers offer this service, BT offers a service called BT Call protect which enables you to blacklist a number, and every time that number rings you, it will automatically send the call to your junk voicemail.
4. Get in contact with the Information Commissioner’s Office to make a complaint.
If they fail to stop calling, take down the phone number and any details you can provide on the company, such as their name or how often they’ve been calling you. You can then get in contact with the Information Commissioner’s Office to make a complaint; this should ideally be your last resort. Once you make a complaint, the ICO will deal with the complaint and take the appropriate action against the lender.
- Be wary of companies whose legitimacy you cannot clarify over the phone.
- If you do wish to seek out the services they provide, then do your own research on what company to use.
- Never hand out your personal bank or card details over the phone to a company you aren’t sure of.
- How to stop cold callers hassling you in your day to day life.
Here at Multi Month Loans, we deal with all applications for our loans online, not over the phone, so we'll never call you directly to offer you a loan. Please be aware that we also do not charge any fees or upfront costs for the services that we provide to our customers.