Scams Awareness Month launched on 1 July 2015 and the first week of this year’s campaign is focusing on telephone scams. Citizens Advice have reported that one in three cold call scams are for fraudulent financial and professional services.
The UK’s longest-established personal injury claims specialist, National Accident Helpline, is posting a warning to consumers to beware of cold call scams. After receiving hundreds of complaints from consumers who have received unsolicited phone calls from companies posing as itself, National Accident Helpline wants the public to be vigilant about this and other cold-calling scams.
National Accident Helpline makes a firm commitment to never conduct cold calling as part of its Customer Charter, and is campaigning against nuisance marketing through its Stop Nuisance Calls campaign. The organisation only contacts consumers who have requested a call of their own volition, yet a series of unscrupulous companies are misusing the National Accident Helpline’s name as a way of duping consumers.
Staff working at the National Accident Helpline have even been targets of this cold call scam, with one rogue company phoning into the organisation’s own contact centre posing as National Accident Helpline.
“As farcical as it sounds the fact that our own contact centre was called by a company claiming to be National Accident Helpline demonstrates how widespread this practice is,” said Beth Powell, Marketing Director at National Accident Helpline.
“Cold calling and other nuisance marketing is a constant blight on people’s lives, and we are especially concerned by the tactic of targeting the most vulnerable in society, such as the elderly or those who are recovering from injury.
“Organisations and industry as a whole must take responsibility for ensuring there is no consumer detriment as a result of cold calling.”
National Accident Helpline is urging the public always to make sure they are clear about who they are speaking to, and to be especially wary when they receive unsolicited calls.
“If these companies are willing to market to consumers in such an unethical manner, then it may be that the standard of their service is equally poor. We’d urge people to exercise extreme caution when thinking about using them for their personal injury claim,” added Ms Powell.
Independent research commissioned by National Accident Helpline found that 81% of people receive cold calls on a regular basis and that 78% have had their meal times interrupted; however, despite this, two thirds of consumers don’t know how to report cold calls.
Members of the public can find more information and advice on how to block and report nuisance calls, along with a form to report imposters, on the company’s website. All reports are passed on to the Claims Management Regulator as part of National Accident Helpline’s drive to help stamp out nuisance calls.