Scams which were foiled
The dominant source of calls which were blocked during the test period of 2019/2020, came from the ‘Home Cover industry’. This is an umbrella term as many of these types of caller have been found to be fraudulent and misleading, and often do not provide any form of service at all. It is an unregulated area and the scams which persist include the ‘provision’ of cover plans – and dubious warranties – for a range of white goods and domestic appliances.
The NTS Scams Team identified 147 individual entities who were making calls to target consumers with these specific types of scams. These entities were subject to further investigation and the telephone numbers associated with breaches of the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) were shared with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO).
From March 2020 evidence emerged from the trial which made the NTS Scams Team aware of several new scams, including criminals impersonating health workers selling fake PPE for anything between £29.95 – £49.95. The criminals were estimated to be making 170,000 calls a week. They were investigated and the telephone number, which originated in the Philippines, was terminated. The total savings from this one investigation were estimated to be £6.8million based on the scammers successful conversion rate. This case study shows the benefits of using the call blocking data as an investigative tool and highlights the value of the units for prevention, detection and disruption of these scam and nuisance calls.