Trading Standards Scotland has published a list of the top ten nuisance calls which have been reported by Scottish consumers between April and June 2021.

Infographic showing the top 10 phone scams

The most problematic calls during the quarter were related to green deal funding, energy grants or insulation, with a 20% increase in these calls between April-June. 
The majority of calls related to surveys about home insulation, the apparent availability of government grants for energy efficiency improvements or schemes for new windows. The increase in these calls could be due to an enhanced awareness of the need for improved energy efficiency measures in the lead-up to COP26 in November.

The most common types of scam call being blocked by trueCall units were:

  • Green Deal scams – misleading calls related to Green Deal funding, grants or insulation (find out more about energy marketing scams here)
  • Misleading telesales – cold calls attempting to sell insurance for white goods, TVs, boilers or other appliances
  • SKY scams – cold calls saying that your SKY box needs to be replaced and asking for your bank details
  • Amazon Prime scams – cold calls saying that your subscription is due for renewal or that there are issues with your account
  • Telephone Preference Service – offers to reduce nuisance calls for a fee by signing you up to the TPS
  • Attempts to gain remote access to your computer or to encourage you to download software, apparently due to a virus or hacking attempt
  • Broadband issues– scam calls purportedly from BT Openreach saying that there are issues with your broadband and that it will be cut off unless you pay a fee
  • Accident claims – cold calls claiming that you are due compensation after a recent accident
  • Lead generation – Cold callers carrying out surveys in order to gather your information, which can then be passed on to other companies
  • Timeshares – cold calls where someone tries to buy or sell a timeshare

The aim of the majority of scam and nuisance calls is to obtain people’s personal data and to encourage them to give the caller their bank details. This is often achieved by implying that urgent action is required – a tactic which particularly targets elderly and more vulnerable people.

Trading Standards Scotland have published a PDF with information about common scam calls and how to avoid them. The PDF can also be printed out for those who are not online and may be of use to vulnerable friends or relatives who are bothered by scam calls.
View the PDF online and download it here.

Report scam calls to Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000 or via their website. If you have been the victim of fraud, report it to Police Scotland on 101.