Trading Standards Scotland has published a list of the top ten nuisance calls which have been reported by Scottish consumers in the first three months of 2021.

Top 10 phone scams

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

  • Misleading telesales – cold calls attempting to sell insurance for white goods, TVs, boilers or other appliances (find examples here)
  • 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 (find examples here)
  • 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 (find examples here)
  • National Insurance Number scams – scam calls saying that your NI number has been compromised, is invalid or is going to be suspended
  • Green Deal scams – misleading calls related to Green Deal funding, grants or insulation (find out more about energy marketing scams here)
  • 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

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.

Find general advice for avoiding phone scams here.

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