False telephone preference service fraud

Fraudsters are cold-calling victims, falsely stating that they are calling from a ‘telephone preference service’ call-barring service. Victims are asked to provide bank details and then have money taken out of their account.

What has happened

Fraudsters are claiming to be calling from one of the well-known UK telecommunication service providers. They call victims claiming to provide an enhanced call-barring service, which includes barring international call centres.

The fraudsters ask victims to confirm or provide their bank account details, telling them that there is a one-off charge for the service.

Victims instead see monthly debits deducted from their accounts, which they have not authorised.

The fraudsters often target elderly victims.

In all instances, direct debits are set up without following proper procedure. The victim is not sent written confirmation of the direct debit instruction, which is supposed to be sent within three days.

On occasions when victims attempted to call back, the telephone number provided by the fraudster was either unable to be reached or the victim’s direct debit cancellation request was refused.

What you should do

Please note:

  • there is only one telephone preference service (TPS) and it  is the only official UK 'do-not-call' register for opting out of live telesales calls
  • it is free to sign-up to the register - TPS never charges for registration
  • you can register for this service online
  • you will get postal confirmation of genuine direct debits - if you notice unauthorised payments leaving your account, you should contact your bank promptly
  • always be wary of providing personal information, or confirming that personal information the caller already claims to hold is correct
  • always be certain that you know who you talking to - if in doubt hang up immediately

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to the police by calling 101, or to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.

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