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Brits twice as likely to get a call from scammers than their best friend

James Pearce
June 6, 2016

Research from TalkTalk found 2.5 million UK households received a scam call in May, as it announces “Get Safe Online” partnership

British homeowners are more likely to receive a call from a scammer than their best friends or members of their family, according to research from TalkTalk, as scam phone calls reached an all time high.

67 per cent of those polled received a call from a scammer last month, more than from family (64 per cent) and twice as likely as friends (37 per cent). Overall, 2.5 million households received a call from scammers in May.

63 per cent received a suspicious email and 43 per cent a suspicious text message, according to the figures, which were revealed by the broadband provider and charity Get Safe Online.

It came as the two firms announced a new, nationwide awareness campaign called “Beat the Scammers”.

TalkTalk Consumer MD Tristia Harrison said: “We know we have a responsibility to help protect our customers and we’re determined to play our part in combating this growing problem.

“Traditionally the onus has been put on individuals to stay vigilant. But these increasingly sophisticated crimes are now affecting the whole country on an unprecedented scale – no one business, agency or individual can beat it on their own.

“We need nationwide action to take the fight to the scammers and make sure the online world is a safe place to play, work and stay connected.”

Scam Busters

The initiative will launch later this month and see TalkTalk recruit “Scam busters” across the UK to share stories and tips about how to identify and beat scams.

TalkTalk’s research found 42 per of people would not feel confident they could identify a scam, leading the telecoms firm to launch an online hub offering advice.

The steps come less than a year after TalkTalk itself was victim to a cyber attack that cost the provider more than £40 million and impacted more than 157,000 customers.

Get Safe Online CEO Tony Neate said: “A lot of people fall victim to scams because they never think it will happen to them; we can’t let the criminals have the upper hand, so are pleased to be working with TalkTalk to raise awareness of this growing menace.

“If you get contacted out of the blue by a company you trust, asking you to act urgently, you should be suspicious. Criminals create panic to override your common sense; always trust your instincts and think twice before handing over any information. That way we can to stop more people falling prey to criminals.”

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