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TalkTalk launches security feature to help prevent nuisance calls

The new scheme is designed to protect customers from scammers, and help them easily block and report troublesome callers

woman on the phone who is angry

Check and Report is a feature being rolled out by TalkTalk that’s designed to stop people receiving unwanted phone calls.

According to TalkTalk, its customers will be able to easily check a number and report it. When customers receive a call from any number they don’t recognise – or from someone who is cold calling – they can check the number on TalkTalk’s Check and Report database.

The news will come as some relief for customers who were affected by the 2015 cyber-attack, which put the data of over 150,000 customers at risk, and also resulted in a perceived increase in nuisance calls.

How it works

The online database allows customers to check how many other people have searched for the number, whether it has been reported as a nuisance by anyone else, and what other customers have said about it.

Numbers posted by users will then be investigated and monitored on the Check and Report database, with TalkTalk taking a view to blocking offenders altogether. TalkTalk claims that this year it has already blocked 800 million calls and 24 numbers.

TalkTalk has also recently activated Caller Display and a Last Call Barring service for all of its customers. This means that if the Check and Report database suggests a number could be troublesome, customers can easily block it from their landline to avoid further disturbance. These features, along with Check and Report, are supplied free of charge.

How you can avoid nuisance calls

Most phone providers will offer call management solutions. BT’s free service – Call Protect – automatically diverts calls that BT believes to be from nuisance callers to its customers’ junk voicemail boxes. Sky has a similar free service called Talk Shield.

However, you can also invest in a call blocking home phone or a standalone device that you can plug into your phone. If you’d prefer to block most calls and only allow those from a specified list of numbers, that type of phone will be the best option for you. Read more about these in our guide to call blocking options.

If you’d like to find out more reporting numbers you’ve had cold calls from, follow our ten tips to stop cold calls.

Help us take action against phone scams

While cold calls are irritating, some can be much worse. Criminals can target people using phone scams, often impersonating a representative of a bank or other trusted organisation. Phone scams can be sophisticated and commonly involve someone pretending to be from a tech company offering to fix your computer or someone claiming that your bank details have been changed.

Pension scams usually involve someone contacting you unexpectedly and offering a tempting way to invest your pension pot. Pension scammers have taken a total of £43m, which is an average of £15,000 per victim.

In August, the government promised a crackdown including a ban on all cold calling related to pensions. If you’d like to join us in calling on the government, regulators and businesses to confront all scams head on, join our campaign to force action on scams.

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