At a time when you would expect people to be preparing for the coming festivities, 31 million prank calls were made across the United Kingdom before Christmas.
BT supplies 40% of landlines to premises in the United Kingdom; they have announced that 12 million of the fraudulent phone calls were concerning accident claims.
To combat the problem, BT is launching a feature allowing its customers to block approximately 30 million unwanted calls.
The solution has been termed “BT Call Project,” and it examines all incoming calls to eliminate deceptive numbers.
Similar to email junk mail, these numbers will be rerouted into a junk voicemail box.
One of the many tactics used by spammers is to continuously change numbers; however, this will not stop the system from continuing to block such numbers.
BT are also providing customers the opportunity to identify prank callers by dialing 1572 after receiving a nuisance call.
Since this is such a common problem for customers on different networks, all companies appear to have preventative measures in place. Talk Talk has reported that it blocks 92 million calls a month.
Matt Hancock, the minister for Digital Culture says that he welcomes BT’s new technology.
“Prank callers are an annoyance and a complete waste of time and money. Industry and government are working hand in hand to put a stop to it,” he stated.
“Fines for companies making such calls have been increased to £500,000, and business can no longer hide their number when making calls.”
According to the Information Commissioner’s Office, over 370 people a day are making complaints concerning such calls.
Registering with a company such as the Telephone Preference Service gives consumers the opportunity to block some calls. However, companies that are based abroad are able to get around this.
Photo credit: Karolina Kabat