December 21st 2015
Concerns have been voiced by Trading Standards about the possibility of fraud through the recent upsurge in call recording services. Mike Andrews, National Coordinator of the National Standards eCrime Team, spoke to BBC Radio 4’s ‘You & Yours’ programme at 12.15 today on the subject.
The National Trading Standards eCrime Team has been looking into the organisations, which offer a service whereby calls made by a consumer to a bank or other organisation can be recorded so that the details can be accessed at a later date in the event of a query or dispute.
The concern is that the calls often contain confidential information such as security questions, which, together with the details of the call itself, could be accessed by unauthorised people in order to commit fraud, identity theft or impersonation. The organisation itself could be fraudulent, or even if genuine, its data protection procedures could be substandard.
This is despite the fact that such companies are meant to be strictly regulated by Ofcom.
The call recording companies pay search engines such as Google to appear prominently in their listings, especially when searched from a mobile phone or tablet. This leads many unsuspecting consumers – especially when busy or distracted – to believe the contact number displayed is that of their bank or other organisation, which it is not. In fact, when clicked Ads appearing as the result of mobile searches directly dial the recording service and you should avoid clicking on them.
Allegedly, some of the services make it clear before the call commences that they are a third party, and that the call is being recorded, but others do not.
Apart from the potential fraud angle, consumers are also urged to consider that calls made via such services may cost far more than those made directly to the organisations’ call centres or customer service desks.