I had a cold call this afternoon, you know the ones: “This is Charmaine from blogs and co. It’s about your life insurance policies that I’m sure you want us to help you with.”
In this case it was a call from Protect Life Insurance. This particular outfit is based in Manchester and can be found on the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) blacklist.
The FCA states: “This is a firm that we have been told is either operating regulated activities without the correct authorisation, or is running a scam. We strongly suggest you avoid dealing with unauthorised firms like this.”
In this particular case the call centre operative became particularly defensive, loud and aggressive when I asked for her employer’s FCA registration number and she refused to provide it. She also refused to give details of her employer. When I persisted in asking for those details she hung up.
Never give any personal details to someone who telephones you out of the blue.
If you receive a cold call from someone saying that you already have a product, ask for all the details that they should have already, they called you after all. If they do not have details about you and the product/policy, hang up.
Be aware that criminals often will keep the line open and pretend to be your bank/insurance company when you think you are calling back. If there is a genuine call from your bank, insurance company or life office take the details of the person who has called you and then ring them back on a different telephone line.
If you have not already done so, you should consider registering with a telephone preference service, which will indicate that you do not wish to receive cold calls and other telephone marketing.
Genuine organisations never telephone and ask for personal or financial information. When the person calling you is pushy, or appears evasive when you ask questions, treat the call as a scam.
On receiving a call you can politely say that you are not interested and hang up. However, expect one of their colleagues to call you again. The more effective alternative is to make it clear that you will bring the call to the attention of the FCA and the police, and then report them.
Protect Life Insurance of Rovan Court, Concade Business Park, Manchester, M21 0TR is not authorised by the FCA. If you receive a call, tell them that you wish them to remove your details from their database and not to call you again. Use this link to report the incident to the FCA. If there is an attempt to get information from you also report the matter to the police.
For further advice on the matter please contact Martin Varley, solicitor and partner, by email at email@example.com or by calling our Poole office on 01202 725400. Martin is also a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.