In Depth

BT fights back against cold callers

Telecoms giant launches new service to block up to 30 million unwanted PPI or personal injury calls a month

Cold calls offering to help you reclaim PPI premiums or get compensation for a personal injury could soon be stopped before they even reach you.

BT Call Protect, a new service for BT customers launched today, can identify rogue callers, for example by analysing numbers responsible for large volumes of calls, and then divert them to a junk mailbox.

There were a total of 31 million such calls in one week in the lead-up to Christmas, says the company, more than 12 million of which were for personal injury claims.

Under the system, even services that repeatedly change their phone number can be identified. BT customers will be able to add to the list by dialling 1572 after receiving a nuisance call.

Vodafone operates a similar system for its mobile customers while TalkTalk introduced its scheme for landlines three years ago, says the BBC. It is now blocking 92 million calls a month, double the amount it did just a year ago, said a spokesman.

"Earlier this month, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said that more than 370 people were complaining about nuisance calls every day, and that half of those were about automated calls," says the BBC.

Consumers can block some calls by registering with the Telephone Preference Service, but that only applies to call centres based in the UK.

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