Have you been a victim of blagging?

Remember those days, not so long ago, when you could receive up to twenty cold calls a day? Now our phones are definitely quieter, even if our email accounts are not.

Thanks to tough regulations on cold calling, savvy sellers have ditched the phones to go on a little phishing trip, trying to reel in our personal information online instead.

What is it?

There is a new technique call centres are using that is annoying to say the least, and a massive breach of data protection to say the most.

Insurance brokers are having their clients poached from them due to the rise in a cold calling technique known as Blagging.

London Money, and other Life Insurance brokers, are hearing some disturbing reports from their clients about marketeers calling them and asking to talk about their Life Insurance policy. The cold callers are then offering a policy with the same provider but at a cheaper rate.

Unfortunately the cheaper rate often means a reduction in their cover entitlement which the customer is not being informed about. Victims of these cold callers are being left with substantially worse of policies, losing their initial benefits, for just a few pounds difference a month and are none the wiser.

How it works

People are reporting blagging calls from the Financial Assessment Centre, The Review Bureau,(all Swansea based companies) – but don’t be fooled by their official sounding names. These businesses are abusing people’s trust and leaving them with life insurance policies that may not even make sense for them.

When you receive a call from a blagger, often from a withheld number, the person at the end of the line may say something like this;

“Hello there, I’m calling about your Legal and General Policy”

OR

“Hi, this is a quick call about your Liverpool Victoria account.”

Sounds genuine enough but there is usually one hitch which you then tell the caller;

“But I don’t have cover with Legal & General.”

From which point the person on the end of the phone has got you talking and before long you are agreeing to have your policy reviewed to see if there is anywhere they can save you money. Essentially, the cold caller has ‘blagged’ their way into a sales pitch.

But it doesn’t stop there - one woman, who holds a policy with Legal & General, reported a cold caller who claimed to be from the insurance giant themselves. They then told her that there was a problem with her policy and that it didn’t provide the correct cover. They offered for her to swap to a more appropriate and cheaper policy but thankfully she realised something wasn’t right and hung up.

As a life insurance policy holder, you are well within your rights to rebroke your policy for a cheaper one. However, if you receive a call from someone who is offering to review your policy and sell you a cheaper one then we recommend you watch out for the following

  • They claim to be from Legal & General themselves
  • They offer you Critical Illness Cover without asking you any medical questions
  • They offer you an ‘add on’ to avoid inheritance tax (remember, if your estate is worth less that £325,000 you don’t have to pay this anyway)
  • They call about a policy you don’t own and then try to ask you about yours
  • The call is relatively quick and orientated around premium cost.

It is highly unlikely that Legal & General would cold call you, in fact the company has taken measures in previous years to prevent such scams and has a helpful page on dubious emails that you can read here.

Quick Quote Life is a leading insurance broker and we never cold call. When speaking to our clients we take every measure to find you the best policy. Even if it is time consuming to go through the application process with one of our advisors, we know that the policy we secure you with will last a lifetime.

Here are three aspects to consider about the latest Blagging trend;

  1. Cold calling is no longer legal

The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 impose tough restrictions on marketeers. They are not allowed to cold call, text or email an individual without first obtaining their consent.

Thanks to the new GDPR changes, you actively have to opt in to marketing emails, so you should no longer be receiving unsolicited emails either.

  1. Callers can’t make assumptions about your personal information

“I’m calling about the car accident you were involved in” is probably a stab in the dark from a cold caller and is completely illegal. 

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) enforce the Privacy and Electronic Communications  Regulations 2003, and they say that live marketing calls should not be made to anyone who is registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), or anyone who has not given consent to marketing calls.  

  1. You can report cold callers

If you have not opted to receive marketing calls from an organisation, or you are part of the TPS register yet you are still receiving constant spam from marketing companies in the form of cold calls, then you can report them to the ICO.

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