What is KCOM doing about nuisance and scam calls for your customers?

Consumers, consumer bodies, trade organisations, communication providers (such as KCOM) and the Government all want to see action being taken to prevent nuisance and scam calls.

While communications providers have no enforcement powers to stop the callers' activities, KCOM participates in industry wide discussions that aim to improve processes and set timelines for reducing the quantity of problem calls.

We also actively share intelligence with other communications providers and use that information to limit the number of nuisance and scam calls that reach our customers. KCOM screens calls coming into our network from other communications providers. Calls are screened against various conditions and those that do not pass are prevented from reaching their destination. For example, a call would be blocked if a scammer tries to pretend they are using a phone number that has not been allocated for use by Ofcom. Our checks prevent hundreds of thousands of calls reaching customers in the Hull and East Yorkshire area every month. 

KCOM has a Nuisance Calls Team in place that maintains the rules that our call blocking solution operates on. The team also reviews customer-reported calls and analyses the traffic across our network to improve the solution; this includes the blocking of allocated numbers that are being misused when possible. 

With your customer’s permission, you can report a suspected nuisance or scam call to KCOM by completing the form using the link below.  Please note that blocking rules applied by KCOM operate on a whole network level, for all lines.  There are instances where blocking on an individual line is more appropriate and for those cases your customer may wish to consider other products, including our calling features to help. 

Your customers can also make a formal complaint about nuisance calls to authorities such as Ofcom and the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). The Ofcom webpage here will advise your customers of the appropriate authority to contact based on the type of call they received.  Ofcom also provide more information about dealing with nuisance calls on their website here and here.

Nuisance and scam call reporting

Report here
Silent or abandoned calls

A silent call is where a call is received but the recipient can hear nothing and has no means of knowing whether anyone is at the other end of the line. 

An abandoned call is one that is terminated when the receiver is picked up. Instead of a person on the other end of the line an information message should be heard from the calling organisation. 

If your customers are receiving abandoned or silent calls, we recommend taking the following action: 

Request they try and identify the caller: All companies using automated dialers should present a Calling Line Identification number on your customer’s telephone display, or allow your customer to obtain the caller's telephone number by dialing 1471. 

Alternatively, the automated message from an abandoned call should disclose the name of the organisation and provide a number that can be called to opt out of receiving further calls. 

Complain to Ofcom 

Your customers can complain by ringing Ofcom’s Consumer Contact Team on 0300 123 3333 or completing the online complaint form at (https://ofcomforms.secure.force.com/formentry/SitesFormCCTSilentCalls) or writing to them at Ofcom, Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9HA 

Scam calls

Your customershould be aware of scam calls, such as those requesting recipients either send money or buy something upfront before accessing a prize or offer, those asking them to make expensive phone calls to get a prize or offer, or those requesting your customer’s bank details or other personal information. 

Identity thieves and other fraudsters often pose as representatives of banks, credit card companies, creditors, or government departments to get people to reveal their account numbers and other sensitive information. They may even pretend to be your customer’s phone/internet provider and ask to connect to your customer’s PC or internet router to solve a problem. There have been growing instances of nuisance callers and criminals deliberately changing the Caller ID, a practice known as 'spoofing'.  

Advise your customers never to give out their personal information in response to an incoming call, or rely upon the Caller ID as the sole means of identification, particularly if the caller requests them to carry out an action which might have financial consequences. 

Please advise your customers that if someone calls asking for this information, they must not provide it nor grant access to their computer. Advise that instead, your customer must hang up and call yourselves, or research the purported company's or government department's website to check whether the call was genuine.  

Tell Action Fraud - If your customers have been targeted by a scam, then call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.ukAction Fraud is the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime. Your customer can also call the police on 101. 

Advise your customer to tell others – they should warn family, friends, neighbours, the local neighbourhood Watch scheme etc. If your customer geta suspicious circular or is contacted by someone they think may be a scammer, they should tip off others. 

Did they request bank account details? 

If your customers have provided debit / credit card details, online banking or cheques to a caller and now think it’s a scam, your customers need to contact their bank or credit card company. 

Did they think the caller was a rogue trader? 

Advise them to tell Trading Standards -  If they think something may be a scam, to phone 03454 04 05 06 and tell the Citizens Advice Consumer Service, who can pass details of the case on to Trading Standards. The Trading Standards service is responsible for protecting consumers and the community against rogue traders and traders acting unfairly. 

Unwanted sales calls

When someone makes a live telesales call, the calling agent must supply the name of the caller and, if requested, the address of the caller or a free telephone number. Your customer can use this information to notify the caller that he/she no longer wishes to receive live marketing or sales calls. Your customer can notify the caller by telephone, email or letter, although we recommend this is done in writing and a copy kept of any correspondence together with a note of who your customer spoke to and when. 

Once your customer has notified the caller, the caller should not make any live telesales calls to the number(s) your customer has given them. In addition, your customer can register their landline or mobile number with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). 

The TPS is a free service that allows consumers to record their preference not to receive any unsolicited telesales calls. Once registered with the TPS, the number(s) provided are added to an official list of numbers that all UK organisations (including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties) are prohibited from calling for sales and marketing purposes. 

Register with TPS


Your customer should report persistent unwanted sales calls to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)


Advise your customer to be careful what information (tick boxes) they complete when making online orders etc. 

Malicious, abusive or threatening calls

Malicious, abusive or threatening calls, whether from people known to the recipient or from strangers, are a criminal offence. 

Does your customer feel in danger? If the caller is making direct threats and those threats are believed to be real and immediate your customer must ring 999 straight away. 

If your customer does not believe the threats are immediate, they should still call the police to report using 101 (the police non-emergency number) 

Does your customer feel a change of telephone number is appropriate? Please request this from KCOM. 

NOTE: KCOM will not charge for number changes that are required because of nuisance or scam calls. 

Other KCOM calling features that can help

Number blocking applied by KCOM functions at a network level for all lines and not on individual lines. There are instances where a network level block is not appropriate, considering this your customer may wish to activate some of the range of alternative features we offer that may help to reduce nuisance calls on their own service. 

  • Reject Withheld Number makes sure any unidentified numbers never reach your customer. 
  • Withhold Number ensures your customer’s number remains private when calling others. 
  • Caller Display allows your customer to see who is calling before deciding to pick up the phone. 
  • By making your customer’s number Ex-directory, it will not appear in any phone directory or 118 directory enquiry services.