Suspicious Brits reject mobile phone calls from unknown numbers

Half of the people in the UK with a mobile phone admit they’d ignore a call from a number they didn’t recognise - especially if the number starts with 08 - according to new research...

We're a suspicious old bunch it seems, as new research has found that almost half of us wouldn't answer a mobile phone call from a number we're not familiar with.

A survey by the Debt Advisory Centre has revealed that 49% of mobile-carrying Brits always reject calls from numbers they don't recognise. Only 40% of people surveyed said they always try to answer their mobile whenever they're able to do so.

It's not just unknown numbers we're wary of, though. More than one in 20 said they never take calls from numbers that start with 08 - presumably to avoid calls from companies they might owe money, or might be trying to flog them something.

The most sceptical city is London, where 12% will always reject a call from an 08 number.

Ian Williams, spokesman for the Debt Advisory Centre, said: "When you don't know who's on the line it can be daunting answering the phone, which might explain why so many people avoid calls from withheld numbers and numbers they don't recognise."

Young people in particular have trust issues when it comes to mystery callers. Three times as many 25 to 34-year-olds ignore calls from 08 numbers compared to people aged over 55.

The main reason for this could be that younger people are more aware of how mobiles can usually identify a caller before you answer the phone, while landline phones, which older people are generally more familiar with, often don't.

Young people these days are more accustomed to communicating by text messaging via apps like WhatsApp and Apple's iMessage than actually talking on the phone.

Last week, a study by number crunchers Deloitte found that, by the end of 2014, 300 billion messages will have been sent and received in this way, up from 160 billion last year.

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