The UK lost £1.2 billion to fraud in 2022, amounting to almost 3 million cases. Even though over three-quarters of these started online, telecommunications scams are still prevalent. New data from UK Finance shows that, in the first six months of 2023, 17% of fraud cases (by volume) were initiated by telephone calls or text messages. However, the total amount lost by value, rather than volume, for telecommunications fraud currently sits at 45%.
The financial services industry, Government and technology companies are working together to clamp down on financial scams, and you can do your bit to help.
There are two important numbers to be aware of: add them to your mobile phone contacts list straight away.
Firstly, Stop Scams UK has set up a phone number, 159, that people can use to contact their bank securely. Stop Scams UK is a coalition of banking and technology companies and says:
159 works in the same way as 101 for the police or 111 for the NHS. It’s the number you can trust to get you through to your bank safely and securely, every time. So if you think someone is trying to trick you into handing over money or personal details - stop, hang up and call 159 to speak directly to your bank.
Secondly, if you want to report a text message scam or telephone fraud to your mobile phone provider, use 7726, a number linked to most of the UK’s networks. OFCOM provide helpful videos on how to use the number to forward messages or phone numbers from both Apple and Android devices.
As with all financial scams, it is important that you contact Action Fraud, the national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre, to report any incidence of fraud or phishing activity.
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