What is number spoofing?

According to figures released from banking association UK Finance, £616 million was lost in the first half of 2019 to fraud alone. One of the latest phone hacking methods to be aware of is ‘number spoofing’. This is where a criminal hides behind a trusted caller ID, like your bank or internet provider, in order to con you out of money or sensitive information.

You will then either be greeted by an individual who claims to be working on the behalf of the company, or an automated voice message that will urge you to take a certain action, like press a number on your keypad. 

Text message scams operate the same way and can look legitimate thanks to the fake ID. They will usually attempt to send you to a website via a fraudulent link that can be used to gather your private information. Number spoofing phone scams have been reported for some of the UK’s largest businesses, BT Openreach and Amazon being two of the most recent examples.

According to a report by the Guardian, one elderly victim was left £25,000 out of pocket as a result of the Amazon phone scam that says you have been charged for an Amazon Prime subscription, which can be cancelled by pressing 1. In reality, pressing 1 connects the user to a premium rate number which you start paying for.

What should you do if you receive a cold call?

On average, only 30p for every £1 stolen was returned to victims of impersonation scams. It is therefore important that you remain alert to the possibility of a scam and do not give out any sensitive personal information to cold callers. The majority of banks and corporations will have a policy by which they will not contact you out of the blue, so if your credit card provider or bank is calling you, it is likely a scam.

If someone ever asks you for your private information over the phone, do not provide it. Instead, calmly hang up, find the correct phone number online and use a different phone to call the company directly if you want to check, or wait 10-15 minutes before using the same phone to make another call.

At Town & Country Communications, we take the security of our mobile and phone systems very seriously and have a fraud prevention system in place to stop you overspending. Contact us today to find out more abour our secure business phones in the South.

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