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New 159 Fraud Number launches

A new service launched today aimed at helping prevent what is sadly a growing menace – scam calls and people being defrauded.

People who think they are being defrauded on the phone are encouraged to stop, hang up and call 159. Any real bank or person will not mind you doing this. A scammer *will* mind and will always try and keep you on the phone.

It has been launched in conjunction with a number of major banks and phone service providers, including HSBC, Barclays, BT and Kcom.

A growing threat

Scams and financial fraud are increasing at an unprecedented rate. They have become a fast-moving and industrialised business.

Criminals stole over £1.26bn through fraud and scams in 2020. There were over 80,000 instances of fraud reported by UK telecommunications companies in 2019 as well.

The challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic have presented new opportunities for scammers to exploit. There were 149,946 reported Authorised Push Payment scams in 2020 – up 22% from 2019. These are scams where victims are conned into making a payment to a scammer who has posed as genuine and gained their trust. These scams often use legitimate platforms to reach victims, borrowing the credibility of the platforms and services they abuse.

Banks and financial institutions are making great efforts to stops frauds and scams. In 2020 that they stopped £1.6bn of attempted unauthorised transactions.

Stop Scams UK website

Having listened to a number of features about this on the radio today, it is always deeply troubling to hear about people losing money to scammers and fraudsters.

People think that they will be clever enough or switched on enough to know when it is happening to them, but in a lot of cases, the criminals are being incredibly devious and can trick you into transferring money.

In one instance, the scammers pretended to be not only the bank, but also the bank’s fraud prevention team PLUS sent official looking text messages at the same time from a spoofed number.

How does the new number work?

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.

Last year criminal gangs stole over £470m by pretending to be your bank or other service provider.

159 is the memorable, secure number that contacts you directly to your bank if you think you’re being scammed.

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, every time.

159 will never call you. Only a fraudster will object to you calling 159.

How does 159 work?

How SOS Intelligence plays a part in preventing fraud

SOS Intelligence provides Real Time Threat Intelligence for everyone. We are not connected with fighting scam phone calls directly but we are actively fighting fraud online with our service.

Often scam callers use details they may have obtained online, often from breaches of popular services which are then sold on the Dark Web. We monitor keywords, key phrases and email addresses in realtime on the Dark Web and offer a free option to monitor an email address you use when signing up. As a result, you get alerted when your data / email address is out there on the Dark Web.

Sadly businesses and organisations don’t know until too late when their data has been compromised. We prevent that from happening.

It’s really good to see this new service launch.

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