Consumers warned about ‘number spoofing’ scamFraudsters cloning phone numbers of trusted organisations

29 October 2014


Consumers are being warned to watch out for a new scam that spoofs telephone numbers of banks and other trusted organisations. 

Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) has issued the warning about the new scam today, which has become increasingly common in recent weeks.

The scam works by fraudsters fooling your phone into displaying any number the fraudster chooses.

Fraudsters clone the telephone number of the organisation they want to impersonate and make it appear on the caller ID display of the individual's phone.

The criminals then gain your trust by drawing your attention to the number, claiming this is proof of their identity, before trying to defraud you.

If you lose money due to a scam, you can't always get your money back. For more information, read our guide to getting your money back.

Beat the ‘number spoofing’ scam

The 'number spoofing' scam is a new variation on existing telephone fraud.

While the technology to spoof someone’s number has existed for years, it's only recently that fraudsters have been using it to scam consumers. 

You should never assume that someone is who they say they are just because their number matches that of an organisation you know and trust.

In fact, if someone tries to draw your attention to the caller ID, this should raise alarm bells. 

You should also be suspicious if you're asked any financial questions, including for your PIN or your online banking passwords.

You should never agree to transfer or withdraw money for someone over the phone. Our guide gives you more advice on how to spot a scam.

Scam Watch – don’t get caught out

The Which? Consumer Rights team has recently teamed up with the National Trading Standards eCrime team to keep you up to date with the most prevalent scams doing the rounds.

Our Scam Watch guide tells you everything you need to know about premium rate number scams, free trial scams for slimming products and restaurant scams along with top tips on how to avoid them.

For example, you should always be wary of 090 numbers when calling government advice lines.

If you've been caught out by a scam, there are different companies you should report it to depending on the type of scam. Our guide to reporting a scam includes all the information you need to know.

More on This…

• Caught out? Find out how to report a scam
• Worried you’ve given a fraudster your bank details?
• Solve your everyday consumer rights problems