Scam alert: 'Number spoofing' on the rise

29 October 2014

Consumers are being warned of a telephone scam that see fraudsters trick people into thinking they are talking to their bank.

'Number spoofing' sees criminals clone a telephone number of the organisation they want to impersonate and then make it appear on a person's phone ID display.

The fraudster will then draw attention to the number in order to gain the potential victim's trust, before asking them for their financial and personal details.

Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) said that while the technology to clone a telephone number has existed for years, criminals have only recently begun to use it to defraud people, with some victims losing hundreds of pounds.

Today, it is warning consumers to never assume that someone is who they say they are just because the number matches that of an organisation you know. If someone tries to draw your attention to the number they are calling from you should immediately become suspicious, as you should if they ask you for online passwords, to transfer money or any account details.

Have you been scammed? Let the Moneywise Scam Watch team know by emailing


Craig Jones, spokesman for FFA UK, said: "Number spoofing is becoming increasingly common and it's not difficult for the criminals to fake a caller ID. So if a number appears on your phone's caller ID display, you shouldn't assume you know where the call is being made from.

"Remember that if a caller is trying to draw your attention to the number on your phone display, it's very unlikely the call is genuine as there is no legitimate reason to point it out."

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