New Scam Warning: Beware of answering calls ‘from your own mobile number’

Fraudsters are mirroring mobile numbers in the latest wave of National Insurance and HMRC scams.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has recently issued a warning to mobile users urging us all to watch out for scam callers with a subversive trick. The scammers have worked out that they get more calls answered by impersonating (or spoofing) the first seven digits of a phone number so that the call recipient gets a feeling that they are calling themselves – and that feels more like fun that it does fraud.

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Delivery Scam

Amidst the momentary confusion caused by the pop-up call display number looking like your own, the call will frequently get answered.  Once it is the scam follows a classic pattern that we have written about before.

“We are calling from HMRC/DVLA/NHS and there is a problem with your account, please  ‘press 1’ to speak with an advisor, or police officer, about unpaid fines or outstanding warrants.”

Action Fraud reported that they received 2,110 scam call reports where the caller’s number matched the first seven digits of the victim’s own phone number in May 2021.  Of these, 1,426 – some 68% – referred to HM Revenue and Customs or National Insurance.

Victims have also reported similar tactics being used to target them through popular messaging apps, such as WhatsApp.

Now you know the trick, watch out for these type of calls.

IPS Advice

Essential things to remember:

  • UK Government and law enforcement agencies will never notify you about unpaid fines or outstanding police warrants by calling or texting you.
  • Do not respond to any calls or texts you receive about these alleged irregularities.
  • Always take a moment to stop and think before disclosing any personal information (which is what they want once you ‘press 1’).  Disclosing personal details can lead to you becoming a victim of fraud.
  • Remember, it’s fine to reject, refuse or ignore any requests.  You are not being rude, you are being sensible.
  • Only criminals will try to rush or panic you into giving out your personal or financial details.

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