Dial 159 for fraud as the new ‘scam 999’ line is launched by Stop Scams UK to fight against scams

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A new hotline – dubbed 999 for scams – has been launched to help customers report suspected fraud.

People who suspect they have been or are about to be the victim of fraud can call 159 to speak instantly to their bank.

Number 159 is tested by Stop UK scams, a group of banks and telephone companies.

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Stop Scams UK said: “159 works the same as 101 for the police or 111 for the NHS. This is the number you can trust to reach your bank, every time.

“People who believe they have been defrauded should stop, hang up and call 159 to speak directly to your bank.”

The hotline pilot will last 12 months and the banks representing 70% of current account customers have already registered.

These are Barclays, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank, Starling Bank and Santander.

Stop Scams UK encourages customers to call the number if they are contacted by someone claiming to work for their bank, even if the call does not appear suspicious, especially if they receive a call requesting payment, money transfer or a payment or other suspicious Financial problem.

Ruth Evans, Stop Scams UK, said: “If you ever feel pressured to transfer money or give out personal information you should hang up and call 159 to verify it’s real.

“Criminals rely on forcing people to make decisions in the heat of the moment, and calling 159 is a simple and convenient tool to break their spell.”

When you call 159, you will hear an automated message and you will be prompted to dial a number to connect to your bank.

Calling the 159 number is free for most people, as the majority of phone rates will not charge it.

Stop Scams UK now hopes to register more banks and all telephone operators.

Banking crime rose 30% to almost £ 754million in the first six months of 2021 compared to the same period last year, according to UK Finances.

Push payment scams, where victims are tricked into unintentionally transferring money to scammers, have increased by 71%.

And £ 107million was lost to investment scams in the first half of this year, almost double that of the same period in 2020.

In addition to the new hotline, there are other actions you can take if you think you have been scammed.

If you get a phone call claiming to be from your bank or mortgage company, never give out your security information, full password, login information, or account numbers – banks won’t ask you for it. by telephone.

If you are concerned about the source of a call, ask the caller to give you a primary switchboard number so you can be redirected to them.

You can also hang up and call your bank back at the legitimate phone number printed on your bank statements or card.

Consumer group Who? welcomed the new line of fraud.

Gareth Shaw, director of Which? Money said, “Fraud levels have skyrocketed during the pandemic, so it’s good that banks, telecom and tech companies are working together to make it easier for people to contact their bank if they are worried about it. get ripped off.

“However, we know that scammers use incredibly sophisticated tactics to deceive victims and a lot of people won’t know they’ve been scammed until it’s too late.

“This should be part of a range of solutions, as no single solution will be enough to tackle phone scams.”

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