The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau warns of scam phone calls coming from numbers almost matching the numbers of phones they're calling
Mobile phone users are being warned to be aware of scam calls that appear to come from telephone numbers very similar to their own.
Policing unit The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau is urging people to be vigilant after thousands of the suspect calls have been reported in the last two months.
The bogus calls will come from a telephone number where at least the first seven digits - beginning 07 - will match the potential victim's own mobile phone number.
The calls on most occasions will be impersonating well known government organisations or law enforcement agencies.
Those who answer will be asked to 'press 1' to speak to an advisor or police offer, with the reason for the phone calls given by fraudsters as needing payment for unpaid fines or police warrants.
In May this year alone, Action Fraud received 2,110 scam call reports where the caller’s number matched the first seven digits of the victim’s own phone number and of these 1,426 - or 68% - referred to HMRC or National Insurance.
Victims, say the NFIB, have also reported receiving these types of scam calls via widely-used mobile phone messaging apps, such as WhatsApp.
Government and law enforcement agencies, say fraud experts, will never choose to notify people about unpaid fines or outstanding police warrants by phone call or text - therefore any contact of this nature should never be answered or responded to and people should stop and think before being tempted to share personal information or financial details.
The hoax calls are the latest scam by fraudsters to have generated a warning to the public in the last two months. In May numerous delivery companies, including Yodel and Royal Mail, were warning customers to be on the lookout for scam texts asking for additional payment to rearrange a missed delivery, while cyber crime reporting agency Action Fraud also reported a sharp rise in the number of scam emails pretending to be from iTunes and Apple Music.
Mobile phone customers who have received a suspicious text message can report it by forwarding the message, for free, to 7726. Suspicious telephone calls or phone calls to mobiles should be reported to the Action Fraud website actionfraud.police.uk/report-phishing