Scam calls pretending to be from Ofcom

Published: 13 August 2021

Ofcom has received reports from people who say they have received phone calls or messages claiming to be from us.

These are scam calls and they don’t come from Ofcom.

We have been made aware of two types of call that are currently happening.

The first is a call from an agent in a call centre. They tell recipients there is an outstanding bill or payment related to their phone or broadband service, and that their service will be disconnected unless the payment is made.

The recipient is then encouraged to hand over their bank details in order to resolve the issue.

This call appears to be an attempt by scammers to illegally obtain people’s bank details. It has nothing to do with Ofcom – we would never call you out of the blue like this, and would never ask for your bank details.

This scam also involves recipients receiving a voicemail saying they have missed a call and encouraging them to press a button to call back – this connects them to the scammers.

The second type of call is automated, and can also be left as a voicemail message. In both cases, the recipient is told there is a problem with their phone or broadband service, and is encouraged to call back so they can discuss the issue further.

However, this results in the recipient being connected to a high-cost premium number, leaving them liable to pay a high cost for the length of the call.

Again, this is not something Ofcom would ever do. These calls are solely made to generate revenue for scammers by encouraging people to call premium-rate lines.

These calls are the latest version of scams that have been around for some time. Scammers can pretend to be calling from a range of different organisations in order to persuade the call recipient to hand over person details or call them back. In the past we’ve been aware of calls claiming to be from HMRC, Royal Mail, BT, or high-street banks and the Scottish Parliament. (We have also become aware of telephone numbers belonging to the Welsh Assembly being spoofed, so please exercise caution if their numbers appear on your caller display.)

If you receive a call like this, from somebody claiming to be from Ofcom, please do not hand over any personal details or press a button to continue the call.

Instead, hang up and report the calls, including the number from which they’re calling, to Action Fraud. Action Fraud is the reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Reports of fraud and any other financial crime in Scotland should be reported to Police via 101.

Ofcom also has information that could help you. See our guide to dealing with unwanted calls and messages, and ‘missed call’ scams.

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