A new way to report bank fraud - Dial 159

Industry /

Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) and Stop Scams UK have led an initiative to make reporting fraudulent activity to your bank much simpler.

Launched on the 28th of September, 2021, if you bank with the Natwest Group, Lloyds Banking Group, TSB, Santander or Barclays you can simply dial 159 to get in touch with your bank. The nine banks under these groups are the first, and hopefully more financial institutions will join the scheme in the near future.

Not having to remember your bank's 11-digit telephone number, especially at a potentially stressful time, will make the reporting process much easier to follow.

As you would expect we have completed a piece of work to ensure that the number is supported on our network, allowing all of our customers to dial 159 from their VoIP device.

The rollout of the shortcode has only been in the pipeline for a few months, but Ofcom's already undertaking public consultation to gain support to designate 159 as a Type A Access Code. This means that no operator can use 159 for any other purpose but to contact financial institutions.

At launch, 159 has been given Type C status, meaning that providers can choose not to use the code for the purpose of easily contacting your bank.

Calls made to 159 cost £0.015/minute (1.5p) on a Pay As You Go basis when using TTNC's service.

What do we think...

We are, of course, fully behind the launch of this new initiative, and hope that the consultation passes quickly and successfully. Any improvement to the way that a consumer can report issues is a big plus, especially where personal finances are concerned.

Using short numbers is an ideal way to do this, and hopefully will mean that fraudulent activity is caught, and can be reversed quickly. We're aware of the increasing role that short codes and memorable numbers play in our lives. You can now report a suspicious SMS to Action Fraud by simply forwarding it to 7726 (SPAM).

The change has made the process quicker, easier and as a result there has been a significant increase in reports made. We expect the same to be true with the launch of 159 for bank fraud.

Paul Bell