Scam calls fall by 75%

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Fraudulent calls using 070 numbers fall dramatically following Ofcom regulation.

Data sourced from over 900 communication providers show that scam calls using the 070 number range have decreased by 75% between October 2019 and September 2020, this equates to over 10 million fewer scam calls made during a year.

Ofcom regulation
The significant decrease in scam calls can be attributed to Ofcom's regulation and their decision to introduce a price cap on the wholesale cost of calling an 070 number, which came into effect in October 2019.

Ofcom has been concerned that 070 numbers were being used to defraud people after finding evidence of scams, such as missed calls and fake job adverts.

Before October 2019, at least 20% of all calls involving 070 numbers were related to fraudulent activities.

070 numbers
070 numbers were designed to be used for 'personal' or 'follow me' services; where calls are diverted from an 070 number to a persons mobile or landline number, enabling the person being called to keep their own number private.

070 numbers are often mistaken for mobile numbers, but the cost of calling an 070 number could be up to £1.10 per minute, which is much more expensive than calling a mobile number.

By using 070 numbers, fraudsters would obtain a share of the call charges from a service provider.

Ofcom's response was to introduce new rules so that the wholesale price of calling 070 numbers would match the wholesale price of calling UK mobile numbers, which is around 1/2p (£0.005) per minute.

By introducing the price cap, Ofcom has removed any call revenue sharing opportunities for fraudsters.

TTNC says:

Ofcom has done a fantastic job of reducing fraudulent activities that use 070 numbers. The public is better protected from scammers and bill shock, so this is an excellent step in the right direction.

Costs to call 070 numbers
Some service providers include free calls to 070 numbers as part of a bundle or allowance. However, some service providers charge 50p to 80p per minute. Always check with your provider before you make a call to an 070 number.

See more information about the drop in scam calls from Ofcom here.

Mark Burcher