Source: ft Release Time: 07:10:12 2020-10-06
The crime in the UK relates largely to the regulation and ownership of premium rate numbers in the 070 range, according to BICS, a wholesale business that provides international links between branded telecoms companies. The numbers are used to divert one number to another to maintain a user’s privacy, for instance when selling a car online, but the owner of the number can also set the price people have to pay to make the call. This has been abused by scammers who entice users to unwittingly return a “missed call” to an 070 number that looks to be from a normal mobile number in the UK, which start with the 07 prefix. Consumers who fall for the scam have regularly incurred huge costs after returning the dubious call.
The UK is a long-suffering target of telecoms fraud, both in terms of its phone numbers being used to collect fraudulent traffic and its subscribers being targeted. We identified concerns about scammers using 070 numbers to defraud people. So we’ve stepped in to help protect callers, reducing the amount phone companies can charge for connecting these calls and, with it, the incentive to use them fraudulently.