More than 75k emergency scam prevention calls received within six months after launch of the hotline: Can 159 be as well-recognized as 999?

  • Since its launch at the beginning of September 2021, 75,000 calls to 159 were made. 
  • A allowing cooperation between banks and telecoms providers is called 159 
  • You can connect to your bank whenever you receive suspicious calls

New data indicates that a fraud prevention hotline, which is designed to prevent people being scammed and manipulated by others, receives thousands of calls each month. 

Since its launch at September 20,21, more than 75,000 people have called the 159 number.

Customers with current accounts can use the phone number to contact their bank securely and privately if they are contacted by a fraudster or suspicious call.

Stop, hang up and then call 159: The easily memorable short-code number provides people with a route back to safety when they are at most risk of being manipulated and scammed.

Call 159, then hang up. This short code number is easily remembered and can be used to call back safety for those who are most at risk.

This service is now available to businesses in the technology, banking and telecoms sector, such as HSBC and Santander and Lloyds and Meta and Microsoft, BT and TalkTalk, and Three. 

Our goal is to encourage these businesses to work together to stop fraud.

Recently, it was expanded further to include Nationwide Building Society (TSB), and Co-operative bank.

Stop Scams UK has launched the 159 number as a short code. It’s hoped it will become an instinctive response for Britons concerned that they may be the victim of a scam.

It is very simple. If someone calls you about financial matters, it should be a suspicious call.

Stop Scam UK Members

Barclays, BT, The Co-operative Bank, Gamma, Google, HSBC, KCOM, Lloyds Banking Group, Meta, Microsoft, NatWest, Nationwide Building Society,  Santander, Starling Bank, TalkTalk, Three, TSB

The service comes at a crucial time, with scammers growing at alarming rates.

According to UK Finance, 60 percent of authorised push fraud was committed in the first six months alone. This is where criminals manipulate victims into paying real-time.

It was discovered that the losses suffered by both individuals and companies were 71% greater.

To put this in cash terms, scammers stole over £355m in the first 6 months of 2021 from individuals and small businesses by pretending to be either a bank or other service provider, and encouraging them to make a payment or transfer money.

Even though 159 is still piloted, Stop Scams UK intends to continue investing in 159 in the next months, which will include a new Intelligent Voice Response System that can route calls and better understand scam routes.

Stop Scams UK asks Ofcom to designate 159 as an universal number that all phone providers can offer, similar to 101 or 111.

Ruth Evans, Chair of Stop Scams UK said that it was a great moment to witness 159 achieve this milestone. This milestone is crucial for the project.

“159 is being used by increasing numbers of people, but it also serves an even greater number of banks.

“It is my pleasure that all calls to 159 are not made by scammers. If you choose to hang up and call 159, no bank will object. It’s a crucial way of keeping UK customers safe.

“In the next months, we look forward making more announcements about our collaborative projects including URL blocking and data-sharing.

The push for banks and other major firms to help stop the tide of scams was also in the spotlight last week, as it was revealed more than £200million of fraud has been spotted and prevented since 2016 due to a rapid scam response scheme enabling bank staff to alert local police forces with a codeword.

Banks, Post Offices and Building Societies have trained staff to recognize warning signs and alert their local police to investigate.

Last year, £60.7million was stopped through the scheme, according to figures from UK Finance, thanks to 10,072 phone calls made to the police by branch staff.