Ofcom 070 regulation slashes scam call attacks

Ofcom's regulation to cap the wholesale cost of calls to 070 numbers, which came into force on 1st October 2019, has been credited with slashing scam call attacks by circa 10 million over the year.

That's according to data derived from BICS’ FraudGuard platform which crowdsources and anonymises intelligence from over 900 service providers.

The analysis shows that fraudulent attacks leveraging the UK numbering range plummeted by 75% between October 2019 and September 2020. 

Prior to the regulation, fraudsters were able to purchase 070 numbers, which can be easily mistaken for British mobile numbers, but are much more expensive to call. 

Scam artists were then able to trick non-UK businesses and subscribers into dialling these high rate lines, while simultaneously profiting from international operators’ inability to distinguish between premium-rate numbers and mobile numbers.

Katia Gonzalez, Head of Fraud Prevention, BICS, said: “Ofcom’s regulation is a brilliant step forwards, and will hopefully inspire other regulators to adopt similar rules.

“However, fraudsters will always look for new ways to steal money. It is therefore essential that operators take a proactive and collaborative approach to fighting fraud. 

"Knowledge sharing is one of the most powerful weapons in operators’ armoury and helps the industry to pool resources and unite against a common enemy."

Telecoms fraud is estimated to cost the industry over €29bn each year.

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