Sunday, 25 October 2020

Recent Ofcom regulation decimates ‘070’ scam calls

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Friday 02 October 20

A report from BICS today shows that fraudulent calls dropped by 75% since Ofcom introduced price caps on wholesale calls to 070 numbers

Around a year ago, Ofcom introduced new regulations to cap the wholesale cost of calls to 070 numbers, in part to reduce the number of fraudulent attacks this mobile number range. Today, a report from BICS is showing that the move has had great effect, reducing the number of scam calls by 75% between October 2019 and September 2020…

Around a year ago, Ofcom introduced new regulations to cap the wholesale cost of calls to 070 numbers, in part to reduce the number of fraudulent attacks this mobile number range. Today, a report from BICS is showing that the move has had great effect, reducing the number of scam calls by 75% between October 2019 and September 2020, equating to around 10 million less scam calls.
 
Typical scams using the 070 numbers involve convincing non-UK businesses and subscribers to dial these premium-rate numbers, taking advantage of the fact that 070 numbers could be easily mistaken for a non-premium UK mobile number. In fact, this scamming method was so widespread that in 2018 Ofcom estimated that around one-fifth of 070 numbers involved some form of fraudulent activity.
 
To counter this, Ofcom introduced price caps for 070 numbers matching those of mobile calls – around 0.5 pence per minute.
 
Despite the marked success of Ofcom’s regulatory changes, BICS warns that the battle to stay one step ahead of fraudsters is only going to grow in prominence, and will be a task that requires the close co-operation from the operators themselves to overcome.
 
“Ofcom’s regulation is a brilliant step forwards, and will hopefully inspire other regulators to adopt similar rules,” said Katia Gonzalez, Head of Fraud Prevention at BICS. “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.” 
 
According to BICS, telecoms fraud costs the industry around €29 billion each year globally.
 

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