U.K. government asks networks to help against call spoofing

Scam Calls and Bad Actors: U.K. Government to Address Call Spoofing from Foreign Numbers

Scam callers are getting more clever, and United Kingdom (U.K.) citizens are fed up. This past summer alone, 45 million consumers were targeted by phone scams. As a result, The U.K.’s Office of Communications (Ofcom) is taking action in the fight against scam calls and its asking phone networks to step up.

More specifically, Ofcom is targeting internet-based calls that originate in foreign countries. The tactic is commonly known as call spoofing.

What is Call Spoofing?

Call spoofing is when a bad actor uses a company’s or agency’s number to make a phone call; the person who receives the call believes it’s from a legitimate source, when in fact, it’s a scammer.

Since it’s become more difficult to spoof domestic numbers, phone scammers in Europe are making calls from international numbers to people in the U.K.; but here’s the catch – the calls originate from international numbers while spoofing U.K. numbers. It’s a variation on neighborhood spoofing.

Neighborhood spoofing is a trick to make it appear as if the call is coming from an area or region that the recipient is familiar with; generally, it looks like a local number.

The Problem with Call Spoofing

The problem is two-fold. First, the person receiving the call is vulnerable to scamming since the incoming caller appears authentic. The person may be more likely to provide sensitive information, such as personal or financial information, which can be used against them. Second, for the companies or agencies that have been spoofed, a bad customer experience could damage the institution’s reputation.

First Orion’s View

Phone scams are a universal nuisance, seriously impacting the mobile phone experience for consumers. In every region of the world, people are targeted and harassed by scam callers; that’s why nearly 90% of people won’t answer a call from an unknown number. As a result, businesses and other entities have a hard time connecting with people.

How pervasive is the issue? An overwhelming majority of people want additional tools and resources in the fight against scam calls. Even more telling, most people would change to a different mobile phone service provider. According to a recent survey, 71% of people want some sort of “verified” indicator on their incoming calls. In another survey, 84% would switch to a carrier that could identify unwanted and fraudulent calls.

First Orion’s mission is to create a better call experience for consumers and enterprises. In fact, First Orion tags millions of calls daily (sometimes up to 127 MILLION scam calls in a single day). Find out more about our carrier solutions at firstorion.com/mobile-carriers.