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Fraud: Telephones

Question for Home Office

UIN 179189, tabled on 12 April 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help prevent fraudulent phone calls from overseas being routed through UK exchanges.

Answered on

20 April 2021

The UK Government has taken a range of actions to reduce the number of these scam calls, including those originating from overseas. It has supported the National Trading Standards Scams Team to roll out call blocking devices to vulnerable people. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has also provided over £1 million in the last 3 years to National Trading Standards for distribution of call blocking devices to vulnerable people. This funding has helped to protect some of the most vulnerable in society from nuisance calls and scams.

The UK Government recognises nuisance calls and cold calling can be a gateway to scams, with opportunistic criminals targeting potential victims in the UK. The UK Government has therefore banned cold calls from personal injury firms and pensions providers unless the consumer has explicitly agreed to be contacted. We have also introduced director liability for nuisance calls.

The City of London Police, the lead force for Economic Crime, has partnered with Law Enforcement and Industry to combat call centre fraud from overseas jurisdictions.

The UK Government recognises there is more to do and is working closely with communications providers, law enforcement, regulators and consumer groups to consider further legislative and non-legislative solutions.

Answered by

Home Office