For many of us online and telephone banking has now become the normal way to contact your financial institution, the institutions themselves are pushing their customers down this route as fast as possible in order to drive down costs, we can all see the evidence of this as the closure of physical branches is now leaving some towns and villages without any financial institutions.
Unfortunately the growth in online and telephone banking has created a massive increase in the number of fraudulant activites, scammers are relieving individuals of significant sums of money and in some case their entire life savings.
Last year criminal gangs stole over £470m by pretending to be your bank or other service provider. The banking trade body, UK Finance, has in fact described the level of fraud as a national security threat.
At the end of September 2021 the Stop Scam UK 159 pilot service was launched by a number of Financial and Technology Companies, with more companies are joining all the time, The aim of the service is enable individuals to check if they are being subjected to a potential scam by calling a dedicated telephone number, which is the same for all financial institutions.
159 is the number to call if you have any doubts about who you’re speaking to. It’s a secure, memorable number that will put you straight through to your bank.
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you think someone is trying to trick you into handing over money or personal details…
…Stop, hang up and call 159 to speak directly to your bank.
159 is the memorable, secure number that connects you directly to your bank if you think you’re being scammed.
159 works in the same way as 101 for the police or 111 for the NHS. It’s the number you can trust to get you through to your bank, every time.
159 will never call you. Only a fraudster will object to you calling 159.
When should I call 159?
Call 159 if:
Someone contacts you saying they’re from your bank – even if they are not suspicious
You receive a call asking you to transfer money or make a payment – even if it seems genuine
You receive a call about a financial matter and it seems suspicious
Remember, 159 will never call you. But you can rely on 159 to get you through to your bank.
Who is behind 159?
159 has been set up by banks and telephone companies who want to fight fraud. It’s a pilot scheme at the moment.
Will it definitely work on my telephone?
Almost all major consumer telephone companies are participating, and almost all UK mobiles and landlines are able to use 159.
What happens if 159 doesn’t work, for any reason?
You should contact your bank in the normal way, using the number on your bank card.
How much does it cost to call 159?
Calling 159 will cost the same as a national rate call; usually part of the included minutes in most phone tariffs.
What’s the idea behind the 159 pilot?
159 is a pilot scheme – the idea is to collect evidence to show that calling 159 helps fight fraud. Then it is intended to make 159 a universal number – available on all phones and for all banks.
For more information on the work of Stop Scams UK and a list of Financial and Technology companies taking part, please navigate to their website, using the link at the top of this Notice. Tell your family, friends and neighbours about the Stop Scams UK 159 service, help fight telephone and online fraud!
If you bank is not taking part yet, contact them and find out when they are planning to join.
SBPRA Committee Member