The UK Telecommunications Regulator warns the public not to trust the caller ID on their phones as it tries to help stop people falling victim to fraud.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Money Box, Ofcom CEO Hu Sanders said caller ID should not be used as a means of verifying caller ID.
Fraudsters are increasingly changing their caller ID to disguise their identity, known as number fraud.
“This issue is global in its scope,” says Mr. Saunders.
“To be a better place, but the same message is given by our partners in the USA, Canada, France, Australia and elsewhere.
However, he acknowledged that the United Kingdom was lagging behind other countries, such as the United States.
“They are [the US] They are ahead of the UK, but that is not a problem that can be solved overnight.
“It will take several years. If you look at the comparable situation in France, for example, they now have a schedule for implementing a certain technical solution, it’s in three years. ”
In the UK, the current telephone network (public disconnected telephone network) is being upgraded to a new system, Voice over Internet Protocol or VOIP.
Mr. Saunders says that when VOIP is fully operational by the end date of 2025, the industry will be able to stop forging numbers.
“Only when the vast majority of people use new technology (VOIP) can we implement a new patch to solve this problem. [of spoofing]«
Despite other attempts by the telecommunications industry to stop fraudulent numbers, a recent report by the UK Finance Industry Authority found that fraud cases, including fraudulent calls, had almost doubled to almost 40,000 last year.
However, the real rate is likely to be much higher, as many victims will not report fraud to their bank or construction company out of shame or guilt, or even tell their family or friends.
Each case can involve the theft of thousands or even tens of thousands of pounds, ruining the victims’ financial and emotional lives.
What is number forgery?
Ofcom describes fraudulent numbers as people deliberately changing their phone number և name, which is transmitted as the unidentified person’s ID information.
Opera Oladejo, a 21-year-old law student, stole nearly ֆ 2,000 last summer, a sum she would save while paying for a law course while working as a tutor.
“The deception of numbers was the most important part! [of the deception]He told the BBC.
“At first I was a little skeptical … but they said, ‘Check the number [we’re calling you on] with your card! “
“I checked, և it matched և then I completely let my guard.”
Because the criminals persuaded Opera that he was talking to his bank, they were able to obtain basic details and information from him, which allowed them to steal the money.
Fortunately, the money was returned to the Ope Bank, he was able to continue his studies, but says that the incident hit him hard.
“Emotionally it made me really sad, I just cried a lot about it,” she says.
“Financially, I think it made me smarter … I mostly ignore any unsaved phone calls because they can be deceptive.”
You can hear more about this story on BBC Radio 4 Money Box by listening again here:,