Fraud: Telephones

Home Office written question – answered on 20th February 2019.

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Photo of Laura Smith Laura Smith Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he is taking to protect consumers from telephone fraud.

Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

The Government takes telephone fraud very seriously and continues to in-troduce measures to tackle the problem. Ofcom has introduced new rules on Calling Line Identification (CLI) data, which should help telephone call recipient’s make more informed decisions about whether to accept a call, and to report problem calls to regulators and law enforcement agencies more effectively.

The rules, which came into effect in October 2018, mean that Communications Providers are now required, where technically feasible and economically viable, to provide CLI facilities and turn them on by default. Under these rules, Communications Providers must also ensure that, where technically feasible, the CLI Data that is provided with a call includes a valid, dialable, telephone number which uniquely identifies the caller. They must also now take reasonable steps to identify and block calls on which invalid or non-dialable CLI is provided.

Separately, the Joint Fraud Taskforce (a coalition between government, industry, law enforcement and the third sector) is leading an ambitious programme of work to prevent fraud. This includes broadening its engagement with the telecommunications sector, to collectively address the vulnerabilities that fraudsters exploit to commit their crimes.

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