/ Scams

Scam alert: National Insurance number ‘compromised’ cold call

If you’ve received a pre-recorded message or phone call claiming your National Insurance number has been compromised, you can safely ignore it. It’s a scam.

We’ve been made aware that an official sounding voice usually claiming to be from the National Crime Agency or ‘National Office for Serious Crimes’ has been cold calling unsuspecting members of the public, asking them to call back urgently.

Fraudsters will then try to manipulate you into handing over personal information using a web of lies and threats. 

We’ve heard from dozens of people targeted by this scam over the past few months. Action Fraud data shows it is the most reported phone scam of this year so far, having received more than 1,000 reports.

One victim told us that when he returned the call he was falsely told that someone had been using his National insurance number (NINo) to claim Universal Credit.

The scammer told him that if he didn’t hand over his personal details so they could make a ‘correction’ he would be liable to repay thousands of pounds in fraudulently claimed benefits and could be sent to prison. At this point he realised something wasn’t right and put the phone down, but the scammers continued to try and get in touch with him for more than a week.

Other victims have told us similar stories, all in which the scammers told them they had to hand over their personal information to be issued with a new NINo number.

Don’t be pressured for your details

In reality, there’s very little damage anyone could do with just your National Insurance number, even if someone had access to it.

But your other personal details, such as your name, date of birth, address and bank details are much more valuable to criminals. They could use this information to target you with more personalised scams, or try to gain access to your accounts.

No government organisation would ever pressure you to hand over sensitive information, and if you’re uncomfortable or unsure, just hang up the call.

The National Crime Agency is unlikely to call consumers directly about their National Insurance numbers. Which? has contacted it about this cold call and will publish any response here.

If you have concerns about your National Insurance number you can visit Gov.uk which offers contact numbers and web chat support.

How to protect yourself

If you’ve been tricked by this scam, don’t worry. There are a few things you can do to protect yourself.

Contact your bank if you’re worried that you’ve given away your bank account or payment details. 

You can also sign up to Cifas. It’s a not-for-profit fraud prevention service service that monitors the use of your details to apply for bank accounts, credit cards or loans. 

As always, our guides for how to report scams and what you can do if you’ve lost money to a scam are available here.


Comments
Aziz Kapadia says:
11 May 2021

I have been receiving this type of calls since morning. Number starts from 0753241xxxxx Actually this is same series a my number. So I am bit worried. I have received 6 calls since morning with same series but last 5 digits are different every time.

Richard Davies says:
13 May 2021

Don’t worry. I also noticed that every time they phone me the number is very similar to my own. Interestingly, if you try to call the number you will get a message saying the number isn’t recognised. They are obviously able to block their real number and use a generated bogus number. At the end of the day, common sense should say that an official criminal investigative team or government department wouldn’t use a mobile phone to call people

John R says:
17 May 2021

I just received this NI scam call (on 07874887142) earlier today and hung up. The number wasn’t similar to mine, but interestingly a couple of weeks ago I received three calls one morning all with numbers close to my own. I think this is called “neighbourhood spoofing” in the belief that you will answer a number close to your own – doesn’t make much sense to me, although I did stare at the number for a while wondering if I had had a crazy moment and was phoning myself!

Charlotte Smith says:
11 May 2021

I had the same problem as you today but instead of thinking it was a scam I gave them my name and now I’m seriously panicking!! Can anyone please give some advice? I just went on to Cifas to register but after reading the reviews, I backed out.

Elvis says:
12 May 2021

Just block that call. They can’t do nothing 🤣. They’re from third world country. Don’t give any personal or sensitive details on phone. Always check Google for such alleged scams. You should be fine. Install Truecaller app for extra safety wherein people report such notorious numbers

Marie says:
12 May 2021

I had a call about half an hour ago, hung up and Googled it and came across lots of scam alerts about this, if unsure always hang up and Google the official phone number and call the company back yourselves 🙂

Eleanor says:
12 May 2021

I received calls from mobile number 07505998 xxx this afternoon, with the last 3 digits changing each time, claiming my NI number had been used in a fraud etc etc and I urgently had to press 1 to speak to them. As per other posters the mobile number reflects mine and my hubby’s mobile numbers except for the last few digits so very easy to react quickly, thinking it is a number you know, and pick up the call. Demanding and urgent tone of the message would cause anxiety for vulnerable members of the community and likely prompt them to engage with the scammers. 😡

Teresa Bailey says:
14 May 2021

I’ve had 12 calls in last 2 days from different mobiles but all start 07445. 9 calls yesterday 3 today and I’ve blocked every one.

Robin William Peyto says:
16 May 2021

In addition to cold calls supposedly from the National Crime Agency, I have received an email from DVLA linked to a individual gmail account; which doesn’t accept incoming mail.

Karina Houghton says:
17 May 2021

I have this once a month to every week I had one today 07793180082
Karina Houghton