/ 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.

18/05/21: Phishing emails

Fraudsters appear to be continuing to use the hook of National Insurance numbers as a means to exploit personal information from victims – the scam appears to have now moved to phishing emails:

 

Thank you to an eagle-eyed scam alert subscriber for making us aware of this email, which was not sent by GOV.UK.

Remember, you can visit Gov.uk which offers contact numbers and web chat support if you have concerns regarding your National Insurance number.

Guide: how to spot an email scam

21/04/21: Cold calls

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

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!

Abi says:
20 May 2021

Which network are you on?

I have had a similar experience where the first 8 digits are the sane as mine but only the last three are different, i did inform EE about it but it took 4 or 5 more attempts at reporting it before it stopped

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.

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.

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

Dani says:
18 May 2021

Just have these nrs calling me since yesterday and I answered one this morning and voice recording, hung up as its confirmed a scam nrs that have been trying 00447399809199 / 00447399809121 0044 7399 809309 00447399809519. Be vigilant folks.

Really, I am stuck about all this scam.i got 4 calls till now and try to instructions about my NI number they said my NI is involved in illigal works and may be arrested you for that all.actually I got my NI before 5 days then how is this used for illegals works.

Maulik – These National Insurance number scams are all tricks designed to get you to supply your bank or credit card details or your actual NI No.. The scammers do not know your NI No. unless you give it to them. Their technique is to frighten you so that you cooperate with them.

National Insurance Nos. are with you for life and cannot be misused for any illegal purpose so the scammers are lying. Unfortunately, your number can be used legitimately for identification purposes when setting up bank accounts and accessing certain financial products.

Ignore these calls or messages and never give away your personal information.

Tuesday says:
18 May 2021

I’ve received two calls today. The first, 07744887749, said my NI has been used for fraudulent activity then asked for my name. Upon questioning them, the guy had a seriously rank attitude and said If I don’t believe him, I can hang up the call … so I did! I blocked the number. An hour later, received a call from; 07882598625 which was also automated but hung up after I spoke. The nerve of these people talking down to you. Be smart, don’t give them anything. If you were involved in fraud, the police or a legal team would have been in touch.

My advice is to treat any unexpected cold call as a potential scam and do not to even confirm your identity to the caller. Some scammers will if you are Mrs. xxxx if you are male, presumably to prompt you to say that you are speaking to Mr xxxx. Nice try.

If there is a possibility that it could be a genuine call it would be worth asking what the call is about and then saying that you will call their office. Ignore any number that is offered and say that you need to look up the number to protect yourself from a possible scam.

Neill says:
19 May 2021

I’ve had 5 calls from yesterday.all starting with 07922.all the calls are automated & come from India.please don’t respond to these.how people can do this kind of thing is beyond me….

Sian says:
19 May 2021

Just received a pre recorded message from the fraud squad (07584 085762 ) about my national insurance number.
I needed to press one to confirm my details.

Natalie Gould says:
19 May 2021

So fed up of receiving these calls and blocking 4 to 5 different numbers a day. Sometimes I press 1and engage with the scum and give them a whole lot of wrong information, or my favourite is to tell them I am chief inspector Jayne Tennyson and I am investigating them, they soon hang up.

joey says:
20 May 2021

As ii work from home now, i do like to take the time for a chat with these scammers . i pick up and act really crazy because i hate my teamleader, i now have a point of relieve i screem at them and joke with them and also call them dirty names. its actually fun thought just to have a go at some one you dont even like or know hahahah now i feel how my superviser thinks and you know what i am a better bullie then my team leader actually considering that language i use they then hang up with a fully confused mind of stated like i did not fisically slap them but mentally abused the scammer for that minute LOL

Richard Pedgrift says:
20 May 2021

I had a call from Gladstone Brooks saying there were further developments following a successful PPI claim that we had made with them. The guy sounded South African.
I googled their office number and called them.
The girl that answered said that it was a genuine call. My problem is that she also sounded South African which seemed like one hell of a coincidence.
Expecting them to call back but will certainly not give them any information.

Rose says:
20 May 2021

I too have had many calls recently to my Mobile, which have similar numbers to my own and so has my friend. I block the caller each time but more keep coming, it’s worrying and annoying so feel better to hear that we can ignore them and it’s nothing to worry about

Mike says:
20 May 2021

I had the call claiming my NI number was compromised and told to dial 1 to speak to an official.
I put the phone down, without hanging up and after 3 minutes they hung up without attempt further contact via that call. I was hoping to get another call and I was going to video myself answering the call and giving them the run around….before posting the video on Facebook…..😂😂😂

Amanda Ellis says:
20 May 2021

I had the NI scam as a text message which I blocked but about a week later got a call from a lady saying she was returning my call as I’d left message about her NI number being compromised. I told her it was a scam and I had not called her. Don’t know if she was part of the scam or somehow scammer used my number

Not an NI scam – but close, I had a call saying there was a county court judgement out against me, press one to speak to a supervisor. If I did not, I would be arrested shortly. I put the phone down as I don’t believe the police warn you in advance of an arrest.