/ 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
F.Tiller says:
26 May 2021

I’ve just had a call about my National Insurance Number being used fraudulently. The call was from a mobile phone number, claiming to be from the National Insurance Office. It was a recorded message. The number was similar to my own mobile number, the first 8 digits being the same as mine. I also had a call yesterday with a recorded message also claiming to be from the National Insurance Office informing me of fraudulent use of my NI number, the phone number was also a mobile number with the first 7 digits being the same as my own. I also don’t usually disclose my mobile number to anyone I don’t know, or is not known to be a bona fide business or company. However, it could be a coincidence, but the call yesterday came shortly after my granddaughter signed me up to ‘Discord’. I used my phone number to register.

John says:
27 May 2021

I just had the same call. If you there are any issues, you would receive a letter in the post. I wouldnt worry and I have blocked the number, dont trust anyone on the phone these days.

Kalai says:
27 May 2021

I had two calls today. Automated voice message claiming my national insurance is being compromised or something on the lines. Both numbers started with the same 5 digits as my own number. I guess they have a way of changing numbers as user ID. And use something similar to yours to get you to pick up. So annoying.

Polly says:
1 June 2021

I just had the same message, again from a number which was the first 7 digits of my number! Complete scam. Just blocked them.

I’ve just had the same call from this actual number
07415105381…..yep a National insurance phishing scam

Karen says:
4 June 2021

The last 3 days same think you block one number and they ring again different mobile number but same 4 digits. Automated message the number I got several 07415153653, 0741515361, 07415153820. blocking the numbers as they come in.

yvonne says:
8 June 2021

i had the same issue. the numbers i have blocked are still getting through. driving me nuts. i get about 5 a day. i have my own business and have to answer the phone

Denzil Coutinho says:
27 May 2021

Got a call from this number 07737149480. It said my NI will be cancelled. A asian chinese sounding guy. Financial crimes authority christopher happens to be his name and his batch number is gs501970. Big amount of transictions were done from different banks. (I WISH). Be aware sounded totally fake.

Lesley says:
27 May 2021

I’ve had two calls in the last hour, numbers are 07872652896 and 07872652844 – recorded message asking me to confirm my NI number. Glad to see there are warnings about it, it helped. thanks.

Angie says:
27 May 2021

I’ve had two calls, one yesterday one today, 07730248896 & 07738966091 both automated messages saying due to some money issue my n.I. Number has been cancelled. Ignored both calls and blocked the numbers. It’s about time our government took these scam callers seriously as elderly or people with mental health issues could fall for them. I’ve had numerous inland revenue calls as well.

Eve says:
27 May 2021

I’ve just had a call today from 07780439863 mentioning something to do with my national insurance number, as soon as I heard that I put my phone down and blocked this number. Sick to the back teeth of scummy scammers!

I’ve had four call this morning. First 7 digits same as my no. I block each one and the number just changes. Again about Ni no. So annoying. If I answer it’s a silent call, however leaves the same automated message if left to mail.

Agnes Bodo says:
28 May 2021

I got this scam call from 00 44 7472 832 588

Margaret Gavazzeni says:
31 May 2021

My call was an 0800 call which made me think it must be real but I still googled it to

Deni O'Keefe says:
1 June 2021

I just had the same from 0800 175 6320 saying my NI number had been suspended as it had been used fraudulently. Googled it and got this site

Just had a call from 07835804543. It was an ‘official’ sounding recorded message saying my national insurance number had been compromised and I had to press 1 to talk to a police officer. SCAM!

Anna says:
1 June 2021

I’ve just had the scam call this morning, rang then asked me too press 1 to connect. Apparently my nation insurance number had been compromised. So I stayed online, he asked my name, which I said he should know as he contacted me, then asked for my national insurance no, which I told him I wouldn’t give him. He then hung up.

Wendy says:
1 June 2021

Hi
My daughter had one of these calls , and was worrythere was a problem,she pressed 1 … asked to speak to and officer and they hung up .
Does anyone know if by pressing 1 info from her phone could be compromised
Thank you

I shouldn’t think so Wendy. As long as she never gave any personal info like bank details etc.

I have had two this morning. One didn’t work because of signal and the other one the guy hung up on me because I told him my name was Citherine Smith – I even went as far to be very it’s spelt with a Ci because my parents didn’t want to spell it with a Ca because of a whole back story I made up on the spot. That, actually, is likely why he hung up.

I occassionally have fun with these scammer calls.

phone number: 07650707834

That’s the spirit, get them told. If they try to wind you up then why not wind them up and waste their time and then they’ve less time to try and con other folk. And if they keep ringing me I just get furiously aggressive with them and proper get them told. And has anyone here had a call supposedly from eon or some other utility supplier about smart meters? I got one the other day supposedly from eon and the number was 02922 229 992 which itself appears suspicious, so I looked it up online and apparently it’s a landline based somewhere in cardiff and thought to be a scam but no-one seems to know for sure. And I just told them I’m not allowing any visitors because of the virus so they hung up.

Every so often when you phone a business number, amongst the prerecorded blurb you get the ‘this call may be used for training purposes’……..
Once in a while after I’ve strung the caller along for a minute I casually mention to the caller that ‘this call may be used for training purposes’
It doesn’t work on recordings obviously but hopefully makes a live caller think…..

I’ve done the same a few times, Suzanne. So far I have not recorded any calls but I might do in future.

On a few occasions I have tried to get legitimate businesses to check their recordings to provide evidence of what was agreed in a discussion. So far, not one has managed to do this.

I’ve a small app on the mobile which records every call automatically – so one day it may be useful!

I can use the voice recorder on my iPhone to record calls on my landline phone. It won’t work with calls on the iPhone itself for some reason, so I will need to use an app. Thanks for the suggestion, Suzanne.

LEE-ANN GREGSON says:
3 June 2021

Just had the same call, twice today with the recorded message, You would think these scammers would go get a job, frustrating.

i have just had two calls claiming to be from HMRC first one i ignored the 2nd one said they were suspending my national insurance number

You can ignore that one too, Laura.

The DWP, not the HMRC, is responsible for NI Nos. They are issued at birth and never changed except for the most exceptional of reasons.

There are few circumstances in which they can ever be misused and they very rarely need to be used except by an employer for PAYE purposes, to obtain a passport, and for certain forms of investment [like ISA’s] that have tax implications.

Unfortunately, if stolen they can add to a person’s identity profile and thereby facilitate fraud, so, by alarming people with what seems to be an innocent enquiry, scammers are seeking to get confirmation of people’s NI Nos..

According to this information you are not automatically given an NI number at birth: https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number Maybe it would be best not to apply until you need one.

I would like to see some identifier to help the public identify information that should be kept secure, for example by referring to ‘secret password’, so maybe we need a ‘secret NI number’.

”You usually get sent a National Insurance number (NINO) just before your 16th birthday. The government uses records for child benefit claims in order to identify children approaching their 16th birthday.

I am fairly sure my NI No. was shown on my clothing ration book issued in 1947.

With the threat of Hitler now safely behind us perhaps the system has been changed.

Gaz says:
3 June 2021

Phoned my land line. National insurance etc etc. Came from a place in India that used my area code. 1471 gave the option to phone back. Not wasting my time or money.

George says:
3 June 2021

I’ve now had about 5 calls in as many days with this pre-recorded messages. Every one but the last one began with the same first eight digits as my own number. Weird. I was certain it was a scam but sudden appearance of multiple calls had me worried it might be legit. Thanks to everyone’s posts here I can put those niggling worries to rest.

Tim says:
4 June 2021

I’ve had 5 phone calls this morning with this scam. Very annoying as I am expecting an important phone call. I block the number and then get a phone call from a different number. Like others, the beginning of the number is the same as my mobile number. Is there a way to make it stop or to report it to someone?

Parthasarathy Ramanujam says:
4 June 2021

These phishing calls now appear from Private Number.

Yogesh says:
5 June 2021

Mine went to another level… first they made it certain that my ni number is used to open several bank accounts, then they asked my original bank name and ensured they will cancel all other accounts and protect my funds. Later they transferred my call to police and investigation crime department where i got pressurise to accept that i want to cancel my ni number and protect my existing hard earned money. Each and every person who called shared their ids and numbers etc to make it authentic. They took my NI numbers last digit, my address amd my name from me. and then later………….. This is where they made the most important move, to protect my money i need to transfer it in government account which they even shared with me and asked to transfer everything in it.

Anna says:
5 June 2021

You went far. Did you make sure to give all false data?
Anyways, don’t forget to insult them, [edited] I always do. I release all my negative emotions on them

[Moderator: this comment was edited to remove a line which did not adher to the Community guidelines.]

john brannan says:
7 June 2021

Just received a recorded call from 07674510132 to my mobile, advising that my N.I. number was being used illegaly. It’s a pity they didn’t call me directly as I have several l-o-n-g spoof stories that I could have kept them tied up with for a while.

Maz says:
7 June 2021

I had 6 calls today from varying mobile numbers (first 7 numbers the same 07795 624). National Insurance scam. Extremely annoying as was expecting a few calls today. All reported to my Network as scammers.

simon says:
8 June 2021

Just had the sma e NI scam. Block it if you get any on email, ignore, i changed to end to end encrypted mail by PROTON MAIL, absolutely brilliant, all can be reported and blocked, and ……no adverts.