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Do you kow about dialling 159?

Alert message sent 26/04/2022 13:23:00

Information sent on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch

Dear Member
If you receive an unexpected or suspicious call about a financial matter from someone who claims to be from your bank, the police or any other authority figure:
Stop, hang up and then call 159.

Scams cause significant harm and loss to both individuals and businesses. In the first six months of 2021 alone, reported Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud—where victims are manipulated by criminals into making real-time payments— were 60% above the equivalent level for 2020 with the losses incurred by consumers and businesses 71% higher.[2]
To put this in cash terms, criminal gangs stole over £355m in the first six months of 2021 from individuals and small businesses by pretending to be either a bank or other service provider, and encouraging them to make a payment or transfer money. 159 is an important tool in helping prevent this harm.

Stop Scams UK launched 159 as a pilot. In the coming months Stop Scams UK will invest further in 159, including a new Intelligent Voice Response (IVR) system to route calls, and help better understand scam journeys. This will enable the service not only to serve a wider number of banking destinations, including existing, new and future members, but will help keep even more people stay safe. If the pilot is successful, Stop Scams UK will ask Ofcom to make 159 a universal number offered by all telephone providers, similar to 101, 111 or 999. 

The banks participating in the 159 pilot are: Barclays; Lloyds (including Halifax and Bank of Scotland); NatWest (including Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank); Santander; and Starling Bank. If you don't bank with one of these brands and you call the service, you will be advised how to contact your bank directly.
  • 75,000 calls have been made to 159 since it launched at the end of September 2021.
  • 159 has now been upgraded to enable a major expansion of the service so it can accommodate an even larger number of the UK’s banks. The Co-operative Bank, the Nationwide Building Society and TSB have all now joined 159.
  • 159 is a collaboration between telecoms providers and banks that connects customers safely and securely to their bank, providing potential scam victims with a route back to safety if they receive an unexpected call on a financial matter.
Message sent by
David Alder (NWN, Multi Scheme Administrator, Thames Valley)

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