National Insurance numbers will be important for millions of Britons as it secures the right to work or study in the UK and is also used for tax purposes. Many people will interact with their National Insurance number on a day-to-day basis, but perhaps not even realise it, or its necessity. However, with the knowledge of the importance of the number, cybercriminals are seeking to take advantage.
A scam alert has now been issued, warning Britons to be vigilant as many have been targeted by seemingly genuine, yet somewhat threatening phone calls.
Scammers have been calling up Britons to allege individuals have had their National Insurance number compromised.
People have been told fraud has been committed with their number, and that they will need to take action on the matter by pressing one on the phone’s handset.
A failure to do so, the call warns, could mean a person faces immediate arrest.
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Scammers have been “spoofing” phone numbers which are very similar to that of the recipient.
They often start with similar digits to the person who picks up the phone, perhaps a technique to lull an individual into a false sense of security.
Several people shared their close brushes with the scam on social media, and warned others about it.
One said: “I don’t actually believe they are going to suspend my National Insurance number and I didn’t press one.
“Received an automated phone call, telling you it is from the DWP and your National Insurance number is being suspended for fraudulent activity.”
And a fourth penned: “My wife told me about a scam call she got the other day threatening to lock her National Insurance number.
“I don’t think that’s even a thing, but I guess it sounds scary and people fall for it.”
Anyone who comes into contact with this kind of scam is urged to not press any numbers and put the phone down immediately.
If a person is concerned they have given any information away, they may wish to contact Action Fraud or their bank at the earliest possible convenience.