New ‘159’ scams hotline to protect consumers from rising bank payment fraud

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An emergency hotline to deal with bank scams is to be tested to tackle the rising level of fraud.

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Telephone service will allow consumers to check whether their contact with bank, HM Revenue & Customs or delivery company is genuine or scam.

Using the number 159, it will be run by an industry body called Stop Scams UK, which is funded by the Financial Conduct Authority and Ofcom, many times informed of.


Banks expect the move to stop hundreds of millions of pounds passing from customers to scammers each year, which in turn costs banks millions of pounds annually in refunds.

The idea has been in the pipeline since 2016 when Theresa May was still Home Secretary.

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Banks have come under pressure to recover £355m lost in payment fraud in 2020, less than half of which was refunded by banks that signed the industry’s refund codes.

Ruth Evans, President of Stop Scams UK NS Times: “Cheating is cruel, it ruins lives, and we are determined to help people fight it.”


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