Ofcom orders phone networks to block foreign scam calls

Major phone networks have agreed to automatically block almost all internet calls coming from abroad if they pretend to be from UK numbers, confirmed Ofcom.

Almost 45 million consumers were targeted by phone scams this summer.

Ofcom said it expected the measures to be introduced at pace as a “priority”.

So far, one operator has already implemented the new plans, said the regulator, while other phone networks are still exploring methods of making it work.

“We’ve been working with telecoms companies to implement technical solutions, including blocking at source, suspicious international calls that are masked by a UK number,” said Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s networks and communications group director.

“We expect these measures to be introduced as a priority, and at pace, to ensure customers are better protected.”

She added tackling the phone scams issue was a “complex problem” that required a coordinated effort from the police, government, other regulators and industry.

The move follows months of discussions between Ofcom and the UK telecoms industry.

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