March 5, 2021

Mobile industry puts in place a package of measures to combat fraud and cyber crime

The mobile industry has put in place several measures over the last year to tackle increasingly sophisticated fraudsters in order to protect and strengthen consumer safety online.

As part of these measures mobile companies worked with multiple partners adn across industry to combat cyber security, text scams, consumersafety online and to assist in a winder campaign to inform about these issues.

  • 7726 – Reporting Suspicious Texts
  • SMS SenderID Protection Registry
  • Number Verify
  • Take Five to Stop Fraud

7726 – Reporting Suspicious Texts

You can report spam texts directly to your mobile phone provider. All operators now use 7726 as the short code to report spam texts, which is free of charge. 

All of the UK’s mobile operators worked together to deploy a tool which collates all the information from the 7726 short code in real time. 

This means they can take early action to block numbers that are generating spam on their networks. They can also use this information to inform the regulators.

You can report spam texts directly to your mobile phone provider free of charge by forwarding the text message to 7726. 

SMS SenderID Protection Registry

The UK mobile, banking and finance industries along with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) joined forces to prevent fraudsters sending scam text messages. The collaboration is part of an ongoing industry initiative by Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF), Mobile UK and UK Finance, supported by the NCSC, to help identify and block fraudulent SMS texts and protect messages from legitimate businesses and organisations.

As part of the cross-stakeholdertrial, MEF has developed the SMS SenderID Protection Registry which allows organisations to register and protect the message headers used when sending text messages to their customers. The Registry limits the ability of fraudsters to send messages impersonating a brand by checking whether the sender is the genuine registered party.

50 bank and government brands are currently being protected through with 172 trusted SenderIDs registered to date. Over 400 unauthorised variants are being blocked on an ever-growing blacklist, including 70 senderIDs relating to the Government’s coronavirus campaign.

14 banks and government agencies including HMRC and DVLA are participating in the ongoing trial which is supported by BT/EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.

The pregramme has the support of the UK’s leading messaging providers including BT’s Smart Messaging Business, Commify, Firetext, Fonix Interactive, HGC Global Communications Limited,IMI mobile, mGage, OpenMarket, SAP Digital Interconnect a division of SAP, Sinch, TeleSign, Twilio and Vonage.

Number Verify

The UK’s four mobile network operators – EE, O2, Three and Vodafone – have come together to strengthen consumer safety online, developing a new product for businesses that authenticates user identity for online transactions.

The new product, called NumberVerify, will help in the fight against fraud by verifying customers through matching phone numbers used in a web or app session to ensure the details being provided are the same registered on the customer’s account. This will help businesses be confident that the customer’s identity is genuine and reduce fraud whilst still preserving their privacy.

It will allow businesses with mobile apps such as financial services (banks, building societies), e-commerce, gigeconomy platforms and social networks to enable their consumers to prove their identity when completing transactions on their mobile phones.

Take Five to Stop Fraud

Mobile Operators take fraud very seriously, and support Take Five to Stop Fraud, a national campaign that offers straight forward and impartial advice to help everyone protect themselves from preventable financial fraud. This includes fraudulent emails, phone calls, texts messages or social media posts – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations. We have partnered up with UK Finance and Gov UK to help raise awareness of mobile fraud in particular.

There are some simple habits we can all adopt, and some important things to keep in mind:

  • You bank will never ask for your PIN, nor will they ever request that you transfer your money to a new or different account.
  • You should avoid clicking on links contained in emails and text messages unless you’re 100% certain that they’re genuine.
  • You can forward any suspicious text message, including phone number or company name, to 7726. It won’t cost you anything and it means we can investigate     the sender.

Above all, stop and think. It could protect you and your money. Follow Take Five’s 3-step advice:

  • STOP- If you receive a request to make an urgent payment, change supplier bank details or provide financial information, take a moment to stop and think.
  • CHALLENGE- Could it be fake? Verify all payments and supplier details directly with the company on a known phone number or in person first.
  • PROTECT- Contact your business’s bank immediately if you think you’ve been scammed and report it to Action Fraud.

About Building Mobile Britain

Building Mobile Britain logo

Building Mobile Britain is a campaign created by Mobile UK seeking to work with national and local government, as well as interested industry groups to overcome the challenges we face with expanding the existing mobile networks, while also developing innovative services for customers.

See here for further information - or #BuildingMobileBritain

Media Contacts

Gareth Elliott
Head of Policy and Communications
Tel: 07887 911 076

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