Protect Against Fraud

If you receive a message requesting personal or financial information such as personal security details, bank details or passwords, be aware it could be fraudulent. This is called phishing (or smishing).

How to report suspicious activity

  • Forward a text message (including phone number or company name) to 7726 free of charge, so your mobile phone provider can investigate.
  • For emails, forward the message to the organisation that it claims to be from – you can look up the email address to send it to on that organisation’s website.
  • You can also report instances of spam to the Information Commissioner’s Office or by calling 0303 123 1113.
  • If you want to stop all unsolicited sales or marketing calls, call the TPS (Telephone Preference Service) on 0207 291 3320 or send a text message to 78070 (a small charge may apply).

What is phishing or smishing?

Phishing or smishing scams are emails, texts, voice calls or other messages made to look and sound like they've come from a trusted company and are designed to get hold of your personal information.

These messages can be very convincing and look or sound like genuine messages sent by organisations you already deal with, and may even appear within an existing message string from a known organisation.

3 signs a message might not be genuine:

  1. It asks you to provide sensitive personal or financial information, passwords, or to make transactions by following a link in the message.
  2. It asks you to call a certain number but that number is unknown to you. In this case, call your bank on a number that you trust to check the number and message is authentic. E.g. – such as the number on the back of your card.
  3. The sender uses an urgent tone, telling you to ‘act now’.

IMPORTANT: Mobile Phone Operators will never ask you for your PIN or password by text or email. What should you do if you think you’ve received a suspicious message?

  • Receiving a suspicious text, email or voice call will not harm you in anyway – harm can only come if you interact with it.
  • Don’t click on links unless you’re 100% sure they are genuine.
  • Take a moment to stop and think and trust your instincts. If it looks too good to be true or looks suspicious, there’s probably a catch.
  • Don’t give away any of your personal details.

How to report scam texts and mobile calls to 7726

It’s never been more important to protect yourself from scam calls and texts.

Busy shopping periods like Black Friday and the run-up to Christmas can provide fraudsters with extra opportunities to scam people. Criminals often impersonate legitimate organisations in an attempt to dupe their victims and leave them out of pocket. So it’s important to be extra cautious if you receive a text message about a parcel you may be expecting, for example, or a call claiming to be from your bank.

Ofcom research found that eight in ten people experienced some form of phone scam last summer, but fewer than two in ten reported them to the relevant authorities.

But there’s an easy, free service you can use to report suspicious texts or calls you might receive on your mobile. It’s called 7726.

What is 7726?

7726 is a number all mobile customers using UK networks can text to report unwanted SMS messages or phone calls on a mobile. The number ‘7726’ was chosen because it spells ‘SPAM’ on an alphanumeric phone keypad – that’s a handy way of remembering it.Watch the videos below to learn how to forward scam or spam texts and calls to 7726 on iOS and Android phones. When you’ve done this, it alerts your mobile provider to investigate the number and potentially block it, if it’s found to be a nuisance.

How to forward a scam text to 7726 on iPhone

How to forward a scam text to 7726 on Android

How to report a scam mobile call to 7726 on iPhone

How to report a scam mobile call to 7726 on Android

If you think you've been scammed

If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, report it to Action Fraud as soon as possible. You can do this by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting the Action Fraud website.

Action Fraud is the reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Reports of fraud and any other financial crime in Scotland should be made to Police Scotland via 101.

More information

As well as scams, check out Ofcom's guidance on how you can protect yourself from other types of unwanted calls and messages.

Stop! Think Fraud

Stop! Think Fraud is the national campaign against fraud that has been developed from the core insight that we underestimate the influence on decision-making when we are in a 'hot state' where we feel emotional, rushed and worked up. The campaign aims to educate people and explicitly encourage them to take a moment to stop and think, when they come into contact with potential fraud, taking a moment to consider and look into it, before thinking about making payments or providing personal details. Click here to find out more.

If you see something suspicious, always taking a moment to stop, think and check whenever we’re approached, we can help to protect ourselves and each other from fraud

  • Break the contact – don’t reply, click on any links within the email or phone any numbers listed.
  • Check if it’s genuine: contact the organisation directly, using an email address or phone number, e.g. from your utility bills or statements.

Find out how to stay ahead of scams at

Dial 159 to speak to your bank

What to do if you receive a suspicious call purporting to be from your bank

  • If you think someone is trying to trick you into handing over money or personal details… 
  • …Stop, hang up and call 159 to speak directly to your bank. 
  • 159 is the memorable, secure number that contacts you directly to your bank if you think you’re being scammed. 
  • 159 works in the same way as 101 for the police or 111 for the NHS. It’s the number you can trust to get you through to your bank, every time. 
  • 159 will never call you. Only a fraudster will object to you calling 159. 

For more information:

Find information about fraud and what to do from each mobile network Operator: