9th April 2021

Public warned of NI phone scam

An automated phone message that threatens to terminate National Insurance eligibility is being sent to the public.


By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
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This scam is despicable in its attempt to scare the public with the threat of losing their National Insurance number at this challenging time for everyone

A new data harvesting scam is targeting members of the public, CTSI has learned. The automated telephone message claims that the recipient’s National Insurance number “will be terminated due to unethical financial transactions”.

CTSI has received a video recording of the message – the latest in a long line of scams to emerge during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The message states: “This call is in regards to your National Insurance number. Ignoring this final warning may lead you to legal troubles. The reason behind this phone call is to inform you that your National Insurance number will be terminated due to some unethical financial transactions.”

The recording then asks the recipient to “please press ‘1’ to get more details.”

The call is a data harvesting or phishing attempt, which could lead to identity theft. Pressing the button puts the recipient in touch with a scammer who will supposedly verify their National Insurance number. Anyone who responds is revealing key personal details putting their finances in danger.

Katherine Hart, a Lead Officer at CTSI, said: “This scam is despicable in its attempt to scare the public with the threat of losing their National Insurance number at this challenging time for everyone. It’s astounding that these unscrupulous scammers refer to unethical transactions as the reason.

“If you receive this call, do not ever press ‘1’ and please warn others about it. Also, report it to the authorities, such as Action Fraud, or in Scotland, Police Scotland. Reporting all instances of fraud helps consumer protectors establish a clearer picture of the landscape and the true scale of this problem.”