An overview of the main types of scam we deal with and the basics of how to avoid being a victim of a scam.
#48234 by Samantha Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:42 pm
There are many things that we look for when determining if an email or online advertisement is really a scam, but one of the most blatant is the telephone number.

Any time you are given a UK telephone number (country code 44) that starts with 070 you should proceed with caution.

These numbers are called "redirects". That means simply that any calls made to that number can be redirected to any telephone in any country in the world.

Scammers use 070 numbers to lend credence to their scams. It is only logical that someone who makes a call to a UK telephone number would assume that they are talking to someone actually in the UK. But, if it's an 070 number, you could be talking to someone in Nigeria, Ghana, Malaysia, or anywhere else.

This news story talks about the abuse of these numbers in lottery scams, but scammers use these numbers in all sorts of scams, not just fake lotteries. They are commonly found in rental scams, au pair scams, and just about any other type of fraud. Here is a site that gives further information about these fraudulent numbers.

Companies that sell such 070 services boast about the fact that they can be redirected anywhere. Here is a promotion from a telecom provider in England:

070 Follow me Numbers

Revelitionary (sic) new technology allows you to contactable on a single 070 number as calls will "follow you" whether you go by routing to your landline then mobile (or vice versa) and so ensuring that you NEVER miss a call again. With FREE routing to any mobile or landline and most International destinations the 070 number is the number of choice for those always on the move or those looking to conceal their actual phone numbers.

(The bolding is mine; it shows that even the providers recognize the possibility for these numbers to be used for fraud.)

This image from another provider shows how easy it is for anyone to sign up (I have deliberately deleted the name of the company as I do not wish to advertise for them):


Here is yet another promotional piece:

070 Personal Numbering Service

You can use a 070 number to ensure that you have a UK phone presence no matter where you are located!

070 numbers are personal numbers, which allow you to be contacted no matter where you are. Calls are routed to your own private number, which will always remain private. You can pick up the call wherever you are.....

Always remember: if you are given a UK phone number (country code 44) that starts with 070, it is safe to assume that the person is not really located in the UK. Given the rampant abuse of these 070 redirect numbers by scammers of all types, anytime you see such a number you should recognize that there is a strong probability that it could be fraudulent. (Although it is possible some people might use 070 number for legitimate purposes, none of us here at Scamwarners have ever seen such a number that was not part of a scam.)

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