As part of attempts to combat an increase in overseas frauds, phone carriers would automatically block internet calls from abroad that are disguised as coming from UK numbers.
Ofcom, the communications regulator, said it has been working with telecoms providers to address the “difficult situation” and that the new safeguards will be implemented “at a rapid speed.”
According to The Telegraph, the regulator is also reviewing whether users should be required to produce identification when purchasing several sim cards, which may be used by fraudsters to send millions of text messages to victims.
Last week, Ofcom stated that throughout the summer, scam calls and texts targeted 45 million individuals in the UK, and that it was particularly worried about a “substantial surge” in fraudulent communication during the previous 18 months.
Fraudsters’ techniques, according to the agency, have gotten more sophisticated, including faking the phone numbers of well-known UK corporations and organisations. To carry out their frauds, foreign criminals are increasingly relying on internet-based technology.
Fraudulent calls continue to be a problem for the elderly, especially those who still use landlines. Over the last three months, around 60% of those over the age of 75 have reported getting a questionable call to their landline.
Text fraud is particularly common among younger individuals. Scammers have targeted three-quarters of 16- to 34-year-olds.
The police, the government, and the telecoms sector must all work together to combat overseas phone frauds, according to Ofcom.
“We’ve been working with telecommunications operators to develop technological solutions, such as banning suspected foreign calls that are masked by a UK number at source,” said Ofcom’s networks and communications group director Lindsey Fussell.
“We anticipate these steps to be implemented as quickly as possible in order to better safeguard clients.”