The UK telecommunications regulator, Ofcom, has recently announced new regulations that will force telecoms companies to take action against fake phone number usage by detecting and, where possible, banning spoofed calls. This is to address an issue that has led to over 40 million people becoming the subject of fraudulent calls and messages throughout 2022.
Steps have been taken to combat nuisance calls and have already been put in place by the vast majority of the large internet service providers, phone companies and mobile network operators, although these measures are not always successful. Furthermore, there are still many operators that could do more.
According to the Ofcom, preventing these calls without substantial international cooperation and coordination is technically very complex and frequently risks intercepting legitimate communications as well.
Over three quarters of a million UK residents have fallen victim to spoofed phone calls in the three months leading up to August 2022 alone. This increase in fraudulent calls has prompted the telecoms regulator to revise its operator guidelines. The regulator will now require networks to detect and stop calls faking a British caller ID from overseas, as well as ensure that all numbers adhere to the UK’s 10 or 11-digit format. In addition to this, all calls from numbers on Ofcom’s Do Not Originate list must be blocked.
Providers have six months to complete the technical adjustments required to comply with the new regulations before they go into effect in May 2023.
Ofcom’s Group Director for Networks and Communications commented: “Scam calls and texts are a major source of fraud, and they represent a clear and present danger to every phone user. Criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and it’s easy to be caught out by a scam. We’re constantly working with phone companies and other organizations on new ways to combat these scams. Blocking fake numbers can have a significant impact, so we’re making sure all phone companies apply this protection for their customers.”
We at EA Systems are committed to ensuring our client base is secure from spoof calling. Our EAS-y Hosted VoIP telephone system is already prepared to handle spoof calls, unknown numbers and witheld numbers. We are working closely with BT Wholesale to align our VoIP platform with the new regulations.