Telephone scams using the 020 3 London area code …

Once again this morning my landline rang, no message left. I checked the caller’s number using 1471 and it was a London area code 020 3. This area code is a regular one I find so checked it out to find an interesting item (on the link below), it’s from March 2018 but probably still applies though.

This morning’s caller was probably a scammer and as mentioned elsewhere on OFC I have now given my landline number over to the scammers etc., they can have it. There is an answering machine connected to my landline so genuine callers can leave a message, none are ever left making it obvious these callers are scammers.

My contact number is now my mobile number, all who know me know that number so use that. Problem solved, well almost as I have also had to block scammers using that number too, possibly obtained by them from those who sell numbers on, usually obtained from companies who have telephone numbers for contact purposes.

Just who are these companies selling telephone numbers with the 020 3 area code? Those who supply these numbers to third party companies who are using them for the purpose of scaling must be held responsible for what they are being used for.

This urgently need stopping, there should be something in place to legally prevent this – they are making some people’s lives a misery and it’s increasing.

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KInda nice to know those with an inner London number are considered legitimated. :icon_cool:

Ahem, but I imagine these call centres are in council flats in Tower Hamlets or Brixton.

Probably not! There are Apps you can download now: pretend you are calling from anywhere.

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That’s the problem, they can be anywhere at all and nobody knows where.
There’s nothing like helping the scammers even more!

Well I didn’t know that. Even more help then for the ‘no-goods’ to enable them to rip people off ever more easily. This definitely needs stopping, I know I’ve had enough of all the calls which is why I have taken the steps I have with my landline.

look on the bright side … I imagine it’s useful for a new small business fighting for corporate clients in central London, the 0203 number might boost their cred a little. Nothing wrong with that.

Back in my day we had an accommodation address in Knightsbridge, I doubt they are regarded necessary or popular now. It’s all email, web, hashtags.

You are doing the right thing Baz by simply not answering your phone.

Yes, I agree but then the scammers realised it hid their location, allowing them to have an even easier time with their appalling scamming. Other than the scammers, those at fault are the companies that sell these numbers to the scammers. They are cheap at about £3 a month but I doubt there is any follow-up as to the type of ‘businesses’ buying these 020 3 numbers or the use of them. I believe there should be but as usual it’s all down to the same old problem, money, money, money – greed!

Yes, that’s proved in that there are less and less calls, just 32 in the last three months or so where there used to be six or more daily. This is because if not answered or an answering machine is being used then to the scammers it’s a ‘dead’ number and not worth their time, suits me though.

I only have a landline for the broadband now and I believe it’s possible also to disconnect the phone itself too. Not too sure that would be a good idea, hence the answering machine as that not only dissuades scammers, it also gives an option for anyone who doesn’t either have or know that my regular contact number is now my mobile.

I think the scammer idea is false alarm.

BT rent out these numbers to start-ups: fair play.

I have to disagree with you there d00d. My own experience with calls going to the answer machine and being able to check them out using 1471, shows that I have had many calls from 020 3 numbers. I don’t know anyone in London and no messages are ever left. The call I had this morning was from a 020 3 number and so were many of the few calls I now receive through not answering the phone nowadays.

BT might rent out those numbers believing they are start-ups, that is fair play and I do agree with that. However, I wonder if BT actually checks to see if they are start-ups or possible scammers. I don’t know for sure but I don’t believe they would. It’s as I said previously money, money, money – greed!

If anyone can come up with proof either way then I am only too willing to listen to or read that, until then I stick to what I believe, as above.

We have briefly mentioned this elsewhere regarding “spoof” numbers.

There is a legitimate reason for allowing this for example a business that has many lines but only one number (ie when you dial the call finds the first free line). These businesses for obvious reasons want their main number to appear when they make calls on any of their outgoing lines. This is quite legitimate.

Unfortunately the same process allows scammers to basically use any number they like to appear as the calling number.

Ironically I have to answer “Number Unknown” calls because at least two of my kids work in defence establishments where an outgoing call doesn’t show a number for obvious reasons (mobile phone have to be turned off and left outside or in a secure box apparently)

No problem with that at all. Nothing wrong with doing that to perhaps portray a prestigious central London location. It’s the way these 020 3 numbers seem to be so easily obtainable and used by the ‘no-goods’, the scammers, that’s where the problem is.

Yes, and there lies the problem I reckon.

It is like a lot of these things; to stop the scammers would involve penalising a bigger majority of legitimate businesses for no good reason. There is always someone to exploit any loophole, that’s life.

Yes, there is always someone wishing to exploit any loophole but just how much of an effort is made to ensure those who want one of these 020 3 numbers uses it for legitimate purposes? Probably no efforts at all as there is money involved. If there was perhaps a way of monitoring what calls are being made and if they are scam calls then that 020 3 number could be terminated.

That is very much like the scammers who are based in another country, their calls have to come through our existing telephone providers but it seems nobody monitors those with a view to stopping them, money again I believe.

We see here on OFC how everything can be monitored, look at what this software can do in that way. There is far more sophisticated software around that could be used against scammers but it seems nobody does this. They are quite satisfied to make £ millions or even £ billions. leaving scammers untouched and people being regularly scammed simply because they have a telephone.

You’re probably right, dOOd.
I remember a couple of years back I rang TPS about these calls and they told me people can ‘buy’ false numbers to appear to ring from. It apparently gives these scammers the opportunity to appear to be calling from a respectable area rather than from some unknown foreign phone number.
TPS can’t stop foreign numbers pestering us.

Surely this should be totally illegal? Why are there false numbers available in the first place, and who sells them?

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As mentioned before there are legitimate reasons for doing this, anybody can string 10 numbers together to make a phone number which may or may not belong to a phone line. To make it illegal would cause more problems than it solves.

I’m now wondering about those in lockdown, working from home, they might be able to phone a client and have their office number displayed on the incoming call.

I always have fun with them. When they ask my name I say “It’s really long have you got your pen ready?” “Yes” “Are you sure because it’s really long?” “Yes I’m ready?” “Then what are you waiting on I’ve told you twice It’s LONG L-O-N-G!” Sheesh! :imp: :imp: :imp: :imp:

I do something similar in that it wastes their time and the outcome amuses me. Often they start by saying they have noticed my computer is having problems, they work for big companies like BT (British Telecom), Microsoft and others so are able to sort my current problems out. I then lead them on, making out I am someone who knows nothing about computers. Then they continue again, mentioning Microsoft and Windows, to the point of trying to get me to hand over control of my computer online for them to fix. Next I ask them which of my three computers is the one causing problems? There’s a pause, then I say that I am asking that as I have three Apple Macs. Immediately the call is ended!

All good fun, plus the time I keep them talking is less time for them to try and scam someone else.

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Just because it is an 0203 doesn’t actually mean in was generated from London. You can get BT to give you what is called an “out of area number” . for example you could be in any part of the country and still have a london number