Unsolicited calls from companies selling financial products are to be banned in the UK, the government has announced.
The government stated that modern technology has helped to create new ways for fraudsters to target and bombard individuals with calls, texts and emails. During the summer of 2022, 41 million people were targeted by suspicious communications, data published by regulator Ofcom revealed.
In order to tackle the issue, the government intends to ban cold calls on all financial products; outlaw ‘SIM farms’, whereby criminals use technical devices to send scam texts to thousands of people at the same time; and work alongside Ofcom to stop ‘number spoofing’ cases, which see scammers impersonate UK numbers and trick people into thinking they’re speaking to banks, telephone companies or other legitimate businesses.
Announcing the new measures, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: ‘Fraud now accounts for over 40% of crime. It costs us nearly £7 billion a year and we know these proceeds are funding organised crime and terror. What’s more, new technologies are making these scams easier to do and harder to police.
‘It’s time to take the fight to the scammers and fraudsters and put an end to these crimes which can devastate lives and livelihoods within seconds.’