UK phone companies will have to be able to identify and block fraudulent calls

Telephone companies in the UK will have to find ways to identify and block fraudulent calls, according to Ofcom, the UK communications regulator. New rules will protect people from scammers using fake phone numbers. Ofcom said 75 percent of people had received suspicious calls and texts in the past three months.

Under the new rules, Ofcom will require all telephone networks to identify and block fraudulent calls where technically feasible. Phone companies should ensure numbers conform to the UK 10- or 11-digit format, they should block 'whitelist' calls from Ofcom, and calls from abroad that spoof UK caller ID calls should also be blocked.

TalkTalk, which has voluntarily implemented the new rules, said it had observed a 65 percent drop in customer complaints about scam calls. Other non-compliant phone companies will have six months to make the necessary changes, and the rules will come into force from May 2023. Regrettably, Ofcom has yet to provide details on fines for companies that fail to enforce the new guidelines.

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