New 159 Service

Councillor Richard Macrae has shared the following information with us:

If you think someone is trying to trick you into handing over money or personal details…

…Stop, hang up and call 159 to speak directly to your bank.

Last year criminal gangs stole over £470m by pretending to be your bank or other service provider.

159 is the memorable, secure number that connects you directly to your bank if you think you’re being scammed.

159 works in the same way as 101 for the police or 111 for the NHS. It’s the number you can trust to get you through to your bank, every time.

159 will never call you. Only a fraudster will object to you calling 159.

When should I call 159?

Call 159 if:

  • Someone contacts you saying they’re from your bank – even if they are not suspicious
  • You receive a call asking you to transfer money or make a payment – even if it seems genuine
  • You receive a call about a financial matter and it seems suspicious

Remember, 159 will never call you. But you can rely on 159 to get you through to your bank.

Who is behind 159?

159 has been set up by banks and telephone companies who want to fight fraud. It’s a pilot scheme at the moment. The following banks are part of it:

  • Barclays
  • Lloyds (including Halifax and Bank of Scotland)
  • NatWest (including Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank)
  • Santander
  • Starling Bank

That covers over 70% of UK primary current account holders.

We want more banks to join us, and we hope they will over the course of the pilot.

Will it definitely work on my telephone?

Almost all major consumer telephone companies are participating, and almost all UK mobiles and landlines are able to use 159.

The telephone companies are:

  • BT, including EE and Plusnet
  • Gamma
  • O2, including giffgaff
  • TalkTalk
  • Three
  • Virgin Media
  • Sky
  • Vodafone

What happens if 159 doesn’t work, for any reason?

You should contact your bank in the normal way, using the number on your bank card.

How much does it cost to call 159?

Calling 159 will cost the same as a national rate call; usually part of the included minutes in most phone tariffs.

What’s the idea behind the 159 pilot?

159 is a pilot scheme – the idea is to collect evidence to show that calling 159 helps fight fraud. Then we want to make 159 a universal number – available on all phones and for all banks.

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