Don’t be conned by a National Insurance Number scam

Published on Tuesday 4 May 2021

Our Trading Standards team are urging residents to be alert to an automated phone call that makes false warnings about their National Insurance details.

In common with other areas, people in Angus have reported this National Insurance scam to Trading Standards.

It’s just one of a number of scams targeting the public during the Covid-19 pandemic and recovery. It is important that people are as vigilant as they can be against these threats, with Royal Mail and banking scams also among a number of other reported incidents in recent months. See our Scam Free Angus page for helpful details and information including current scam warnings.

The so-called National Insurance automated message states: "This call is in regards to your National Insurance number. Ignoring this final warning may lead you to legal troubles. The reason behind this phone call is to inform you that your National Insurance number will be terminated due to some unethical financial transactions."

The recording then asks the recipient to "please press '1' to get more details."

Do not Press 1 if you receive this call.

It is a data harvesting or phishing attempt that could lead to identity theft.

Pressing the button puts the person receiving the call through to a scammer who will supposedly verify their National Insurance number. Anyone who responds is revealing key personal details and putting their finances in danger.

Katherine Hart, a Lead Officer at Chartered Trading Standards Institute and an Angus Trading Standards Officer said: "This scam is despicable in its attempt to scare the public with the threat of losing their National Insurance number at this challenging time for everyone.

“It's astounding that these unscrupulous scammers refer to unethical transactions as the reason.

"If you receive this call, do not ever press '1' and please warn others about it. Also, report it to the authorities, such as Advice Direct Scotland, or Police Scotland. Reporting all instances of fraud helps consumer protectors establish a clearer picture of the landscape and the true scale of this problem."

People and businesses are encouraged to join Friends Against Scams and Businesses Against Scams, respectively. These initiatives aim to protect and prevent people and businesses from becoming scam victims by empowering them to take a stand against scams.

May sees a month-long campaign by Trading Standards Scotland and its partners to raise awareness and help inform and empower the public to help Shut Out Scammers