+4470 Phone Numbers - Personal Forwarding Numbers
By: Nyla - FraudWatchers.org
July 1st, 2010
+4470 numbers are a major red flag when it comes to scams!
Personal forwarding phone numbers (also called "UK global redirects") are easily recognized, and they are a major red flag when it comes to identifying scams or scammers. The number is often given in the format +447024013818. The country code, (the +44) seemingly indicates that the number is UK-based number. The 70 prefix, however, identifies it as a personal forwarding number.
What is a personal forwarding number? or When is a London phone number not a London phone number?
Many phone providers offer this service for free. The number can be "forwarded" to any phone in the world. The charge for the call, which can be quite high, are billed to the caller, not the recipient of the call. The user of the number can apply for one more or less anonymously. Consequently, scammers love this free, portable number which can fool the unwary into believing they are located in the UK, while the scammer actually receives calls on an anonymous, prepaid cell phone on another continent, in another legal jurisdiction.
Does a personal forwarding number always equal a scam?
With very few exceptions, yes. Because of the high rates charged for the caller, legitimate UK businesses would not be eager to use a +4470 number as a contact number for customers or people applying for a job. Most businesses use +4470 numbers strictly internally, for example, forwarding a personal number to the mobile phone or temporary office location of a foreign-based employee in order to save on phone charges.
In our time here at Fraudwatchers, we've only seen one
legitimate business using a +4470 number as a public customer contact number. The business was a small company dedicated to arranging African safaris, and as such, the owners and employees were often traveling abroad and needed a dedicated UK number that could be forwarded to their mobile phones.
If you're given a +4470 number in the course of an email exchange, chances are you are dealing with a scammer. This is especially true if that number claims to belong to a London barrister, lawyer, travel agency, visa agency, lottery claim office or human resources/employment department.
Personal forwarding numbers are often a very good sign that you need to investigate further.
+44 870 /+44 871 / +44 844 / 44 845 Numbers Are Also Very Suspicious
Like +44 70 numbers these telephone numbers redirect or forward the call to another number so there is no assurance that you are calling someone in the UK and in most cases you are not. Callers also pay for the "convenience" of calling one of these numbers so no real business in the UK would use them. Scammers love these numbers because they allow them to pretend to be in the UK as opposed to Nigeria, etc. Please read: +44 870 /+44 871 / +44 844 / 44 845 Numbers Are Very Suspicious
Curious Nelly provided the following informative link.
Ofcom Press Release on Personal Number Scams