The latest ‘Press 1’ phone scam


Hello tellows friends,

Who doesn’t worry about their money? It’s a completely rational concern. But what happens when scammers play on this feeling? In today’s blog, we will be introducing you to the latest “press 1 scam”, which seeks to exploit your fears and steal your money.

How this scam works

These calls start with a recorded message intended to cause panic. Often, the caller claims to be from a bank or credit card company, informing the listener that an unauthorised transaction has occurred or is about to occur. To stop this, the listener must “press 1”.

When the listener presses 1, they are connected to a real person, who may demand personal information or bank details. Of course, this person has nothing to do with any bank or legitimate organisation.

It goes almost without saying that it is a huge risk to divulge this information when requested by a caller. With your bank details, scammers can empty your bank account before you have a chance to stop them.

What our users say

Throughout July, many of you reported this type of scam caller on the tellows platform.

Hex commented on the number 02087926297:

Automated phishing call saying my credit card paid £600 to a foreign country. Instructed to press 1 to allow or stop the payment. Needless to say I did a 1471 before the second call could be made from an unlisted number; people will fall for this one

Chris reported the number 01243544185 with the comment:

Automated call received this afternoon, a recorded voice requested I press 1 to stop a suspicious payment of £600 being made by Visa from my account.

Mark wrote this about the number 01568616123:

Scammers having an off day – automated “emergency” message saying I had a card transaction of £600 and to press 1 to speak to an operator. Pressed 1 expecting some scammer to try (and fail) to get my bank details and was greeted by “George” from “BT Broadband”. Must try harder!

Our advice to you

  1. Don’t give out your bank details over the phone. Know that your bank will never ask you for your pin number or your card’s security code. If you are asked for this information, you should immediately be suspicious.
  2. If a caller appears to know some of your personal information, this does not mean that they are legitimate. Always be wary of trusting a stranger on the phone, it is much better to be overcautious in this situation.
  3. Don’t forget that you ALWAYS have the power to hang up the phone and end the call. If you are concerned, you can easily call your bank yourself using the official phone number from their website.
  4. Finally, don’t forget to share information on the tellows website! With your help, other members of our community can avoid falling victim to the scammer.

Your tellows team


11 thoughts on “The latest ‘Press 1’ phone scam

  1. Rich Pearce You say “When the listener presses 1, they are connected to a real person, who may demand personal information or bank details…. The cost of the call itself is also likely to be expensive, as scammers want to make as much money as possible..”
    Logically pressing 1 and incurring a charge can only mean A the recipient is accepting reverse charges, during rather than before the incoming phone call B the recipient of the incoming call is successfully dialling out during an incoming call, using the number 1 (or similar) which has been registered as a premium rate number, .
    Neither A nor B is technically possible. So, what is the evidence that pressing 1 during an incoming call incurs charges ? Thank you

  2. Mrs Susan Buchanan

    This caller was a recorded message of a male talking with an English accent, they tried 3 times this afternoon and left a message saying that it was customs and an arrest warrant was out in my name and to press 1 to talk to the officer in charge, not the first time I have received these calls.

  3. Malcolm Hart

    If no cost is incurred, it worthwhile pressing 1 and then simply wasting the scammer’s time?

    This is always a favourite method of mine if called by a scammer who is a real (if vile) person: act naive, dither, delay, prevaricate, make them think they’re getting somewhere and then hang up.

  4. Tuttman

    Thanks for this. I have had one of these messages today. I have recently taken to check the internet for reports of the latest efforts by the scammers to rob people. If I get a “live” one I tell them to send their request through the post. Once upon a time at least the thieves had the bottle to enter your home now it’s done in the most cowardly way posible.

  5. Albo

    My old mum had a couple of calls on the “press one” scam claiming to be from Virgin (who sje has her phone and b/band with). The caller said she would be losing her b/band due to illegal activity, she should press one to resolve this. I have educated her to ignore these, and to be deeply suspicious of all phone calls from strangers. It seems like only 50 years ago she was warning me about answering to strangers 🙂

  6. denise groves

    07791764182 at 08:44 am this morning, 2nd december (yes, end of lockdown!). Scammers claiming £300 taken from our (unspecified) visa, no names or other data therefore a phishing attempt. “Press button 1 to speak to an advisor” – therefore a switch to an expensive diversion line. Please report these scammers and get them arrested by lunchtime. We get dozens of spam and scam attempts every month and authorities are powerless without the public’s help.

  7. denise groves

    01202078973 the old “Press 1” Visa scam, this time about fictional £600 taken from unspecified account, auto message. Yesterday they used 07791764182. Wonder what tomorrow’s (fake) number will be? When will these crooks realise EVERYBODY has heard of this one and move on? When will Police etc take these fraudulent calls seriously and start intercepting them and arresting the crooks. Nobody needs pestering with scammers this year, of all years. Bring back hanging, I say.

  8. denise groves

    Today it was 0141 244677, yesterday it was 01202 078973, wednesday it was 07791 764128. All scammers using the ages-old “Press 1” scam for visa card alleged fraudulent transactions, usually £300 or £600 (no imagination, these crooks!). Also no imagination from Visa Europe – who still say it’s nothing to do with them and still no response from authorities who specialise in “advice” rather than action to arrest these scammers. Imagine the 100,000’s of victims, the £billions stolen from innocent victims and £millions lost in wasted time and wasted phone line illegal use. You would think Government might be interested – but – no – there are no votes in it!

  9. denise groves

    Hi again.
    Another Press 1 scam call. This time from 0208 489 4397. live call, Asian lady (Saira?), very hard to understand, claims to be from “Safe Home” (insurance) but number corresponds to “POS Software”. You can tell Christmas is coming when the scammers crawl out from under their rocks.

  10. denise groves

    Me again, we seem to be this week’s special target.
    02012010000, Asian male, live call, claiming to be from CGF Energy, trying to get us to switch energy suppliers. The problem with that is the number seems to come from Pimpri, Chinchwad, Maharashtra Province, India. AND various CGF companies found online do not seem to be energy suppliers AND not from either India or the UK. SO, dodgy much? We cut them off before they asked us to “Press 1” but we are sure that was coming…..

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