Major phone networks have agreed to automatically block almost all internet calls coming from abroad if they pretend to be from UK numbers, Ofcom has confirmed.
Criminals have been using internet-based calling technology to make it look like a phone call or text is coming from a real telephone number.
were targeted by phone scams this summer.
Ofcom said it expected the measures to be introduced at pace as a “priority”.
So far, one operator has already implemented the new plans, the regulator told while other phone networks are still exploring methods of making it work.
“We’ve been working with telecoms companies to implement technical solutions, including blocking at source, suspicious international calls that are masked by a UK number,” said Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s networks and communications group director.
“We expect these measures to be introduced as a priority, and at pace, to ensure customers are better protected.”
She added that tackling the phone scams issue was a “complex problem” that requires a coordinated effort from the police, government, other regulators and industry.
The move follows months of discussions between Ofcom and the UK telecoms industry