Martin Lewis issues urgent alert with key phone number to dodge banking scams

World News

Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis has taken to X today to share an important tip to help people avoid a bank scam.

Criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their tactics to con victims out of their personal details.’s quarterly Fraud and Cyber Crime Report revealed a significant increase of 1,407 scam cases in April, May, and June, collectively costing victims £593million.

Britons are urged to be more vigilant when picking up the phone and if it’s an unexpected call from a bank, there are additional steps people can take to be sure they’re not being scammed.

Mr Lewis wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, “Phone number to remember: 159. If you need to call your bank urgently (e.g. it’s just called you, and you’ve hung up as it may be a scam) and can’t remember its number, just call 159 and it’ll put you through.

“PS If you have had poss scam call, use a different line to call back (or wait an hour) in case they’re spoofing a dial tone.” (sic)

READ MORE: Disabled Santander customer loses thousands in scam and can’t get money back

Stop Scams UK launched 159 in 2021 to provide a “memorable” and “simple” way to connect UK banking customers safely and securely with their bank if they receive an unexpected or suspicious call about a financial matter.

According to the crime stoppers, 159 works in the same way as 101 for the police or 111 for the NHS.

It stated: “It’s the number you can trust to get you through to your bank safely and securely, every time.

“So 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.”

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Which banks are using 159?

According to Stop Scams UK, the banks that currently use 159 include:

  • Barclays
  • Bank of Scotland
  • Co-operative Bank
  • First Direct
  • Halifax
  • HSBC
  • Lloyds
  • Metro Bank
  • Nationwide Building Society
  • NatWest
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Santander
  • Starling Bank
  • Tide
  • TSB
  • Ulster Bank.

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There are also a number of telephone companies involved in 159, including:

  • BT (including EE and Plusnet)
  • Gamma
  • O2 (including giffgaff)
  • Sky
  • TalkTalk
  • Three
  • Virgin Media
  • Vodafone.

What does it cost?

The cost of calling 159 will vary according to a person’s phone provider. In many cases, this will be the same as a national rate call.

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