Skip to main content

Call 159 if you suspect a scam

9TH APRIL 2024


Text saying "Call 159 if you suspect a scam" net to an image of a keypad with the numbers 1, 5 and 9 coloured in purple

If you’re contacted by someone claiming to be from your bank, stop, hang up and dial 159: the hotline designed to fight fraud. Calling 159 is a practical step you can take to challenge scammers and protect yourself. When you call 159, you’ll get through to your bank directly and securely.

The 159 hotline is managed by Stop Scams UK. Those involved in the hotline include Starling and many other banks across the UK, as well as technology and telecoms companies. Our aim is for 159 to become a universal number, similar to 111 for the NHS or 999 for emergency services.

When should I call 159?

Here are some scenarios in which you should call 159:

  • If someone contacts you claiming to be from your bank, even if they don’t sound suspicious, hang up and call 159 to check if your bank really did need to contact you. 

  • If someone contacts you claiming to be an authority figure, for example the police, and asks you to transfer money, even if it seems genuine. Don’t transfer any money or provide any bank details – hang up and call 159.

  • If you feel uneasy or suspicious about a call you’ve received from someone asking for financial details or pressuring you into making a payment, it’s not rude to hang up. It’s a reasonable and sensible thing to do. Call 159.

What happens when I call 159?

When you call 159, you will be directly connected to your bank. If you’re a Starling customer, this means you’ll be put in touch with a member of our team. They will be able to check whether the call you received really was from someone at Starling. If for any reason, 159 doesn’t work as it should, you can call Starling Customer Services directly using the number on the back of your card.

Remember that if Starling does call you (for example if youve requested a callback), we will never ask you to share your PIN, password or ask you to authorise a payment from your account to a new ‘safe account’. If someone asks you to do this, they are a fraudster.

What if I think I’ve already been scammed?

If you think you’ve already been the victim of fraud, you should get in touch with our 24/7 customer service team as soon as possible. You should also report your suspicion to the police.

Will 159 ever call me?

No, you will never receive a call from 159. If you do, dont answer or if you answer by accident, hang up immediately. If you’ve received a call from 159 on your landline, don’t use the same landline to dial 159 and report this scam (the criminals could keep the line open). Instead, use a mobile or different device to call 159.

Some fraudsters can match the number that comes up on your phone with your banks number or the 159 number, a technique known as number spoofing, so its always best to dial the number yourself if youre worried that a call youve received isnt genuine.

You can find out more about ways to protect yourself from scammers by reading the articles written by Starlings fraud team. Theyve covered everything from romance fraud and family safewords to parcel and package delivery scams and APP fraud.