Call the free version of the main number: for 118 118 this free version is 0800 118 3733 – you’ll just hear an advert when you first connect your call
Look up the phone number you need by Googling using your phone or computer internet browser
Why are 070 numbers being investigated?
070 numbers, also known as ‘personal’ or ‘follow-me’ numbers, are services which divert calls to private telephone numbers. They are popular among small business as a solution to call management and for people posting classified ads in magazines or on websites who wish to keep their personal number private.
Scammers have been abusing 070 services for several years, with Ofcom issuing a warning back in 2013. Because an 070 number can look very similar to a mobile number, which starts with 07, tricking people into calling one could leave them paying up to £3.40 a minute.
Both 118 and 070 numbers are the product of the previous industry regulator, Oftel, which was merged with other regulators in the formation of Ofcom in 2003.
Ofcom say: “Our Call Cost Review will consider whether consumer harm is arising out of deliberate misconduct or market failure, and what action may be required.”
In 2015, Ofcom introduced measures to make the cost of 118 numbers more transparent for consumers but, with the announcement of this new review, it seems that those measures were not enough.
The review, and the proposals that will follow, are scheduled to be released later this year.
118 and 070 numbers which are found in breach of the rules could have their service barred and face a fine of up to £250,000.