Dental charity hit by online phone scam

Fraudsters are using bogus telephone numbers to take money from callers to the Oral Health Foundation’s Dental Helpline.

Joe Lepper | 13th Feb 19

A dental charity is warning of an online scam that is charging victims premium rates to call its helpline.

The Oral Health Foundation says that bogus telephone numbers are being promoted online that take people to its dental helpline. While connected fraudstars are hitting callers with highly inflated charges.

The charity is currently investigating the scam and says it believes the numbers are being posted online via websites and emails.

It stresses that the only legitimate number for its dental helpline is a local rate number – 01788 539 780.

“All other telephone numbers claiming to be the Oral Health Foundation’s Dental Helpline (including those beginning with 0845) are not genuine and could result in callers being faced with unsuspected charges,” says a statement from the charity.

Fake numbers posted online

Oral Health Foundation Chief Executive Nigel Carter added: “We are aware of a telephone scam in which a series of fake numbers, claiming to be the Dental Helpline, are taking money for unsuspecting callers.

“To clarify, our Dental Helpline has one telephone number only. This is a local-rate number (01788 539 780) and is not a premium line.

“If you have been passed any other telephone number, we ask that you please discard it and share this information with us.

“The welfare of those who reach out to our Dental Helpline is really important to us.  It is always best to check the validity of a helpline number before calling or signposting people towards it. This is especially true if it is about a person’s health.  In this case, their financial safety might be at risk too.”

The helpline is staffed by dental professionals who offer free advice about a range of dental health issues.