Information Services Division


Handling Unwanted Telephone Calls - 3 August 2021

3 August 2021

Over the last 18 months there has been a global surge in the number of reports of unwanted telephone calls being received, and as more of our users are returning to campus or being added to Teams telephony, we are seeing an increase in reports across UCL.
A small number of UCL staff have recently been receiving calls from external numbers with the caller saying they were returning a missed phone call. In each case the member of staff had not contacted the caller. This is commonly known as Spoofing.
These calls can be received by any of our desk-based telephone systems, Microsoft Teams, or by mobile.
Currently there is no way to stop spoof calls, however it is being investigated by the industry regulator Ofcom.

We have some guidance on how to handle unwanted calls below:

Our Advice

  • Screen your calls using the Calling Line Identity that is shown on inbound call notifications
  • Within Microsoft Teams you can change your settings to block withheld numbers and specific numbers from being able to contact you. Manage your call settings in Teams
  • Remember never give out personal or sensitive information in response to an incoming call, or rely upon the Caller ID as the sole means of identification.
  • To check whether the caller was genuine you should wait at least five minutes before making a new outbound call - this ensures the line has cleared and you're not still connected. Use this time to identify the telephone number from a trusted source such as the company’s website or any documents you have received.
  • We understand this is a serious issue - any calls that are harassing or potentially a scam should be reported to us for support & investigation.

If you are experiencing a problem in any of these areas & need support or further guidance, please email the telecoms team directly is-telecoms@ucl.ac.uk