Swerve the Scammers with Crafty Lager 7726

At Virgin Media O2, we are committed to fighting fraud and helping customers to stay safe. From vishing to smishing, our goal is to prevent fraud and educate customers on what to do if they think they’ve been approached by a scammer. 

7726. It spells SPAM on your phone’s keypad and is the number to use when you receive a suspicious call or text. If you receive a call or text that doesn’t look right, simply forward it to 7726 and the team will investigate. It helps keep you safe and allows us to block fraudsters and prevent or shut down similar scams faster in future.

Virgin Media O2 is raising awareness of 7726 by launching its very own beer, Crafty Lager 7726. Available in participating pubs nationwide, we want to crack open the conversation around fraud and put advice straight into people’s hands. 

To get yours, head down to one of the pubs below, order a 7726 at the bar and we’ll give you and a friend a beer or a non-alcoholic alternative each.  

The beer launches off the back of new research revealing nearly a quarter (23%) of Brits report falling for a scam, and more than two in five (41%) know someone else who has. With more than three-quarters of us (77%) believing more open conversations around fraud could help keep people safe, what better way to get chatting than over a drink? 

Participating pubs 

Legal T&Cs  

Alcohol and non-alcoholic option only available to persons aged 18+ (challenge 25). Offer limited to two drinks per pair at participating pubs only, from 15-30 Nov, while stocks last. Drink responsibly.  

Ross Kemp on Scams

To help raise of awareness of 7726 and other fraud fighting tips and tricks, Virgin Media O2 has teamed up with actor and documentary maker, Ross Kemp, to help educate customers on how to swerve the scammers.  

Welcoming the campaign, Ross said: “I’ve teamed up with Virgin Media O2 in the fight against scammers to launch Crafty Lager 7726 and help put fraud top of the agenda when catching up with mates or family for a drink.   

“With these fraudsters continually adapting their tactics, it’s important to keep your guard up. If you receive a call or a text unexpectedly, offering a deal too good to be true and asking for a security code, don’t share it; just hang up – it’s almost certainly a scam.  

“The more we talk about fraud the better we become at spotting the signs. So, whether it’s a beer or a brew, whatever your choice of beverage, why not take the chance to have a chat over a drink and break the taboo.” 

O2’s steps for staying safe from scammers

Alongside the launch of Crafty Lager 7726, we’ve pulled together three simple steps on what to do when called by a scammer or upon receiving a suspicious message:   

STOP: If you receive a call out of the blue for someone claiming to be from O2, think about what you’re being asked to do. Does it feel right? Are you being asked for personal data or a code over the phone? If you have any suspicion that you might be speaking to a scammer, the best thing to do is hang up and call us back by dialling 202 from your O2 phone.   

SEND to 7726: Worked out you might have spoken to or received a text from a scammer? Don’t just ignore it, take a few seconds to forward on to 7726 so O2 can block the number and shut down similar scams faster in future.    

SPEAK OUT: Let your friends and family know about the scam. By telling others, you can help keep them safe and ensure they’re never caught off guard.   

We’ve also developed the “O2 nevers” to help people spot potential fraudsters and their crafty tactics.   

O2 will never… 

1. Ask you to read out your one-time passcode or bank details over the phone 

If anyone calls asking for a code that’s been sent to you to secure a great deal, hang up. It’s a scam.  

2. Tell you to ignore security warnings 

Security warnings are there for a reason – to help keep you safe. Genuine O2 employees will never ask you to disregard them.  

3. Get angry if you want to hang up and call us back 

If you have any suspicion that you might be speaking to a scammer, the best thing to do is hang up and call us back by dialling 202 from your O2 phone.   

4. Pressure you into making a quick decision 

Scammers will try to get you to act before you’ve had a chance to think about what’s going on. If you start hearing things like ‘this is a limited one-time offer’ or ‘you need to give me an answer right now’ – hang up. 

5. Ask you to pay to return a device to us 

Fraudsters often try to convince victims they’ve been sent the ‘wrong device’ and trick them into sending it back. O2 provides pre-paid labels for device returns and only ever to the official O2 returns address, which is O2 Returns Centre, Communication House, Vulcan Road North, Norwich, NR66AQ. If you’re asked to pay for return shipping, it’s a scam. 

If you think you’ve been the victim of fraud – whether that’s because you’ve given details to someone over the phone, or clicked on a link in a suspicious text or email – there are things you can do: 

  • Contact your bank if you think you may have given out financial information. They can help protect your account and stop transactions 
  • Change your account and online account passwords 
  • Forward fraudulent texts to us for free on 7726 and we’ll look into them 
  • Contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 
  • Call your Virgin Media or O2 customer services number if you think somebody’s taken out a contract with us using their details 

Virgin Media customers can phone 150 from their landline or 0345 454 1111 from any other phone. 

O2 customers can call 202 from their O2 phone or 0344 809 0202 from any other phone. 

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on:
press@virginmediao2.co.uk 01753 565656
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