'089' - Network and Routing Numbers

Numbers starting '089' are reserved for non-public uses, such as routing calls around the phone network and between telephone companies.

Why have I received a call from an '089' number??

There is no legitimate reason for an end customer to receive a call that is shown as being from an '089'. The only reasons for this occuring are:

  • being contacted by scammers who are spoofing a completely fake number that happens to start with the digits'089';
  • the phone companies showing an '089' number due to a technical error; or
  • a bug or misconfiguration resulting in the number being shown incorrectly.

Currently, there are 2 distinct series of '089' numbers being used for different reasons, '08979' and '0899'.

What are '08979' Numbers

'08979' numbers are known as 'Inserted Network Numbers for Calling Line Identification' and are not usually made public. They are used mostly to help handle incoming calls from outside the UK. On occasions UK phone companies may receive incoming calls either without details of the original caller's number, or with unreliable information. In such cases, the phone company in question will label the call with an '08979' number before it is connected to its destination. The '08979' number should not be passed on to the ultimate recipient of the call by the phone network. However, it will be visible to all phone companies that the call passes through and allow them to trace the origins of the call. This assists companies in tackling problem calls.

What are '0899' Numbers

'0899' numbers are known as 'Inbound Routing Codes' and are not used publicly. Telephone companies use '0899' numbers for directing calls internally around their own networks and for passing calls to and from other service providers. Numbers beginning with '0899' are never advertised for public use. They are not normally dialable from normal phones and incoming calls should never be presented as appearing to come from such numbers.