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The UK's largest broadband providers are acting to close a loophole which potentially jeopardises the security of consumer information.

BT, Sky and Virgin Media are to make changes in response to rising levels of telephone-based fraud in the UK, the BBC reported.

The news provider explained that call clearing features can be used to make it appear as if customers are receiving calls from a trusted party - such as their bank, the police or broadband provider.

Fraudsters are able to abuse this phone feature by coaxing recipients into providing their credit card details.

In order to reduce the risks faced by customers, the main network operators are cutting call clearing times - during which calls can be transferred to extensions in the home - from a number of minutes to just a few seconds.

"We intend to cut the 'holding the line open' time to two seconds and we will have a solution in place to do this for several million customers over the next six weeks," a BT spokesman told the BBC. 

"We need to do some further testing for the remaining lines and will resolve this issue for those customers as soon as possible." 

Virgin Media spokesperson Emma Hutchinson said that if someone is concerned about a call they have received, they should hang up and either wait five minutes or use another line to speak to the police on 101.  

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