Virgin Media O2 and Ross Kemp are launching a unique fraud-fighting beer, set to be sampled at an Oswestry pub.

To mark International Fraud Awareness Week (November 12 to 18), the telecoms giant and the noted actor and documentary maker are introducing Crafty Lager 7726 to the nation.

This new limited-edition beer aims to stoke scam-related chats amongst the public.

Crafty Lager 7726, aptly named following beer naming norms, comprises fraud advice as part of the firm's endeavour to initiate conversations about fraud and foster scam awareness.


Virgin Media O2 is also collaborating with Proper Pubs, Admiral Taverns' community-centered operator division, to bring this free beer for a limited period to The Boars Head, Oswestry.

Actor and documentary maker, Ross Kemp, famous for his role as publican Grant Mitchell in EastEnders and for Bafta-award winning documentaries, is backing the campaign.

He 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.”

Border Counties Advertizer: Ross Kemp drinking Crafty Lager 7726.Ross Kemp drinking Crafty Lager 7726. (Image: Virgin Media O2)

The public can simply order a '7726' to receive two complimentary beers or a non-alcoholic alternative to stimulate conversation about fraud.

The launch of Crafty Lager 7726 follows a study indicating that about 23 per cent of Brits claim to have fallen for a scam, and 41 per cent know someone who has been conned.

Of those who have been scammed, 68 per cent suffered financial losses averaging £393.

Crafty Lager 7726's label also delivers a crucial message, reminding customers never to share one-time passcodes over the phone; a fact unknown to 44 per cent of people surveyed.

It also offers advice on reporting dubious calls and texts by forwarding them to 7726, short for SPAM on an alphanumeric phone keypad.

Virgin Media's O2's Chief Operations Officer, Rob Orr, expressed concern about the growing national fraud problem and pledged support for UK's anti-scam efforts through awareness and prevention tools.

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Mr Orr said: Fraud is now a national epidemic and, with thousands of people falling victim every single day, we are committed to doing all we can to help the UK swerve the scammers.

 “Awareness of common scams and tactics can help consumers fight the phoneys, so we are arming Brits with the tips and tools they need to protect themselves.”

By doing this, they can expedite investigations, shut down frauds more rapidly, and enhance blocking technology to stop future scams.