A scam where fraudsters seek to gain your trust in order to get access to your hard earned cash.
So how does it work?
The scam starts with a phone call from the fraudster posing as a banking official or police officer, who tells you that money has been removed from your account, or that there has been fraudulent activity on your card. You may be asked to confirm personal details, which anyone could find out fairly easily, such as your name and address.
You may be asked to call the bank back or to ring the police on 999, this is meant to reassure you, but they keep the line open, so when you ring back you are actually speaking to the fraudster, who may ask for your PIN and other details such as the three digit code from the back of the card, or they may ask you to withdraw a sum of cash from your bank account.
The final step is for the fraudster to send a taxi or courier to collect your card or the cash, which they reassure you, you will get back, but of course you never do.
This may sound alarming, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself, such as:
- Being sceptical of callers, even those who are claiming to be officials.
- Please don’t be afraid to put the phone down with a brief ‘No, thank you’.
- NEVER give your personal information, such as your date of birth or bank details, to unexpected callers.
- Remember that the police or your bank would NEVER call you and ask you to withdraw cash or move your money to another account, as a result of fraud or for any other reason.
- If a caller suggests that you call your local police or bank to check who they are, please use another phone or ensure the line has been fully disconnected by phoning a friend or relative first, alternatively wait for a minimum of five minutes, otherwise you may think you’ve phoned a number, but you’re simply talking to the fraudsters again. This is a common fraudsters’ tactic.
- If a caller asks you to type your bank PIN number into your telephone handset – do not do this, as fraudsters can use technology to identify the numbers.
- You can opt out of many cold calls by registering for free with the Telephone Preference Service on 0845 070 0707.
Remember that you are in control, so to protect yourself at all times, please don’t allow yourself to be rushed, criminals want you to act quickly, so take time to consider whether a call, email or letter is genuine, talk to someone you trust such as a friend or relative, have faith in your intuition and if something doesn’t feel quite right it probably isn’t.