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Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Creating safer, stronger and active communities

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Phone Scams

There has been a significant rise in the number of consumers who have been targeted by phone scammers (‘Vishing’) over the last year.

These ‘cold call’ scams typically involve fraudsters deceiving victims into believing they are speaking to a police officer, a member of bank staff, or a representative of another trusted agency, such as a Government department.

Typically, the criminal will convince an individual that they have been a victim of fraud, and will ask for personal and financial information in order to gain access to their account. This can include card details, four digit PINs and passwords. Another variation of the scam involves the fraudster persuading their victim to transfer money to other accounts or to hand over cash directly to a courier.

In no circumstances, would the bank or police ask customers to take such actions, and such requests will only come from a fraudster.

 

Advice to consumers on how to take steps to avoid this type of scam:

Be wary of:

  • Unsolicited approaches by phone.
  • Cold callers who suggest you hang up the phone and call them back. Fraudsters can keep your phone line open by not putting down the receiver at their end.

Your bank or the police will never:

  • Phone you to ask for your 4 digit card PIN or your online banking password, even by tapping them into the telephone keypad.
  • Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping.
  • Ask you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons, even if they say it is in your name.
  • Send someone to your home to collect your cash, PIN, payment card or cheque book if you are a victim of fraud.
  • Ask you to purchase goods using your card and then hand them over for safe- keeping.

Never disclose your:

  • Four digit card PIN to anyone, including the bank or police.
  • FULL password or online banking codes.
  • Personal details unless you are sure who you are talking to.

Remember:

  • It takes two people to terminate a call.
  • If you feel something is suspicious or feel vulnerable, hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line, or where possible use a different phone line, then call your bank or card issuer on their advertised number to report the fraud.
  • If you don’t have another telephone to use, call someone you know first to make sure the telephone line is free.
  • Your bank will also never ask you to check the number showing on your telephone display matches their registered telephone number. The display cannot be trusted, as the number showing can be altered by the caller.
  • Criminals may already have basic information about you in their possession (e.g. name, address, account details), so do not assume a caller is genuine because they have these details or because they claim to represent a legitimate organisation.