How To Avoid Falling Prey To Fraudster Phone Calls

What happens during a scam call?

Someone may call you claiming to be from your bank or building society acting in your best interests. Their aim is to find out your personal details including your account number, PIN number and 3 digital number on the back of your bank card. In short, they are after all the numbers they will need to access your bank account easily and transfer your money to them.

What is the most common type of fraudulent call?

When the scammer calls, they will claim they have noticed an unusual payment from your bank account and that they would like to investigate in on your behalf. They will claim they need your bank details so they ‘can catch the person or persons involved.’ To encourage you to hand over your details, they will tell a rather credible story. It is at this point that vulnerable people are often taken in.

What are they likely to say to make them sound genuine?

As most of us know that our banks would never contact us over the phone and ask us for personal information, the scammer may invite you to call the phone number on the back of your bank card to confirm the call is ‘genuine.’ When you do make the call to this number, the scammer holds the line open and intercepts the call so that you are put back either to the scammer or an accomplice, when you think you have been put through to your actual bank.

Who does this usually happen to?

Often thieves will target the vulnerable people in our community: the elderly will often fall prey to this type of crime.

Are there different types of fraudulent crime?

Yes, there are three that are the most widely reported by victims. However, scammers try to come up with new ways all the time, so you should stay vigilant.

1. Scammers may send a courier to come and pick up your bank card from you personally once you have given them your PIN number over the phone. To make the story seem even more credible, the driver might not know he is part of a scam.

2. Some victims are asked to purchase an expensive item on behalf of the scammer posing as the bank who wants to ‘catch the criminal by then handing over the item to see if they will take it.’ The courier (often unknowingly a part of the scam) comes to collect the item to ‘pass it on to the bank’ when it is the scammer who actually collects it from the other end.

3. Victims are sometimes asked to transfer their entire account to a ‘safe account’ due to a supposed corruption at the bank. The money is directly transferred into the scammers bank account elsewhere.

If you know someone who may be elderly or vulnerable, remind them to stay vigilant when answering the phone to people they don’t know claiming they are from their bank or building society.

Banks will NEVER ask for your personal information over email or phone which includes your PIN number and bank details.