Phone Scams

With numerous reports in the media regarding phone scams and scammers you would have thought people would be more suspicious of unknown callers but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The amount of money lost to phone scammers has tripled in the last year, prompting a major awareness campaign to educate people further about scams and how to identify them.

It is thought that unsuspecting victims have been tricked out of £23.9m in the last year, which is up from £7m on the previous year and it is reported that 58% of people had received suspect calls. This percentage was up from 41% last year [source: Financial Fraud Action].

The research suggests the main ploy is to trick victims into believing they are receiving a call from the police, bank or a computer company. Scammers inform the victims they have been subject to fraud and request personal financial information – such as card details or a Pin code – to access their account. On occasions victims have transferred money, withdrawn cash from a branch or handed over bank cards to a courier.

Everybody should be very suspicious of cold calling, especially if it is suggested they call back. It should be remembered that banks and police never ask for personal banking details or request that individuals withdraw or transfer money.

If a call is suspicious the receiver should hang up, wait five minutes [or preferably use a different phone] and report the fraud.

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