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Telephone bank scams cost victims £7 million

Telephone bank scams cost victims £7 million

Category: Banking

Updated: 29/08/2013
First Published: 29/08/2013

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

People have been warned to be on their guard for fraudsters posing as someone from their bank or building society's fraud investigation team.

The warning comes from Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA), whose recent research has highlighted the rise in telephone scammers trying to deceive people into revealing confidential personal and financial information.

The fraud watchdog estimates this type of fraud has cost victims a whopping £7 million over the last year.

The scam, known as vishing, involves a fraudster making a phone call to an unsuspecting victim, posing as someone from a bank or building society, the police or another legitimate organisation such as a telephone or internet provider.

Usually an automated telephone system will call the victim, and once they pick up the fraudster typically claims that the victim's credit or debit card has been cloned and they need to take urgent action by handing over their card details.

In some cases, scammers have then gone on to empty victims' bank accounts within hours.

Findings from the FFA study reveal one in ten people (39%) admitted they found it challenging to tell the difference between a genuine and fraudulent call.

Don't be scammed:

Fraudsters are increasingly coming up with more devious ways to steal your money.

Remember, a bank or building society will never request your four digit card PIN or come to your home to collect cash, a payment card or cheque book.

So follow these tips to prevent fraudsters from stealing your financial information:

  • Always be wary when someone claims to be phoning from a bank or building society.
  • Remember, criminals may already hold basic information about you, such as your name and address or even some bank account details, so never assume a caller is genuine just because they have this information.
  • If the person calling is from a legitimate organisation, they will always understand your concern about security and will never push you for information.
  • If you feel suspicious, don't be afraid to end the call and say no to requests for information.
  • You can always call the bank or building society back using a number from a legitimate source – such as that found on the back of your debit card or from your bank or building society's website. Don't call them back on the number they have provided as this could be fake.

If you think you have been a victim of fraud contact your bank or building society immediately.

What Next?

How to complain to a financial services provider

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.