Phone scams have been on the rise in 2014 with criminals targeting households across the UK to try and defraud people out of their money.
Typically, the fraudsters call members of the public pretending to be from a trusted organisation – like your bank, the police or a computer company – and once they have your trust, they will ask for your financial information, encourage you to hand over cards or cash to a courier, or get you to transfer money into accounts they control.
The people behind these scams are organised and highly professional – so spotting whether the call is genuine, or fake, can be very difficult.
That is why the UK Banks building societies and card issuers, with the support of the police, have published a Joint Declaration which clearly explains those requests they will NEVER ask of you on the phone.
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.
If you are given any of these instructions, it is a fraudulent approach.
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.