Phone scams

Fraudsters are cunning in their phone-scam tactics and it’s not always easy or obvious to tell straight away whether it’s a scam. Stay one step ahead with our tips.

What is a vishing phone scam?

These cold-call scams typically involve fraudsters deceiving people into believing they are speaking to a police officer, a member of bank staff or a representative of another trusted company or agency such as a government department.

Usually, the fraudster 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.

Beware giving bank details

Never disclose the following details:

  • 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

Report a nuisance call

Use this free Which? tool to report a nuisance caller to the regulators. Every complaint helps in the fight against nuisance calls and texts
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Top tactics to watch for

Another variation of a phone scam involves the fraudster persuading people to transfer money to other accounts or to hand over cash directly to a courier.

The fraudsters are known to encourage people to hang up and call their bank to verify the legitimacy of the call.

However, a phone line can stay open for up to two minutes so the fraudsters remain on the line and play a dialling tone to trick the individual into thinking they’re calling their bank.

In fact, the fraudsters are still connected and the individual is not speaking to their bank but is still connected to the scammers.

To ensure you don’t fall prey to this type of phone scam, remember that in no circumstances would your bank or the police ask you to take such actions. 

These types of requests will only come from a fraudster. Our guide helps you if you think you may have given a fraudster your bank details.

What to do if you’re scammed

Fraudsters are very cunning in their tactics so it’s not always immediately obvious that you've been scammed, or who you should report it to.

But there are ways to identify different types of scams, and organisations that can help you if you are scammed. Read the following guides to find out more...

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