Bank customers lose nearly £21 million from scamsNearly a quarter of UK population affected since January

26 June 2014

Man on phone whilst using cash machine

Bank customers have lost nearly £21 million due to phone scams in the last five months, Financial Fraud Action (FFA) UK has found.  

According to the report,  23% of people in the UK have received a ‘voice phishing’ call requesting personal or financial information since January 2014.

Phone scams most common

Phone scams - sometimes referred to as ‘vishing’ scams - are one of the most common scams UK citizens face.

They involve receiving a call from a fraudster posing as a bank representative and persuading victims to reveal personal or financial details.

If you think you may have fallen victim to a scam read our guide to how to get your money back

Phone scams cause big financial losses

More than 2,000 vishing attacks were made in the first five months of this year alone, resulting in an average loss of more than £10,000 per victim.

According to Get Safe Online vishing calls are a form of social engineering scam. These types of scams exploit human nature and play on victims’ emotions such as the need to protect themselves or their family.

They also exploit the need for people to protect their finances from 'fraudsters' which can be a factor in many types of scams. 

How to spot a scam

It can be difficult spotting a scam as fraudsters are often very cunning.

The Which? Consumer Rights website has lots of information on how to spot a scam

Get Safe Online also offers a number of tips on how you can avoid falling victim to a scam. These include:

  • don't open email attachments from unknown sources
  • banks and other reputable organisations will never ask you for your PIN over the phone or via email
  • Never reveal personal or financial data including usernames or password or other forms of ID over the phone or via email

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