A total of £23.6 million was lost in 2014 to fraudsters tricking people across the UK into transferring money directly into their bank accounts
The data from Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) has been released to support Neighbourhood Watch’s annual national awareness week, with a focus on phone scams.
The news comes soon after Which? research found that nearly six in ten Which? members have concerns about managing their affairs online.
Don’t become part of these statistics, you can use our advice to identify and avoid phone scams.
The phone scam
The fraud typically works by the criminal calling an individual and pretending to be from their bank – although there are a number of variations to this.
The fraudster will convince the individual that fraud has been detected on their bank account and that they have to act fast by moving their money into a so-called ‘safe account’ or risk losing their savings.
Criminals can use a range of techniques such as ‘spoofing’ the telephone number on your caller ID display so that it matches your bank’s official number.
They might also reference genuine account information they have fraudulently obtained.
Avoid the bank phone scam
Earlier this year Which? found that seven in 10 members of the public had received a scam email pretending to be from a bank. The latest figures from FFA UK also highlight the need to be alert to phone scams.
Never do any of the following:
- Don’t reveal your four digit card PIN to anyone, including the bank or police
- Don’t give out a full password or online bank log in code
- Don’t share personal details unless you are sure who you are talking to
If you think something is suspicious, you should hang up and then wait five minutes to clear the line.
Or where possible, you should use a different phone line and then call your bank or card issuer on their advertised number to report the fraud.
Banks will never ask customers to check that the number showing on their telephone display matches their registered telephone number.
The display cannot be trusted as, due to number spoofing, the number that shows on the display can be all too easily altered by the caller.