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UK financial watchdog warns of rising impersonation scams

Written by: Emma Lunn
An increasing number of scammers are purporting to be from the financial watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The financial regulator has warned consumers about an increasing number of impersonators aiming to get people to hand over money or information such as bank account PINs and passwords.

So far this year, more than 7,700 instances of this type of scam have been reported to the FCA, with the number having more than doubled since 2021.

The regulator said that a common tactic used by fraudsters was to tell people they were owed compensation, and then ask for bank details or a processing fee to arrange payment.

The FCA doesn’t contact people in this way, and said that anyone asked for personal information should hang up the phone or ignore the email.

What to do if you think you are being scammed

If someone calls and claims to be from the FCA but you don’t believe them, hang up. You can call the FCA on 0800 111 6768 to check if the call was genuine.

If you’re contacted by email, double check the sender’s email address. If you’re not sure the email is from the FCA, then you should ignore it and contact the FCA directly.

Don’t assume the name of an organisation showing in your caller ID means the call is genuine. Scammers can make an organisation’s name show on your phone.

Don’t give out any personal information following an incoming call and don’t call back using the contact details the callers provide – double check it’s the right number first.

Brits lost £4bn to fraudsters in 2022, according to The personal finance website’s 2022 Fraud Report found that last year, there were 350,547 fraud and cybercrime cases, resulting in an average loss of £11,411 per victim.

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