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Scam warning: rise in fake automated calls claiming to be your bank

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08/07/2019
Consumers are being warned to look out for automated phone calls pretending to from their bank or card company, after a spike in scams.

Banking trade association, UK Finance, said it had received dozens of reports over the past week involving automated calls from fraudsters.

With this scam, customers will receive an automated call claiming that a suspicious transaction has occurred on their account and needs to be verified. The customer is then prompted to press a number on their phone to be taken through to a supposed “agent”, who is actually a fraudster.

Banks or the police will never contact you asking for your online banking password or for you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons.

Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime, at UK Finance, said: “There has been a spike in cases over the past week involving automated calls from fraudsters pretending to be from your bank. It’s crucial that people remain vigilant and question any phone calls out of the blue, even if they state there has been fraud on your account.

“Fraudsters may already have some information about you, so don’t take this as confirmation that their approach is genuine. Never give out any personal information if you are at all suspicious. Instead Take Five to stop and think, and then contact your bank directly on a number that you can trust such as the one on their official website.”

Five things to look out for on a scam phone call:

The caller doesn’t give you time to think, tries to stop you speaking to a family member or friend or is insistent and makes you feel uncomfortable.

The caller asks you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons.

They phone to ask for your 4-digit card PIN or your online banking password. Even if they ask you to give it to them by tapping into the telephone keypad rather than saying the numbers out loud, this is a scam.

They ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping.

They may say that you are a victim of fraud and offer to send a courier to your home to collect your cash, PIN, payment card or cheque book.

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