Police have been alerted to a number of incidents whereby bogus callers have contacted elderly residents by telephone purporting to be police officers from Scotland Yard, stating that their bank account is at risk from fraudulent activity. The Victim is then asked to withdraw cash from their bank which is then later collected by a courier.
Action Fraud gives the following advice to protect yourself from these types of scams:
Your bank or the police will never call you to withdraw money or ask you to verify your personal details or PIN by phone or offer to pick up your card by courier. Hang up if you get a call like this.If you need to call your bank back to check, wait five minutes; fraudsters may stay on the line after you hang up. Alternatively, use a different line altogether to call your bank.Your debit or credit card is yours – don’t let a stranger take it off you. You should only ever have to hand it over at your bank. If it’s cancelled, you should destroy it yourself.
Spot the signsSomeone claiming to be from your bank or local police force calls you to tell you about fraudulent activity but is asking you to withdraw money or for personal information, or even your PIN to verify who you are.They’re offering you to call back so you can be sure they’re genuine, but when you try to return the call there’s no dial tone.They try to offer you peace of mind by having somebody pick up the card for you to save you the trouble of having to go to your bank or local police station.
How it happens
You may get called on your mobile or landline by someone who claims to be from your bank or the police. They say their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment on your card or it is due to expire and needs to be replaced.
They might suggest that you hang up and redial the number of their bank or police force to reassure you that they’re genuine. However, they don’t disconnect the call from the landline so that when you dial the real phone number, you’re still speaking to the same fraudster.
They’ll then ask you to read out your credit or debit card PIN or type it on your phone keypad. They may ask for details of other accounts you hold with the bank or elsewhere to grab more information.
Then they promise to send a courier to you to collect your bank card. The fraudster will have your name, address, full bank details, card and its PIN, and withdraw cash using the card and may even use the information to commit identity fraud in your name.
How to report it
Report it to us online or call 0300 123 2040.
If you’ve given your bank details over the phone or handed your card to a courier, call your bank straight away to cancel the card.