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Telephone scams see massive increase


The amount of money fraudsters have gained by using telephone scams has risen to £23.9 million, three times as much as it was last year.

Financial Fraud action has released a report, which showed a significant rise in the number of consumers who have been targeted by phone scammers over the last year. Now, an estimated 58% of people have received suspect calls, compared to 41% last year.

A new advertising campaign has now been planned to warm consumers of the dangers of a phone scam, and what to watch out for.

These ‘cold call’ scams typically involve fraudsters deceiving victims into believing they are speaking to a police officer, a member of bank staff, or a representative of another trusted organisation, such as a computer company. Typically, the criminal will convince an individual that they have been a victim of fraud, and will ask for personal and financial information in order to gain access to their account. This can include card details, four digit PINs and passwords. Other variations of the scam involve the fraudster persuading their victim to transfer money to other accounts, hand over bank cards directly to a courier or withdraw money from a branch.

In no circumstances would police or banks ever ask an individual to do this- these requests would only come from fraudsters.

DCI Perry Stokes, Head of the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit (DCPCU) – a specialist policing unit funded by the banking industry and a signatory to the Joint Declaration – said:

“Always be on your guard if you receive a cold call and are asked for personal or financial information, or to hand over your card or cash to someone. The bank or the police will never tell you to take such actions, so if you’re asked it can only be a criminal attack. Wait five minutes and call your bank, preferably from a different telephone, if you have even the slightest doubt”.

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