1) A fraudster will telephone you claiming to be from an authority – usually the police, bank or Serious Fraud Office. They tell you that your bank account has been compromised in some way and they need to collect your card.
It is possible to receive a genuine call regarding possible misuse of a bank or credit card. However, a genuine caller will NEVER suggest collecting your card. If the caller asks for this hang up immediately and phone 101 after taking note of the following.
2) In order to reassure you that they’re genuine, they suggest that you hang up and ring your bank/police straight back. However, they don’t disconnect the call so when you dial your bank’s real phone number, you’re actually still speaking to the fraudster or an accomplice.
With landlines in the UK a call can only be immediately terminated by the caller. If the original caller does not “hang up” the line remains open for 2 minutes. Therefore, regardless of what number you may subsequently dial, it will go through to the original number. Some advice given by others have suggested that it is OK once you hear the dialling tone, more sophisticated scams play a pre-recorded tone to deceive you.
The only safe advice is to wait 5 minutes before using the same line or make the call on another line or mobile.
3) They then ask you to read out your PIN or type it on your phone keypad. They can tell which keys have been pressed by the tone.
No genuine caller would ever ask for your pin number, passwords or details of your account. If such information is requested hang up and dial 101 following the preceding advice.
4) Finally, they will send a taxi/courier to you to collect your bank card. With this and the PIN they can empty your bank account.
Your bank, the Police or any other genuine organisation will not come to your home to collect your card, cash or valuables. However, it is not unknown for the fraudsters to engage innocent third parties, taxi firms etc. to collect cards and packages on their behalf. If the scam has reached this stage, don’t answer the door to them and phone 999 with whatever helpful information you can SAFELY gain. Description, Vehicle details etc.
As mentioned earlier there are now many variations to this fraud the following are a few examples.
The staff at your bank are suspected of acting fraudulently with your account. The fraudster will then suggest transferring the money to a “safe” account which they provide the details for or suggest withdrawing the money and handing it over to a person they will send round, for safe keeping.
The money in your account is possibly counterfeit and needs to be withdrawn and handed over to a colleague to make further investigations.
They have information that your house is likely to be burgled and will come to collect any money and valuables for safe keeping.
The fraudster may ask that the card be cut in half before collection and the courier will provide a replacement. The replacement is useless and the details from the “destroyed” card are used to make fraudulent purchases.
There are many more versions that have been used, some may seem totally implausible to most of us but their targets are the vulnerable in our community.