You get a call saying there has been irregular activity on your account and would you please call the number on the back of your card. You replace the handset and they keep the line open and play a recording of dial tone down the line so you think you are making a new call, which you are not. They hear you dialling (number tones) and stop the dial tone recording and when you have finished dialling they play a recording of ring tone down the line for a couple of rings and then stop that and someone else (different voice) “answers” the call. You think you are through to your bank/credit card company and….. what do they do? They ask you to confirm your details.1. Banks/Credit Card companies do not make calls like this
2. If there was irregular activity they would stop the card – period
3. Banks will never EVER ask you for your PIN number
4. They will not ask you to return your card
Here’s the Police version.
A particular type of fraud targeting elderly people is on the increase across London. Our aim is to raise awareness and provide some key crime prevention messages to the elderly and their circle of support - friends, family, neighbours etc.
By raising awareness we will decrease the likelihood of people falling victim. The average age of the victim is 70 years old. The average loss is £4,000.
1) The method varies but essentially involves a victim being telephoned (cold -called) by a suspect who alleges to be someone of authority (eg, from the police, bank, Serious Fraud Office). The suspect tells the victim there is a problem with their bank account (like it has been compromised) and that their bank card must be collected.
2) If the victim is unconvinced that the call is genuine they are instructed to hang up and call a genuine number – such as 999 or the telephone number on the rear of their bank card. However, the suspect keeps the telephone line open and so the call goes straight back to the fraudster who then deals with any subsequent call, convincing the victim of their authenticity.
3) The victim is then content to reveal their bank details, namely the PIN.
4) An often unwitting courier or taxi driver is sent to collect the victim's card. The card is delivered to a second suspect, who then passes it on to the fraudster. The fraudster then empties the bank account.
Primary: (To potential victims, family, friends) Never give anyone your PIN or bank card – the police and banks will never ask for them.
Secondary/supporting message(s): (To cabbies/couriers) Beware of collecting and delivering packages from elderly people as you may be assisting in a criminal offence.
Reporting offences: If you have been a victim call the police on 101 or in an emergency by dialling 999. (Generally victims are elderly/vulnerable and therefore it is NOT appropriate to report this matter to Action Fraud).
A courier fraud awareness day is being held on Wednesday 20th March.
If you are part of a neighbourhood watch group please consider meeting on 20th March (or any time that week) in order to focus on this issue and give out the above messages.