Saturday, 30 March 2013

Police Scam Alert

Police want to alert everyone to this scam which people are still falling for – even those who have been warned and even bright intelligent people, although it is the vulnerable who are being targeted.

The intended victim gets a phone call from the bank, police or Serious Fraud Office (actually from the scammers but they sound completely genuine.) They explain there is a problem with your bank account and your account has been compromised.

Here’s the trick: To help persuade victims that the call is genuine, they may ask you to hang up and call the relevant authority - the bank, police or Serious Fraud Office - on a genuine number, for instance they might ask you to call the fraud number on the back of your card. But what they are really doing is keeping the line open, so when you call, it’s still the fraudster on the line, and they either say you have come back through to them or else have someone else acting as the proper authority telling you to follow their instructions.

Once you believe you are talking to a genuine person, the fraudster convinces you to reveal your PIN, often by asking you to type it into the telephone keypad. They also tell you that your bank card needs to be collected. The fraudster arranges for a courier, such as a cab, to pick up the bank card from your address, which is then delivered to the fraudster so it can be used to withdraw cash from your bank account. They might even tell you to cut the card before sending it, but not through the chip – that is because they can still access the card if the chip remains intact – it is just another tactic to convince you they are genuine.

It is always a scam if someone asks for your PIN number or your card, no matter what the reason.

NEVER GIVE anyone your PIN number.
Your bank or the police will NEVER ask for it.

NEVER GIVE anyone your CARD (even cut up)
Your bank or the police will NEVER ask for it.

If someone rings up and asks for either, even to verify identity  -  IT IS A SCAM!

Fraudsters want your PIN number and bank card

  • If you are contacted by someone who asks for these, hang up.
  • When you hang up, use a different line to report it to police on 101 or allow at least five minutes for the line to automatically clear.
  • Call 999 if the crime is happening.

Police have identified that Organised Criminal Groups are behind the fraud but despite arresting many of these, courier fraud is continuing as new organised crime groups take over and convince victims that they are genuine.

Across London the scam has claimed 2,229 victims between the start of 2011 and the end of 2012. The average age of a victim is 70, most of them have been women, and the average loss has been £4,000.

Since January 2011, police have arrested 130 courier fraudsters and charged 93 of them, including two brothers who have been jailed for more than 10 years for taking almost £150,000 from over 200 victims.

Please pass this on to anyone you think might be vulnerable to this. Don't be or let a loved one be a victim of this.