Phone scams

Identifying a scam

In most phone scams, criminals pose as employees from your bank, internet provider or local authority.

Bank scam

The person on the other end of the line may try to convince you that there has been a security breach. They’ll claim that they need your account details to regain access. Of course, this means that you are giving your private information to the criminals, who would then proceed to empty the bank account.

Internet scam

A fraudster might call you and explain that a virus of some kind has infected your PC. In some cases, they ask you to download specific software. The fraudsters will use this power to steal personal information from your computer, including passwords to your online bank account, emails and shopping accounts.

Be on guard against phone scams

Some tips for preventing phone scams are:

Don’t answer

Fraudsters commonly use private caller IDs or unusual telephone numbers. If you’re not sure who is calling, then don’t answer your phone.

In most cases, fraudsters won’t leave a message yet if it’s someone genuine who needs to contact you, they’ll usually leave a message or contact you another way, such as by email or post.

Don't share your bank details

Never share your bank details.

Your bank will never ask you to:

  • move any money to another account over the phone. 
  • share online banking details like your personal security number, or your PIN.

If a caller claims to represent your bank and asks you for any of these things, hang up.

Don't give access to your PC

Your internet provider would never ring you to tell you that you have a virus and that they need access to fix it. I

f you need to give somebody remote access to your PC, make sure that it’s somebody you can trust.

Ask plenty of questions

Fraudsters don’t like it when you ask questions. If you think someone is trying to scam you, you may want to ask lots of questions to try and catch them out.

If they are claiming to be from a certain company, they should know everything about it. It’s highly likely that a scammer will become agitated and hang up.

They’re also likely to get something wrong or contradict themselves, at which point you’ll know they’re not genuine.

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