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Phone scam and vishing

Phone scams have grown rapidly in recent years, especially in UK. Based on a Financial Fraud Action’s survey, the amount people have been swindled out of has grown three times in the last year alone, making up at least 23.9 million British pounds. This is a huge jump from the 7 million pounds from the previous year. Apart from successful vishing, it was also reported that 58% of call receivers had suspected of coming across a scammers. In the previous year, suspecting respondents only made up 41%.

To remedy this crisis, the Financial Fraud Action (FFA) has provided a guide, which the British public can use to avoid falling victim to phone scams and vishing. It also started a campaign that allows for a joint effort among banks, card companies, and building societies to fight this type of crime. In addition, the FFA has created a “Joint Declaration of the UK Banks,” which is a way of ensuring people won’t fall for phony statements and requests.

The following guide has been issued by FFA UK to help people avoid getting scammed through vishing.

Be suspicious if:

  • You receive unsolicited offers and/or requests.
  • Unsolicited callers who ask that you hang up and try to call again. It’s easy for scammers to keep lines open if they simply don’t hang up on their ends.

Remember, the bank or police will never ask for:

  • Your bank card PIN or account password. You won’t even be asked for either by tapping on your phone keypad.
  • A withdrawal to keep in escrow or for “safety.”
  • A direct money transfer to another account (even one in your name) for fraud prevention reasons.
  • Payment, cash, cheque, or PIN in person at your home. This is true even if you’ve recently fallen victim to fraud.
  • Any goods you’ve purchased with your card at their request for “safe-keeping.”

Never give up your:

  • Bank account password or codes.
  • Card PIN, even to the bank itself or police.
  • Personal details, unless you are completely sure they will be safe with the recipient.

Always keep in mind:

  • Both parties must hang up for a call to get terminated.
  • If you’ve received a suspicious call, hang up immediately and wait five minutes so the line clears completely. It would even be better to use a different phone. Once you’re sure the line has cleared, call your bank or card provider to inquire about the call and/or report the vishing attempt. If you aren’t completely sure the line has cleared or don’t have another phone line, try calling someone you know besides the bank or card provider to verify that your line is free.
  • It might be a phone scam attempt if the caller makes it a point to say the phone displays the registered number and name. These two factors can be altered by the scammer, so you shouldn’t base your trust in them alone.
  • Scam callers who pretend to be from a genuine organization can obtain your basic information quite easily, so don’t blindly trust them if they seem to know a lot about you already. This includes you name, address, account number, etc.

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