SmartDebit respond to increasing number of people falling for telephone PIN scams

Highlighting fraudulent practices in the UK

A telephone scam has caused more than £7.5 million worth of fraud on credit and debit cards between January and August 2012, according to The UK Cards Association. During this period, over 1,600 people have fallen victim to the scam, with average losses per case standing at £4,200.

The scam works by the criminal calling the person posing as their bank, or the police, claiming that there has been fraudulent activity on your account. The criminal tells their victim that their credit or debit card needs to be collected and replaced as a result. According to the police, the criminal reassures the individual that this is a genuine call by asking them to hang up and call the bank directly for confirmation. However, the fraudster remains on the line, hoping to trick the victim into thinking they are on a new call and the person on the end of the line is their bank.

Posing as a bank representative, the fraudster then asks the victim for their PIN or to key the PIN number into their telephone keypad. The fraudster then sends a ‘courier’ to collect the card for which they now have the PIN.

The police have warned of a rise in the number of reported cases, with data showing the estimated amount stolen via this method of fraud over the first eight months of 2012 was already ten times the amount stolen throughout 2012.

SmartDebit have been highlighting the fraudulent practices affecting UK consumers. A spokesperson from the Bureau commented on the telephone scam:

“We are used to warning the public about more sophisticated and technological methods of fraud, however, the ‘simple’ methods cannot be ignored. Although the findings reveal that the criminals are targeting the elderly and vulnerable bank customers, more than one in ten bank customers in the UK do not realise they should never reveal their PIN to anyone. We would like to urge bank customers to never hand their card to anyone, never share their PIN and always be sure they are speaking with their bank by waiting for a dial tone and dialling the correct advertised number.”

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