John Lockwood from Armitage Bridge has sent this warning out to show how sophisticated scammers are becoming and how easy it is to be conned.
‘We have not had any crimes reported in the village for a while. However today I had a call from my ‘bank’ on my land line to alert me to what their ‘fraud unit’ believed could be unauthorised activity on my debit card.
The person who called knew my name and bank and gave me list of recent debit card transactions which I confirmed had not been made by me. I was told the bank would cancel the card and it was necessary for me to log on to on-line banking to check my account to prevent further use of the account.
Before doing this he said he would ring me on my mobile from the bank’s lost / stolen cards official line in order to verify that the call was indeed from the bank. I did get a call and checked it was from the correct number. This reassured me that the action proposed to close the account was necessary before a new card and account could be set up.
I checked my account and could not see the transactions he had referred to but he said these were held as ‘pending’. To prevent any further activity he asked me to enter my name as a new payee and he would give me the code for the new account so I could continue to use my account.
At that point I declined to go any further without going into the bank personally which I said I would do straight away. He informed me that unless the action he had asked for was taken immediately I would be liable for any further withdrawals.
I said I would go straight to the bank and put the phone down. I rang the lost/stolen cards number at the bank who checked my account and confirmed it was a scam. They could not explain how I got the ‘verifying’ call from their correct official lost/stolen cards number on my mobile. They said I had done well not to be fooled. They asked me to inform the police immediately which I did. About half an hour later a member of the local constabulary called on me. I assume that he happened to be in the area.
Although it was a very clever scam I stopped before I provided information that would have given access to my accounts.Please let others know that, if their bank rings to deal with what looks like a series of unauthorised withdrawals, they must always ring the bank on another phone not on the same mob or land line.
DON’T BE FOOLED BY A SUPPOSEDLY VERIFYING CALL FROM THE BANK.
The bank could not explain how the verifying call had come from their official number. The only explanation given was that scammers are getting very clever!
I hope it is helpful. JOHN LOCKWOOD