Telephone bank card scam on rise

Credit cardsA telephone scam in which victims are duped into allowing their bank cards to be sent by courier directly to conmen has seen a sharp rise.

Some £750,000 was lost to this crime in the first four months of this year, the same amount that was stolen over the whole of last year, equating to a threefold increase, the Payments Council's education campaign Pay Your Way said.

The scam involves the victim being called on a landline phone by someone claiming to be from their bank and told that their debit or credit card needs to be collected for replacement following a fraud on their account.

The caller often suggests the person should hang up and call the bank back if they want to ensure the call is genuine - but the conman stays on the line, tricking the person into believing they are calling their bank.

The conman will then ask the victim to key in their pin number, before sending a courier to collect the card. The person believes the card is being returned to the bank but it is being delivered to the fraudster to use with the pin obtained over the phone.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Barnard, head of the dedicated cheque and plastic crime unit, the specialist police unit that tackles UK card and cheque fraud, said: "If you think you have become a victim of fraud on your account, you should contact your bank in the first instance, although if there is a crime in progress you should call 999 straightaway."

Pay Your Way is working with the UK Cards Association and Financial Fraud Action UK to raise awareness of how to avoid becoming a victim of this crime.

It said banks will never call customers to say they are going to collect their cards from their home and consumers should not hand their cards over.

Banks do not ask customers to authorise anything by entering their pin into a telephone and pin numbers should only be entered at cash machines or chip and pin machines.

Campaigners also said that consumers should make sure they can hear a dial tone before calling their bank and they should only use the bank's advertised number.

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