Scamwatch: phone banking fraud

Police have issued a warning about a cold calling scam...

Updated: 
senior adult man consoles sad...

Stay one step ahead of the fraudsters with our series of articles giving you the lowdown on the scams they use to trick people out of their hard-earned cash - and how to avoid being taken in by them.

This week, we take a closer look at the phone banking scam that has been used to con three pensioners in Scotland out of more than £50,000 this month.

How does it work?
This scam involves a fraudster calling bank customers and convincing them that they need to move their money into a "safe" account because of an account hacking attack.

It has been used successfully on at least three pensioners in Scotland over the last week or so.

A 70-year-old woman lost £18,000, while a 78-year-old man was tricked out of £15,000 and a 64-year-old woman lost more than £12,000.

How can I avoid being caught out?
In the wake of the recent spate of thefts, consumers are being urged to be on their guard against fraudsters who call up posing as bank staff reporting a security breach and advising them to move their money - something actual bank staff would never do.

The British Bankers' Association also recommends looking out for other things that bank staff would never do, such as asking for your full Pin or your online banking password over the phone or via an email, or sending someone to your home to collect your card.

I've been defrauded. What should I do?
The first thing to do if you think you have been caught out by banking fraud is to inform your current account provider and make sure your account is secure.

You should also report the scam to Action Fraud, which you can contact on 0300 123 2040, or directly to the police by calling 101.

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