Telephone Fraud

A man telephoned a UK based company from a telephone number that was recognised as their bank’s fraud team as shown on the banks website.

He said there was a virus on the firm’s internet banking facility and suggested that their money (more than £1 million) should be transferred into separate holding accounts while the bank fixed the issue.

To allow him to access their accounts and transfer the money into the holding accounts he asked for remote access software to be downloaded on to the businesses PC.

He then completed the transfers into the holding account for them.

Unfortunately the caller was a fraudster who managed to disguise his own telephone number to show the number of the bank’s fraud team. Needless to say the money disappeared.

Police advice

Banks or police themselves will not ask you to transfer or handover sums of money and you should never give out details of bank accounts, PINs or personal information.

If you receive contact from an unknown caller stop and think for a moment. Be suspicious particularly if they are telling you something is wrong or that you need to send or handover money.

If you suspect you may be the victim of a bogus call hang up and leave the phone down for at least ten minutes or use another phone before contacting anyone else.

Don’t be afraid to hang up on unknown callers. Genuine callers will understand if you want to call them back later, after checking existing paperwork to confirm numbers, to check their identity.

Anyone who has been a victim of this type of scam should report it to to police or Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber-crime reporting centre on 0300 123 2040.

How we can help

It is always better and cheaper and less stressful to avoid becoming a victim in the first place.

Good training and effective policy will help prevent scenarios like this developing in your business. It may seem difficult to understand how people are conned like this but at the time the individual receiving the call will have been under considerable pressure. They will have been worrying about keeping the business going and remember scammers are excellent at gaining people’s trust and confidence. If your employees have a procedure to fall back on to verify identities that is one less risk to keep you awake at night.