Welcome to my 2nd blog in this series. There have been a number of more national headlines since my last post:
- Voice cloning of growing interest to actors and cybercriminals
- US to investigate ransomware attack
- Ransomware attacks target about 200 US businesses
- Swedish Coop supermarkets shut due to US ransomware cyber-attack
- The booming ransomware business
- Gang behind huge cyber-attack demands $70m in Bitcoin
- US companies hit by ‘colossal’ cyber-attack
- Held to Ransom
- EU wants emergency team for ‘nightmare’ cyber-attacks
Phone scam refers to fraud over the phone – or vishing – is when a fraudster calls claiming they’re from your bank or another trusted organisation, often under the pretence that there has been fraud on your account. They can fake the telephone number they use, to make it look like your bank is calling. They will often have researched basic information about you before they call too. This can make them seem convincing. If this was not bad enough, with emerging technology, it looks as though criminals are now also starting to impersonate people’s voices and the person you may be talking to on the phone may not be the the person you think you are speaking to!
Remember though, a genuine bank will never ask you for personal financial details (like your PIN number) or full banking password (even by typing it into your phone keypad), or ask you to transfer money directly to them.
Fraudsters may phone you out of the blue and claim to be from the bank, police, or other reputable organisations, in an attempt to obtain your personal information and banking details.
Fraudsters may even try to trick you into allowing them access to your computer to steal your money.
Regardless of how professional or convincing a caller sounds, remember the bank, police or other trusted organisations will never contact you by any means to:
- Ask for your financial information or your full security details.
- Ask you to provide your PIN code or requests to collect your bank card from your home address.
- Ask you to provide a verification code or token code.
- Ask you to move your money to a new or ‘safe’ account.
How to protect yourself from telephone scams
- Always be wary of unexpected cold calls. Say no to requests for information and don’t be afraid to terminate the call.
- Never respond to callers who ask you to confirm your PIN, verification codes or token codes, or to request to collect your bank card from your home address. Banks will never ask you to do this.
- Never respond to a request to transfer your funds to another bank, even if the caller advises you that you need to urgently move your money to a ‘safe’ bank account. Again, banks will never ask you to do this.
- Never respond to a caller who asks you to log on to online banking or a request that allows them remote access to your computer.
- Don’t assume a call is genuine because they know personal details about you or by the caller ID information. Fraudsters can copy the telephone number of an organisation and make it appear on the caller ID display.
- If you want to validate a phone call use contact details obtained from a reliable source.
Always stop and think – is this a genuine call? Take Five to stop fraud:
- Be absolutely certain who you’re speaking to. A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account. Only give out your personal or financial details to use a service that you have given your consent to, that you trust and that you are expecting to be contacted by. Before you share anything with anyone, stop. Then pause to consider what you’re being asked for and question why they need it. Unless you’re 100% sure who you’re talking to, don’t disclose any personal or financial details.
- Don’t assume an email, text or phone call is authentic. Even if someone seems to know your basic details, it doesn’t mean they’re genuine. In an attempt to gain your trust, fraudsters may claim you’ve been a victim of fraud. They often do this to get you talking, then try and persuade you into giving them your security details.
- Don’t be rushed, or pressured, into making a decision. No genuine bank or trusted organisation will, under any circumstances, force you to make a financial transaction on the spot. Neither would they ask you to transfer money into another account for reasons relating to fraud. If you’re asked to do this, then stop and consider what they are asking you.
- Listen to your instincts. Does a situation feel wrong or strange? If so, it’s usually right to question it. Fraudsters will try to manipulate you: they’ll try and lull you into a false sense of security when out and about, or rely on your defences being down when you’re at home. They’ll try to appear trustworthy, but they may not be what they appear.
- Stay in control. Be confident. It’s always okay to stop a conversation. You can always refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information.