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New warning issued over automated scam calls

New warning issued over automated scam calls

Consumers are being warned to look out for automated phone calls pretending to be from their bank or card company, after a wave of reports of similar scams. 

Banking and finance trade association UK Finance says it's had dozens of reports of these scams over the last week alone, and has urged consumers to stay alert. 

Victims have received an automated phone call claiming to be from their bank or card provider, saying there's been a suspicious transaction on their account.

They were then asked to verify the transaction by pressing a number on their phone to take them through to an "agent" – who is actually a fraudster. 

See our 30+ Ways to Stop Scams guide for help on protecting yourself from fraud. 

What to look out for in a scam call

UK Finance is reminding consumers of five warning signs to look out for during a phone call, which suggest that the caller could be a scammer: 

  • The caller is insistent and doesn't give you time to think, or tries to stop you speaking to a family member or friend. 
  • The caller asks you to transfer money to a different account. 
  • The caller asks for your online banking passwords or four-digit card PIN. 
  • The caller asks you to withdraw money and hand it over for "safekeeping". 
  • The caller offers to send a courier to your home to collect cash, PINs, cards or cheque books to "protect" you from fraud. 

Remember that your bank, card provider or the police will NEVER contact you out of the blue asking for PINs or passwords, or telling you to transfer money to another account. 

If you feel uncomfortable or suspicious during a call, hang up and call your bank or card provider directly on its official phone number. 

What does UK Finance say? 

Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance, said: "There has been a spike in cases over the past week involving automated calls from fraudsters pretending to be from your bank. It's crucial that people remain vigilant and question any phone calls out of the blue, even if they state there has been fraud on your account.

"Fraudsters may already have some information about you, so don't take this as confirmation that their approach is genuine. Never give out any personal information if you are at all suspicious. Instead take five to stop and think, and then contact your bank directly on a number that you can trust such as the one on their official website."