Bank transfer fraud – what you need to know

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It’s happened to one of my most switched on friends, it’s happened to friends of friends and it’s doubled in the last year.

I normally prefer to write only positive posts, but wanted to make you aware of the fastest growing banking scam – transfer fraud or Authorised Push Payment (APP).

Here’s what to look out for:

  • You may receive a call or text claiming to be from your bank, saying your bank account has been hacked or that someone has been trying to set up direct debits in your name or they have received requests change your mobile phone number
  • They may be able to refer to genuine calls or contact you have recently had with your bank
  • They may be able to quote recent transactions you’ve made
  • They may text you and the message will appear on the same string of genuine text messages from your bank
  • The number they are calling from is often masked to match that of your actual bank
  • They may ask for security details but can often get in and “suspend” your accounts without your PIN or Password
  • They may send you codes to plug into a “secure” browser or card reader

All of this, understandably, adds up to a convincing story.  At this point they will ask you to transfer all your money to your “new” account which is free from the “hacking” they claim has happened.   This new account is of course in the scammers’ hands and the money goes straight to them.  This account is usually emptied quickly, making the money almost impossible to trace. One lady lost £59,680 in this way. Which? estimates that up to £350,000 was lost from Nat West and RBS customers between May last year and the first week of January this year.

What can you do?

  • Be aware that banks will never ask your to transfer money to a new account over the phone or disclose security details
  • Listen to your instincts.  If it doesn’t feel right, ask to call them back using the number on the back of your bank card.  A genuine bank will never hurry you
  • End the call immediately and report it to your bank

Scary stuff – stay safe!

 

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