Garry Trinder Microsoft Office Development MVP

Attempted Telephone Banking Scam

I received a call from what looked like a genuine number on Saturday afternoon from my bank.

It was framed as a call from the fraud detection team at my bank suggesting that a transaction was attempted to be made in the morning from my account for ~£400 from a account with an Indian gentleman’s name with the reference of RENT, suggesting that I also had received a call from my bank in the morning and spoke to someone in my notes to verify the transaction, which I hadn’t.

At first they tried to verify my address, in this case they had my old address, as I recently moved house, this immediately gave me concern.

They continued to ask questions about how my details could have been taken, have you made any payments online recently or written any passwords down etc.

They then suggested that they can stop the payment going through on your account and reclaim the money, but first need to go through some security questions to verify that I am the account holder, they then asked me to confirm my internet banking username, at this point I challenged them that I did not believe that this was a genuine call.

“look at the back of my debit card”

I was asked to look at the back of my debit card, where it would display the number that has called me on the back of the card, this was an attempt to seem genuine. This is not a genuine way to verify the identity of someone calling your bank, at this point I hung up.

the scammers have been able to clone the official telephone number of my bank

In this case the scammers have been able to clone the official telephone number of my bank in attempt to make the call look genuine and this appears to be on the rise.

I rang the number back, this time speaking to genuine bank employees that verified my account correctly and I was able to discuss the call with them. There was no record of any calls made against my account or any fraudulent activity, confirming that the call was indeed a scam and that they also unfortunately confirmed that this type of scam is on the rise.

Now I do know that my bank do call if you try to make a transaction that they believe to be of the ordinary or that could be deemed fraudulent activity, I have had this in the past when travelling to conferences in a new city and make try to make a purchase which is immediately blocked, so whilst it was an unexpected call, it wasn’t something that I had not experienced before although not for some time.

In hindsight I should have just hung up after the address was stated as incorrect, I am a very security conscious person and do not give out my details unsolicited, but even I was consumed by the potential impact of someone attempting to take money from my account.

If you receive a call from your bank, hang up even if it looks like the genuine number and call them back to ensure that the call is genuine, if it is, the notes will be on your account that a genuine call was made and any issues can be dealt with.

Be careful out there folks, it can happen to any of us.