Stay Safe Blog Series: Part Two – Telephone Scams

Fraud and security of personal data is currently a hot topic and has become a huge issue as everything turns digital. So we’re running a three part blog series with our resident Fraud & ID Director at Noddle, John Cannon to help you understand how you can best protect your personal details and information.

Telephone scams

Although we’d like to believe that we would notice a telephone scam if we saw one, fraudsters are becoming ever more sophisticated in their techniques to trick you that it is vital you stay alert when answering that phone call. Using a type of psychological manipulation called ‘social engineering’ criminals try to dupe you into giving away confidential information. This type of scam is a confidence trick where the scammer poses as a trusted individual and influences the victim to disclose password or bank details which is then used to steal your money or other crime. According to figures from Financial Fraud Action UK, thefts from telephone banking scams rose by 95% in the first six months of 2015 to £14.4 million compared to the year before. Take these basic steps to ensure you don’t get caught out:

Be wary of who you’re talking to. For incoming calls, don’t take people’s word for it – ask them for details that clearly show they are who they say they are. If in doubt, hang up, check the line is clear, and phone the company back directly.

Don’t assume your card details are safe. If paying for something over the phone, remember that you have no guarantees that the person who you’ve just given your details to is trustworthy. Avoid ‘card-not-present’ transactions wherever possible and ask for an alternative method of payment.

When is a clear line not a clear line? A particularly devious trick used by fraudsters is to give customers the ‘reassurance’ of being able to call back, only to stay on the line (having initiated the landline call) and even play a dial tone so the victim thinks the line is clear. You can avoid this by calling back on a different phone, such as a mobile, or by waiting at least three minutes after hanging up. Then, you can be sure the line has cleared.

So next time you pick up the phone be extra cautious of what you share and who it is your sharing it with, remember never give your bank details to a cold caller. Taking these small precautions could prevent a much bigger problem from occurring.