Courier/Telephone Banking Frauds

Published: 22 February 2019

Please be aware there have been a number of courier/telephone banking frauds carried out over the last month across South Cambs. villages.  The most recent areas targeted are Oakington, Sawston, Bassingbourn, and Harston.

What is it?
  • You may be called by someone pretending to be from your bank or building society or a trusted organisation like the police and are convinced to give them your card details over the phone.
  • The fraudsters then arrange for a courier to pick up your card to take it away for evidence or to have it destroyed.
  • In reality, the card is collected by the fraudsters to withdraw money from your account.

How it happens
  • You may get called on your mobile or land line by someone who claims to be from your bank or the police.  They say their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment on your card or it is due to expire and needs to be replaced.
  • They might suggest that you hang up and redial the number of their bank or police force to reassure you that they’re genuine.  However, they don’t disconnect the call from the land line so that when you dial the real phone number, you’re still speaking to the same fraudster.
  • They’ll then ask you to read out your credit or debit card PIN or type it on your phone keypad.  They may ask for details of other accounts you hold with the bank or elsewhere to grab more information.
  • Then they promise to send a courier to you to collect your bank card.  The fraudster will have your name, address, full bank details, card and PIN, they will then withdraw cash using the card and may even use the information to commit identity fraud in your name.

Protect yourself
  • Your bank or the police will never call you to ask you to verify your personal details or PIN by phone or offer to pick up your card by courier.  Hang up if you get a call like this.
  • If you need to call your bank back to check, wait five minutes; fraudsters may stay on the line after you hang up.  Alternatively, use a different line altogether to call your bank.
  • Never call a telephone number given to you by a suspected fraudster.
  • Use the telephone number on the back of your bank card or from your bank statement.

Note: There are variations on this fraud but they will follow a very similar format.  In some cases the fraudster will say someone (possibly bank staff) have deposited fake notes in your account, so you need to withdraw cash so they can check it.  Also in some instances the victim has not given any card or PIN details, in these cases the fraudsters may have obtained their bank details elsewhere, the fraud then follows the format above.

Be especially careful when taking out cash at ATMs and when you use chip and pin machines to conceal your PIN code.