Technology nowadays is so advanced that many of us are often blind to the ways in which it can be used against us. Most recently, a new scam labelled ‘number spoofing’ has exposed how savvy some fraudsters have become when using technology against us.
The scam is being used to dupe individuals into believing that they are speaking to someone from their bank, with fraudsters cloning the bank’s correct contact number and displaying this on a victim’s caller ID display on their mobile phone. In a lot of cases, the fraudster will then ask the victim to call the bank on the number on the back of their bank card, which is the same number displayed on their handset. When the individual does this, the fraudster keeps the phone line open and plays a fake dialling tone rather than hanging up. The victim then embarks on a conversation with someone who they believe to be a representative of their bank.
Instead, the person on the other end of the line often poses as bank staff, a police officer or an individual from a trusted organisation. They then try to persuade victims to hand over financial and personal details, and in many cases have claimed that fraud has been detected on the victim’s account.
Once trust has been established, the fraudster will then try to extract information such as the victim’s PIN or online passwords, so they can gain access to their bank account. Alternatively, victims are also being asked to send money to other accounts or hand over cash or cards to a courier.
The Financial Fraud Bureau advises you to be suspicious of any caller trying to draw your attention to the number on your caller ID display. They also state that you shouldn’t assume that you know where a call is coming from based on the number being displayed on your handset’s caller ID.
With reports of the scam becoming increasingly common in recent weeks, we’ve got some simple ways to sniff out a fraudster:
1. You should never, under any circumstances, be asked to reveal your 4-digit card PIN to anyone over the phone. Your bank will never ask you to reveal such information.
2. Similarly, you will never be asked for any online banking passwords over the phone or via email.
3. You should always be distrustful of anyone asking you to withdraw money. Your bank will never ask you to give money to a courier or transfer cash into another account.
4. Be wary of anyone asking you to make purchases with your card and then hand them over to them - your bank will never request this of you, so be aware.
5. If someone claiming to be from your bank wants to collect cash or documents from your home, alarm bells should start ringing.
At thinkmoney, we will never ask you for any of the above information on the phone or via email. For more information on how to stay safe from fraudsters, click here .