The card courier scam has become more and more popular amongst fraudsters in recent years. This scam doesn’t discriminate against its victims, although the elderly or vulnerable are often targeted more by conmen. To make sure neither you nor anyone you know fall victim to the card courier scam, we’ve put together this guide to point out the all-too-familiar warning signs.
The scam involves a fraudster cold calling you on your landline and claiming to either be from your bank or the police. They then tell you that a fraudulent payment has been spotted on your card, or that it’s nearing expiration and needs to be replaced.
To prove to you that the phone call is genuine, they may ask you to ring them back using the phone number on the back of your card. When you do this, the scammers simply keep the line open at their end, play a dial tone and continue speaking to you when you dial the phone number – this is because they called you first so even when you’ve put the phone down, they can stay on the other end. Once they’re confident you think they’re legit, they’ll ask you to tell them your PIN number or to key it into the handset.
The fraudster will then send a courier or taxi (the driver often doesn’t know their involved in a scam) to collect the card from your home. Armed with your card, PIN number and potentially other personal details (e.g. full name and address) the fraudster can start spending your money.
There are many variations of this scam, one being that you’re told there is a corrupt member of staff within your bank, bureau de change or Post Office and you’re needed to help identify them. As part of this, you’ll be asked to hand over a large amount of money to a courier, under the ruse that the money will be marked and put back into the banking system to identify the corrupt individual.
Even though you probably don’t think you’d fall for a scam like this, remember the following:
• Your bank will never send a courier to your home.
• Your bank and the police will never collect your bank card.
• Your bank and the police will never ask you for your PIN number.
• Your bank and the police will never ask you to withdraw money.
If you think you’re dealing with a phone call like this:
• Put the phone down immediately.
• Wait around 5 – 10 minutes to be sure that the line is clear, before calling your bank on the number on the back of your card.
• If it’s too late and you’ve already been a victim of this crime, contact your bank immediately and cancel your cards.
thinkmoney Prepaid Debit MasterCard®
If you’re a thinkmoney customer you should already be aware that to enable you to use your card to pay in and withdraw in Post Office branches, you’ll soon be receiving a new thinkmoney Prepaid Debit MasterCard in the post.
Remember although we’re not a bank, we will still never send a courier to your home to pick up your thinkmoney Prepaid Debit MasterCard – no matter the circumstances. We will also never collect cash or documents from your home or ask you to purchase goods using your card and hand them over to us for safe keeping.
You can read all about how we protect your thinkmoney Personal Account against fraud here.