I defeat an attempt to scam me on the phone

by | Apr 29, 2024 | Latest Post | 0 comments

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It’s worth going into this in some detail because you never know, you could be next.
I was called around 1.15 this afternoon from a strange sounding English person who appeared to know that I was with the Co-op Bank which is correct. He said there had been three attempts to compromise my account, one of which was for £1,750 . He said they had stopped this.  He asked me if I had my card in my possession which I did, and if I had been anywhere near Manchester which I said I had not because these attempted frauds evidently took place in that city.
I noticed early on that he did not give his name. I also noticed that it was a private number that was being called from. He had a good answer for that which was to prevent people calling back on matters other than fraud. Anyway, I asked him if he could see my bank accounts since if he was calling from the Co-Op, he would surely have access to them and he said no, he didn’t. He made the rather strange request to ask for the balances of the main accounts that I have.
One of them was in overdraft the other one has a healthy amount in it but at that point I felt I should not give any more information.  In order to get confirmation of the detail he would have to take me through security clearance which I felt was on the borders of getting confidential information. At this moment I lost interest and put the phone down.  Unfortunately for the caller, whoever they were, I keep a daily watch on my main accounts and arrange for alerts when money over a certain amount comes and goes. I had noticed no particular movement that morning.
I wrote to the Co-op asking whether they had tried to call me and was the account compromised and I received a few hours later confirmations that no money had been taken and maybe he was a scam. Meanwhile, I rang the number that you are supposed to ring, 159, and it puts you through to the right bank which is a great idea when you are caught when you are out and about and don’t have access to the fraud line of a particular bank. I spoke to what sounded rather like a beleaguered  young man but he was very good and thoughtful. I told him that I could not get through to my account because my normal access codes including the password no longer worked at least on my PC
This was very puzzling and some cause for alarm. When I looked at the website I realised there was certain differences and innovations so I figured that an upgrade had just happened and perhaps the caller was taking advantage of this. I was sent an emergency reset number that did not work and it was only when I deleted the history that I was able to set my password and new security code. The young man was very patient with me.
I can understand people who might be very traumatized at this but thankfully as I said above I keep a daily check on what I do and I was at my desk so I could sort the whole thing out straight away. God only knows what would happen if this phone call had been received when I was say on holiday. I should think they trick a good number of people this way. If anyone wants advice I’m going to give it anyway:
Apart from the above advice, keep your access details to your banking accounts to hand when you travel. Also the same can be said of insurance details. For both my banks I have an app and you can do most things including stopping checks, reporting fraud, transferring accounts, seeing what you have spent, I can even pay in checks by photographing them thus doing away with a need to actually post a check to my bank which I used to do in the old days.
The app. is far more up to date than the static bank account and new spends appear within a few seconds.  This is good since if you have been over charged you can show the agent or shop the evidence in black and white.
I’m not saying I feel smug but I am saying that I am so glad that I am self-disciplined and take precautions and also take the time to understand the various types of scams that are going on. The co-op bank has such a page on their website but I’m sure it’s not comprehensive and the scammers are always thinking of new ways to relieve people of their money.
Please remember that if you have given your details such as passwords and usernames it may be very much more difficult to find sympathy within the bank for a refund.
I know you will say to me that you would never do such a thing but it’s surprising what people do when they are in fear and panic. Scammers are professional people and very good at what they do including sounding convincing.
If in doubt put the phone down and call the bank yourself.

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April 2024



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