Selby Farmers Lose Thousands After Phone Banking Scam
1:46pm 27th May 2014
North Yorkshire Police have issued a warning to bank customers following a telephone scam in which bogus bank officials have made account holders transfer large amounts of money into bogus accounts.
In the past 10 days, five farms in the Selby district were called by men claiming to be part of a bank fraud investigation team who urged customers to transfer their money into what they claim were “safe accounts”.
They have done this either through internet banking or told the victim to go direct to their bank and not mention it to the bank staff, claiming the staff were also under investigation.
On each occasion the suspects have called the victim and claimed that someone had attempted to cash a cheque on their account for £11,500.
In some incidents they have asked the victim to call the number on the back of their bank card and unbeknown to the victim, they have held the phone line open, resulting in the victim believing they are calling their bank, when in fact, they are speaking to the fraudsters.
In once incident, the victim was passed around several male “call handlers” who claimed they were investigating the fraud and that the victim’s other bank accounts were not safe.
They managed to con the victim into transferring a large amount of money into their scam account which they claimed was a “safe account”.
In another case, the victim became suspicious and stopped the phone call before transferring any money.
However, another victim sadly lost their entire life savings.
Police are warning bank customers not to be taken in by anyone asking them to transfer money, calling them out of the blue, or asking them to make a phone call to their bank.
Detective Constable Amanda Bostwick of Selby CID, said: “The suspects in these cases are very convincing and knew who the customers banked with and in some cases, how much they had in their accounts. We strongly advice anyone who receives such a call not to engage with the caller, put the phone down and to call their bank in the usual way. Always take care that the line is clear before you make a call. If it is convenient, call in person at your bank to discuss your account if you are worried.”
Officers have issued the following advice if anyone is contacted:
- Do not transfer money to an unknown bank account either online or in person.
- Do not pass any personal information over the phone or in person to any cold callers.
- Always check with your bank if you are called by anyone claiming to be from a bank fraud investigation team.
- When you make the phone call, always ensure that you have a dialing tone before making the call or use a different phone line to the one the fraudsters have called on.
- Protect your identity and always ensure you destroy or shred any documents containing personal information before disposing of them.
- Don’t use makeshift post boxes at the end of your drive where identity thieves can pick up your post
- If you believe you have been a victim of bank fraud please contact your bank in the first instance and report it to your local police on 101.
Visit the Action Fraud website for more information about fraud, how to avoid it and what to do if you are a victim www.actionfraud.police.uk
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