Neighbourhood advice on Scams
This month we highlight an online crime known as Authorised Push Payment (APP). This is where a victim is called by someone claiming to be from their bank or the Police and convinces them to transfer monies to another third party account.
The fraudster tends to claim that the victims own bank account has been compromised in some way and that to ensure the safety of their savings they must transfer their money to another account; either online or by going into a branch. They may also use names of genuine bank employees or Police, which they have found from previous alerts about these types of frauds.
The victim will always be sworn to secrecy as part of the ‘ongoing investigation’ and maybe told to come up with false reasons for transferring money if questioned by bank staff; or they’ve been told that the bank staff are in some way untrustworthy.
Almost £400 million has been lost to bank transfer fraud over the past 2 years which shows that the perpetrators of these crimes are professional and will come across as genuine, authoritative and convincing.
But let us be clear: Nobody from your bank or the Police will ever contact you and request that you transfer money from your account or reveal personal/ financial information over the phone. If you receive such a call then politely hang up. If you feel a need to contact your bank then do this from another phone as the fraudsters can continue to hold your phone line so that when you think you are calling your bank you are in fact still speaking to them. Alternatively contact the Police. You won’t be wasting their time and the police would much rather attend and potentially prevent a crime than see a victim suffer from these unscrupulous criminals.
Either way under no circumstances should you transfer any funds or provide people with personal or financial information over the phone.
Visit Age UK for more information about phone & online scams