Warning over fraudsters claiming to be from the bank

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A finance firm is urging bank customers to be on their guard after what’s said to be a surge in scam calls that could cost victims a fortune.

With this scam, customers receive an automated call claiming a suspicious transaction has occurred on their account and needs to be verified.

The customer is then prompted to press a number on their phone to be taken through to a supposed “agent”, who is actually a fraudster.

Bank customers are reminded that banks or the police will never contact you asking for your online banking password, or for you to transfer money to a new account.

Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance said: “There has been a spike in cases over the past week involving automated calls from fraudsters pretending to be from your bank.

“It’s crucial that people remain vigilant and question any out of the blue phone calls, even if they state there has been fraud on your account.

“Fraudsters may already have some information about you, so don’t take this as confirmation that their approach is genuine.

“Never give out any personal information if you are at all suspicious - ‘take five’ to stop and think, and then contact your bank directly on a number that you can trust, such as the one on their official website.”

The firm lists five things to look out for on a scam phone call:

The caller doesn’t give you time to think, tries to stop you speaking to a family member or friend or is insistent and makes you feel uncomfortable.

The caller asks you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons.

They phone to ask for your four-digit card PIN or your online banking password.

Even if they ask you to give it to them by tapping into the telephone keypad rather than saying the numbers out loud, this is a scam.

They ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping.

They may say that you are a victim of fraud, and offer to send a courier to your home to collect your cash, PIN, payment card or cheque book.