NHW is circulating the following alert nationally. I am also attaching a blog posted by posted by the Chief Executive of Wandsworth Council in London which illustrates the dangers from personal experience.
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The UK Cards Association is advising customers to be aware of a new variation on an old style scam that involves people being telephoned by fraudsters and duped into handing over their debit or credit card, and revealing their PIN.
How does the scam happen? A fraudster rings you, claiming to be from your bank, saying their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment on your card or that your card is due to expire and needs replacing. You may be asked to ring back using the phone number on the back of your card - which further convinces you the call is genuine. However, the criminal keeps the line open at their end so, when you make the call, you are unknowingly connected straight back to the fraudster. Then, by seeming to offer assistance, the fraudster tries to gain your trust. In most cases you are asked to ‘cancel’ your existing card or ‘activate’ or ‘authorise’ a replacement card by keying your PIN into your phone’s handset. The fraudster then poses as a bank representative to pick up your card from your home, sometimes giving you a replacement card, which is a fake. In some cases a genuine courier company is hired to pick up the card, which the victim has been asked to place into an envelope. Once they have your card and PIN the fraudster uses them to spend your money. A variation of the scam involves the fraudster ringing a prospective victim and claiming to be from the police – again with the aim of going to the victim’s home to collect the card and PIN. What can I do to avoid this scam?
Remember this advice:
Your bank or the police will NEVER ring you and tell you that they are coming to your home to pick up your card, so never hand it over to anyone who comes to collect it.
Your bank will NEVER ask you to authorise anything by entering your PIN into the telephone.
NEVER share your PIN with anyone – the only times you should use your PIN is at a cash machine or when you use a shop’s chip and PIN machine.
What should I do if I think I may have been the victim of a fraud or scam?
If you think you have been the victim of a fraud or scam of this nature you should call your bank or card company immediately.
Visit www.financialfraudaction.org.uk for more information.