The City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified that fraudsters are now using background hold music in a bid to make their calls more convincing.
Organised crime groups are attempting to defraud members of the public by impersonating the customer’s bank and according to a convicted fraudster the methods used by them are evolving. The NFIB has been made aware that fraudsters are now using background music, similar to that used by the bank, when the customer is put on hold. The fraudsters use this music as an attempt to convince the customer that the call is genuinely from the bank.
A convicted fraudster explained:
“The banks say they would never call and ask for your account details or PIN numbers. My advice is never speak to anyone who calls you about your account, even if there is background music or other similar factors. If you have any concerns go to a branch or hang up and call the bank direct.”
- If you receive an unsolicited email or phone call from what appears to be your bank or building society asking for your security details, never reveal your password, login details or account numbers. Most banks will not approach their customers in this manner.
- If you are concerned about the source of a call, hang up and call your bank back on the legitimate phone number printed on your bank statements or other official bank documents/sources.
- Check your statements carefully and immediately report anything suspicious to the financial institution concerned.
Stephen Proffitt, Deputy Head of Action Fraud said: “Fraudsters are constantly developing new ways to make their calls more convincing so members of the public need to remain vigilant. If you receive a cold call purporting to be from your bank, always end the call as soon as possible and call your bank back using the number on the back of your bank card or statement and ask to be put through to the fraud team. Tell them exactly what has just occurred. If you believe your bank details may have been compromised, you should report this to your bank immediately.”
Top tips to keep yourself safe
- If you receive a phone call from a person or a recording requesting personal information, hang up. If the call purports to be coming from a trusted organization, call that entity directly to confirm their request.
- Don’t trust caller ID, which can be tampered with and offers a false sense of security.
- Call your bank and report any fraud attempts immediately.
- Document the call, noting what was said, what information was requested, and, if possible, the phone number or area code of the caller, and report this to your bank.
Cyber Aware is a cross-government campaign, funded by the National Cyber Security Programme. They aim to measurably and significantly improve the online safety behaviour and confidence of consumers and small businesses (SMEs).
Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety. Their website offers advice on how you can protect yourself, your computers and devices, and your business against the likes of fraud, identity theft, viruses and other potential online problems.