Category: Phone Scam

Cancel Your Credit Card or Is It A Scam?

Stephanie Alderson tells her story:

So my husband had a bad experience with fraudsters a couple of nights ago. He got a call on his mobile from a woman who said she was calling from his credit card company (his actual credit card company). She quoted the last 4 digits of his credit card, his address and email address and was obviously calling his mobile number.

She said there had been several high value charges on his credit card that they thought were fraudulent : Selfridges and a few others.

My husband agreed he hadn’t spent money there. She then said she needed to cancel his credit card. She said she’d sent him a code on his phone and he should read the code back to confirm the cancellation.

He was a bit suspicious, but they hadn’t actually asked for any personal details. All they asked for was a code from his phone which did come as a text message from the phone number used by his usual credit card supplier. He asked if he could phone them back to confirm but she said their phone line was about to shut as it was nearly 6pm.

He was a bit hesitant so she then put my husband onto her supervisor who said it was important he authorise them to cancel his card with the code from his phone to avoid being liable for any future fraudulent charges.

Hubby was naturally suspicious but they hadn’t asked for any personal details at all, just this code from his phone. I’d heard him talking on the phone and so I rang his credit card company who confirmed their fraud lines were open and they were always happy for a customer to ring them back.

My husband hung up the phone without giving the code. It turned out someone had setup an Ocado account earlier that day and had used his card to preauthorise payment as a way to check his card worked. The fraudsters then setup a payment for £6,000 from his card to a website.

The code sent to his phone was genuinely from his credit card company to authorise the payment of £6,000 to that website. So they were never after his personal details. They already had all his credit card info. All they needed was for him to give the code his credit card company automatically sends out for new large transactions.

Pretty sophisticated scam especially as they weren’t fishing for personal details but already had them all from somewhere though we’ve never found out how.

His card was then thankfully cancelled by his genuine credit card company and so no money ever left his account but pretty scary that they had his full details and were so brazen about it.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Scam Survey Calls

This is a variation on the common scam survey phone call, as received by Bob.

The caller pretends to from an official body and is calling due to concern about dangerous dust caused by the rock wool or other insulation in Bob’s loft.

He wants to arrange to carry out a survey today as he is in the area.

Bob told him that he doesn’t have such insulation so the caller switched to concern about cavity wall insulation instead.

When Bob also said he doesn’t have cavity walls, the caller gave up and hung up.

Bob did check and there is no official body looking into such things in his area.

Just a scammer.

These scammers have two likely ways to steal from you

  1. They get into your house to ‘case the joint’ and see if they can grab anything
  2. They carry out a fake survey then demand cash payment of an exorbitant fee.

If you have any concerns over your cavity wall insulation or similar then contact the council or call an expert but never deal with cold callers or people who send unsolicited emails.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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The Wangiri Phone Scam

This is the call back scam, which rose to epidemic levels in Ireland a few years ago but is still around now.

The calls, often have international prefixes including +231 (Liberia), +269 (The Comoros Islands), or +43 (Austria) and are intended to trick people into phoning back at premium rates.

The numbers are high cost international numbers and the fraudsters will get paid for each call back. The fraudsters will try to keep you on the line for as long as possible as they get paid by the minute.

The scam is known as a ‘wangiri’ call, (means one ring) because the mobile phone typically rings just once or twice.

The scammers hope that people will automatically call back without looking too closely at the number.

The telecoms watchdog admits there is no easy way to identify such calls but advise not calling back unless you know the number that called you and certainly do not call back if left a blank message.

Some mobile operators do block these scam numbers as they are identified and that stops them from calling their customers and blocks their customers from returning the call.

If you receive such calls, then notify your phone company of the calling numbers.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.

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