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Scam warning: fake phone calls from the ‘Visa’ fraud department

A complex scam involving phone calls from ‘Visa’ followed by the ‘police’ is currently doing the rounds. Here’s what you need to watch out for.

30/07/2019: ‘Visa’ fraud department scam returns

Over the last few weeks, we’ve received multiple reports of this scam phone call doing the rounds once again:

Reports of the ‘newer’ version of this scam appear to vary, with some saying that two fraudulent calls are received – one from the fake fraud department, and another from the ‘police’.

Meanwhile, others are reporting an automated call in which you’re prompted to ‘press 1’ if you did not authorise the claimed transaction. This figure has been consistently reported here as £600.

If you receive an unsolicited call like this and are unsure if it’s legitimate, always check with your bank via its official contact channels instead of following any instructions.

If you’re worried about calls like this, or have fears you may have been a victim, read our full guide to phone scams here.

Calls can also be reported to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or via its online reporting tool.

Have you received this scam call recently? Continue to let us know and warn others in the comments.

Original Convo 19/05/2017

Which? member Brian told us:

‘I was called by a man purporting to be from the Visa fraud department. He said they’d registered two large transactions on my debit card earlier that day at Argos and the Apple Store. This last transaction had supposedly been stopped as it was ‘not my usual spending pattern’ and I hadn’t authorised it.

‘He told me about further transactions that had been stopped until this matter could be sorted out, and that I needed to phone 161 to report that I had been the victim of identity fraud.

‘I didn’t immediately call the number. Within 10 minutes, I received another call, supposedly from the police, who had apparently received a call from my number ‘via triangulation’! He asked whether I wanted a patrol car sent or if there was anything I needed to report, so I put the phone down.

‘My bank confirmed this was a scam and that none of these transactions had taken place. I suppose if I had called 161 they would have asked for my card details.’

Fake force

Brian’s suspicions were probably correct. Whatever number he dialled, it’s likely the scammer would have stayed on the line and posed as the police.

The triangulation claim after he failed to make a phone call to the number he was given was bizarre. The police will never ask for your bank details when you report an ID fraud.

If Brian had asked for a patrol car, the scammers would probably have attempted to take his card.

He was right to double-check with his bank.

Have you received similar phone calls? What did you do?

Comments
David Horner says:
9 September 2020

Just received the call claiming to be visa fraud dept purchase of £600 amazon gift vouchers press 1 to cancel from 07895567648

FelicityR says:
9 September 2020

Called an hour ago from 01047828819. Same old routine; second supposed payment was £700 to Western Union.

Theresa says:
10 September 2020

Just had the same automated call from 01160273858, £400 to Amazon and £700 to Western Union. I hung up without pressing anything. The caller didn’t specify who’s account it was, so my husband and I both checked our accounts online via the official website. Everything was fine. I’ve blocked the number.

DON PARFITT says:
10 September 2020

An automated message with strong American accent told me £300 had just been withdrawn from my “Visa account”. I had to press 1. Ignored!

Claire says:
11 September 2020

Just had a phone call automated claiming £600. Transaction to stop it press 1. I hanged up, the number was 01949624849

Brian Taylor says:
11 September 2020

I had a recorded message from 01257707914 claiming that suspicious activity for a payment of £600 had occurred on my card and asking me to press ‘1’ to stop it. I hung up as this was clearly a scam.

Tracy O says:
12 September 2020

Just got an automated call saying my Visa was used twice this morning for 2 separate charges that were deemed suspicious, as my Visa had never been used to purchase online gift cards, before. Prompted to press 1 to cancel the charges. The call was out of St. Petersburg Florida 727-897-2492

Call from 01096584087 from ‘visa department’ for transaction of £400 amazon and £700 western union. Press one to authorise and two to speak to an agent so I hung up.

Alleged called from VISA. Taped caller with American accent says press 1 to speak to their fraud department. Claimed they wanted me to approve £600 spend. From 0281 9050 5560

Similar to others, I received a recorded message from 01291954615 saying that a transaction worth £600 had been made, in foreign country, from my ViSA account. It asked me to press ‘1’ to cancel the transaction. I put the phone down and went online to check my account to confirm that no transaction had been made. Then I searched for the number online. It doesn’t seem to be a common number (probably randomly generated) so I looked for VISA fraud and came here instead to report it.

JUST RECEIVED CALL FROM VISA FRAUD TO ASK IF I HAD AUTHORISED PAYMENT OF £600 TO WESTERN UNION. PRESS 1 OR 2. I PRESSED 2 AND SPOKE TO SOMEONE CLAIMING TO BE FROM VISA. I SAID I WOULD CALL VISA DIRECTLY AS I HAD NO GUARANTEE HE WAS FROM VISA. I COULD TELL HE WAS MAD AT ME. SCAM FOR SURE

Just received a call from Visa Security 028885539966 claiming a payment of £600 has been made

This scam is always for an unauthorised payment of £600 it seems recently. Have had one of these calls every other day or so for the last 2-3 weeks. Always press 1 and have only just managed to get through to speak to someone – usually cuts out. The person asked if I wanted him to authorise the payment, so I said yes, knowing it was a scam and wondering what would happen next. He just said ok and hung up, which was a shame. He ruined my fun 🙁

Yep, I also received this “Visa security department” scam call, saying there’d been a £600 payment and to press a button if I didn’t authorise this. Put phone down, obviously.

I just had a call from 01840 370676. Claimed to be from Visa Gateway advising £600 was being sent to an address in California and needed to download software to my laptop due to the compromise. He was very upset when I said I’d talk to my bank. He swore at me and told me he’d arrange for people to think I’d been looking at bad things online.