/ Money

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?

Roger Barker says:
14 July 2020

Have had 2 similar calls recently. The first one about 3 weeks ago told me £600 had been authorised for an overseas transaction. Did a 1471 and got a number beginning with 07, so a mobile. Rested assuming this was a scam call, we had done nothing to give any information away. This morning, 14/07/20 a similar automated call. Eventually got through to Barclays who confirmed there had been no transactions on any card, they said all was well provided no response was made. Will still keep an eye on statements though…

Babs says:
14 July 2020

I have just had a call saying over £600 had been spent on my Visa card at Amazon and as it wasn’t my usual spending pattern to press 1 to authorise it or 2 to decline. I hung up but whilst I have no doubt it’s a scam I’ll still check with my bank.

Mike says:
15 July 2020

I’ve had the same today. Money spent on Amazon and Western Union. I was asked to press 1 or 2. I hung up.

richard BOYS says:
14 July 2020

visa scammer £400 to charity in china press 1 to continue which i did when i asked the indian gentleman which bank he hung up reported to action fraud line tel no 01215258745

Fiona says:
14 July 2020

I had a similar call this morning, supposedly about a £600 transaction with China, asking me to press “1” if I had not made it. I did that, appeared to be transferred but then queried what was going on, gave no details and rang off. I then spent more than 2 hours trying to get through to my Visa card provider, so if a scammer had tried to follow up, they would not have got through. My card provider subsequently confirmed that no such transaction had been attempted.

caroline evans fry says:
14 July 2020

Today I received an automated call which said £600 had been made in a foreign country[did not specify where] on my mastercard and if this was not me this press 1 to stop the transaction.
I hung up dialled 1471….. the number 003964362910 rang back line dead !!!
It would have been more convincing if it had said this country as we are in the middle of a pandemic. Also the message did not specify who the card belonged to, myself or my husband .
Have contacted my card provider ….all is well.
wish I had pressed 1 to see what happened….. they are out there beware people.

Jagga says:
15 July 2020

Just received call MasterCard saying recent transaction £600 , press 1 to authorise. Came from 01245 528438. Obviously scam