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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?

jta says:
13 April 2021

on 12th Apr revived two calls asking to confirm the use of my card for two large amounts abroad which had alerted them as i had never use my card in that way before.
As i only have a debit card which is used only for my direct debts extra via my bank and i use cash every other instance so this was obvious a scam. phone numbers were 0015093790275 and the second showed as an international number 01913887809

jta says:
13 April 2021

should have said it was a message via my answer phone

Just had a call from Cambridge number 01954 339312, automated call to say my visa card had been used to purchase goods worth £900, if i did not authorise this, please press 1. I put the phone down.

Kathie says:
16 April 2021

Literally just had this automated message. It was showing as an 0205 number. It said there had just been a payment of £600 made to offshore and I needed to authorise it. Yer, right, on your bike Mrs!

Caroline Johns says:
19 April 2021

Had a automated call this morning from an 01304 number, purporting to be from Visa fraud. Press 1 if you recognise £600 transaction on card, or 2 if you want more details. I pressed 2, spoke to a bloke with an Indian accent. He said some bloke in California had used my visa debit card – had I authorised it? Me – not on your nelly. OK, said he, I’ll start a fraud investigation. What’s my full name? Me – I’m not giving you my name since I’m not convinced you are from Visa. He hung up.

Phone bank just to check. It is the fabled scam making an unwelcome return.

Yvette says:
20 April 2021

Just had a call this morning asking for authorisation for £900. Press 1 is as far as I listened! It came from a mobile number 07747749455

J Bateman says:
21 April 2021

I also just had a call from 07761858360, automated message saying a payment of £900 had been made from my account press 1 to cancel the payment