/ Money

Scam watch: have you had fake phone calls from the ‘Visa’ fraud department?

scam call

A complex scam involving phone calls from ‘Visa’ followed by the ‘police’ is currently doing the rounds. Fortunately, one member was savvy enough not to fall for it…

Which? member Brian Moore 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?


The answer to these types of calls is simple….

Both phones need to be instantly disconnected if either party cut the call.

I don’t understand why telephone companies haven’t been made to do this yet.



This is an old link about action taken to reduce disconnection times – to 2 seconds in some cases. I hope someone can provide later information.


I hardly ever get nuisance phone calls these days, and not because of the feeble efforts of law enforcement, other authorities or telecoms companies, but because I invested in a call screening phone, at my own expense.

That said, I do believe too many people are just plain gullible these days although for some people it’s not their fault due to mental conditions etc.

We could do with more public information films across all media to better highlight the dangers out there.
Something like the old Police 5, just 5 mins a week ( think I’ve made that suggestion before).

I wonder if all the suckers completing surveys for fake vouchers are where some of these personnel details are coming from. So far this month I’ve identified 20 scams involving UK companies many many more involving companies operating in other countries. I’ve notified Trading Standards and Action Fraud yet hardly see any effort being put in to warn people. I wish I had the power to take down websites as I wouldn’t need to waste my time dealing with the authorities.

T Dabbs says:
21 May 2017

What on earth is a triangulation call?


One routed through Bermuda? 🙂