/ 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?

Andrew Bennett says:
16 September 2019

Just had the “Visa Secure” automated telephone call, I didn’t press button 1 and put the phone down. When trying 1471 found that the number had been withheld.

Terry Hunt says:
16 September 2019

To bolster the statistics, I can report having had two “Visa Secure . . . £600” calls today (in the space of 3 hours) following one yesterday: I’ve had more than a dozen over the last few months: at least they provide some variety from regular the “BT . . . your internet line is about to be terminated.” ones.

graham marshall says:
16 September 2019

Just had the “Visa Secure” automated telephone call, I didn’t press button 1 and put the phone down. When trying 1471 found that the number had been withheld.Same with me I think they said Ikea.

Merita says:
16 September 2019

Yep, I get this call regularly. Twice today so far, and it’s only three thirty.

Jacqui says:
16 September 2019

I got this call today first the foreign sounding woman said it was visa secure calling and that someone based in Manchester was trying to steal £600 from me. She wanted me to go onto my mobile and download something from playstore. I asked her what visa secure was, and she said no i’m from ringing from BT. I told her she was a scammer and have reported this to BT. No number comes up when 1471.

Sheena Pritchard says:
16 September 2019

I received this automated “Visa” call today regarding the £600 spend on my card. I hung up. No “hello” or a human telling me who they were talking to alerted me immediately – same goes for the HM tax office calls threatening me with court action for non-payment 😵

ernie halls says:
17 September 2019

had 6 phone calls over the last two days from these scammers..how can we stop them ringing ?

Keith Gregory says:
17 September 2019

Getting the £600 visa one and the terminate your bt line.
Why are the scammers allowed the withheld facility.
Surely if they are reported then the number should be broadcast to international police for tracing reasons then the number discontinued and user barred from the supplier?

Margot Henery says:
17 September 2019

Just had the ‘Visa Secure’ phone call from 001922401727 referring to a suspected fraudulent transaction of £600 … the caller number displayed when the call came in but when I rang same number, I got the automated ‘has not been recognised’ response
1st time for me to have this particular type of scam, I think
(I just put the phone down when I received the call)

Martin Drew says:
17 September 2019

At about 10:20 today I had the automated recorded voice Visa Direct £600 online purchase please press 1 call. It was to my mobile and I cut it off.

Since I posted this yesterday I have had 3 more calls on my landline, they are becoming a real pain, and of course the number is blocked.

linda pizzey says:
17 September 2019

Have had two calls today 1 at 10.30am and 1.30 saying they where from Visa Secure tele.001726816753 another one to look out for

I just had a phone call with an automated voice saying it was from Visa and my account had been debited £600. Being very suspicious of any phone calls like this, I didn’t listen to any more, put down the phone and checked with the bank. They said it was a known scam doing the rounds.

It’s an interesting variation on the Indian call centre scams.

Mary Sterry says:
18 September 2019

Just received my second ‘visa secure’ call today from two separate numbers. Rang the second back & spoke to a very nice chap who had just had the same scam, but had actually spoken to these people. Somehow they seem to be able to use the private numbers of victims that have ‘pressed 1’. The bottom line for this scam is DON’T PRESS 1 or actually speak to these people.

Also just had call claiming £600 going from account and to press 1 so just put phone down.

freda bainbridge says:
18 September 2019

I had call earlier from 02077955777 saying a payment of £300 was going through my visa debit account and had I made such a payment ,or lost or had my card stolen and had I visited Manchester today.I said no to all and he wanted to know my bank and when I refused said he would not cancel the payment and I would have to go to my bank.He did ask for me by name which was a worry.