/ 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?

Sean says:
27 October 2021

Coinciding with a valid online Currys purchase for delivery I got a call from a “Visa Fraud” team about £600 spent in a foreign currency from number 07365162266 “press 1 to stop it” – didn’t press 1

Hi Sean – Is there anything to connect the call with your purchase from Currys or could this be a coincidence? You can report the call as mentioned in. the introduction.

Tony says:
10 March 2022

Had the exact same thing just now (10:30am 10/03/22) from 07803 203197 , Press 1 to stop it. Likewise I just hung up

Tracy says:
28 October 2021

Just received a call from 07578 545159, automated message saying £600 had been used on my Mastercard 15mins before… I just hung up but thought I’d add to this to the conversation

Seems like a pretty busy number, just out of curiosity I looked it up and the reports seem to suggest so – https://who-called.co.uk/Number/07578545159

This is a useful website and if look at the users’ comments at the bottom of the pages there are numerous comments mentioning £600, which is what Tracy has mentioned.

Just had a “call from Visa” checking my £400 on Amazon and £700 to Western Union early today. Neither known to me. The number which called was 07852 555909 which didn’t come to anything when I googled it.
My visa card is a 2nd card and the a/c is my husband’s, and I don’t think they even have our mobile numbers so I think it was just phishing and I didn’t give them any info

I’ve had two calls this morning like this. The first, I put the phone down, so they thought they’d try again. I pressed 2 & then proceeded to give them a false name & d.o.b. They accepted this, then told me that a payment of £600 had been made to a ‘James C’. & did I know him. I said “Oh yes, he’s my brother”. They disconnected immediately. The numbers were: 07451286297 & 07451278404. I receive these calls on a regular basis & depending on my mood can sometimes keep them going for several minutes. They get VERY angry at the end & their grasp of English swear words is truly astonishing!

Just had a call on my work number saying a visa transaction for £900 is trying to be made it didn’t say any specific company but did however say press one 1 if this was not you and to cancel the transaction.
I hung up
The number was not a mobile number it was a landline 0207 095 1226
I tried to call it back to see if it connected to anything but it just comes up as number not found.
Also checked on who called me and nothing has been reported there . I shall keep an eye on it and if i get anymore calls I shall update .

Ian SCARFE says:
10 January 2022

I got one of these today, it was a recorded message. I’ve never had a bank ring me to deliver a recorded message before. I rang off before I got to any details.

Elsie says:
24 January 2022

Received two calls this morning 07754147059 & 07754197503 saying £900 fraud on my Visa Debit card. I listened briefly and blocked the numbers.

Geraint Jones says:
1 February 2022

Visa fraud scam. Just had two calls this morning – BOTH MOBILE NUMBERS 07540072066 and 07825972892 reporting two suspicious transaction. To verify whether genuine or not, when he asked for me sort code, I asked him to give me 3 different ones of which 1 was correct, and I would tell him which was the correct one. He hung up (surprise)

Frank Burns says:
2 February 2022

It puzzles me when it says ‘The scammer will stay on the line while you dial out…’ But surely you hear a dialing tone when you make a call out as you normally do? Why would anyone ‘dial’ a number if there’s no dialing tone? crazy. Beats me how people DO fall for this stuff. I get them on a regular basis and have never believed any one of them. Why would you?

Frank — Where did you see the statement you quoted “the scammer will stay on the line while you dial out . . . “? This is no longer the case.

Following technological changes a few years ago, once a call is terminated by the called party the circuit disconnects within a few seconds and the calling party can no longer intercept the line without redialling. It is therefore safe to make another call or, in the case of a nuisance call, to ring the bank or police directly without having to use an alternative line or telephone.

Puzzled Android user here. What’s a “dialing tone”?

John – I expect that Frank is referring to this in the introduction: “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.”

Although the delay before disconnection no longer exists on landline phones I would feel happier to use a different phone to make calls soon after someone had been try to scam me.

Em — It’s what you hear on lifting the receiver and before pressing Button A.

Thanks! I can’t find Button A. I did try inserting sixpence into my Samsung Galaxy, but I think I’ve damaged the USB port. Maybe I should have used a farthing.

Waterfall says:
3 February 2022

I’ve had a scam automated call from 07859 063189 saying they are reporting a blocked Western Union transaction of £600 from my bank account, and asking me to press 1 to connect to my bank. I ended the call immediately.

Ebba says:
7 February 2022

This has literally just happened to me. Had a call from +44 7873 434327
United Kingdom saying £650 was going to western union if this wasn’t me press 1. Pressed 1 then connected to someone in the Visa department. They asked how they could help, I said you rang me. Who are you? I’m apart of visa and when I said, what part of visa as in how do you relate to me?
Visa debit?.. silence and they hung up.

I knew this was a scam as my bank are on it with these things and I don’t have any credit cards so it can’t be that. So yeah this call scam is still happening in 2022!

Janine says:
16 February 2022

I’ve had three calls (two mobile, one landline now) in the last week or so, all recorded voices stating that a £900 payment had been made and to press ‘1’ to report this as fraud. Just hanging up and blocking the numbers.

literally just had a call, the man was as bold as brass and could easily have tricked an unsuspecting pensioner! this time it was from a ‘withheld Number’ saying he was from Hammersmith Police station and that they’d apprehended someone making an attempted use of a Visa debit card to the value of £1300
Wanted me to give him the contact number on the back of the card (which would have identified the bank) hung up when I refused.

Just knew this call was a scam, it appears they’ve made a few minor changes to their approach for this year!

Donna says:
26 February 2022

07869301552 just had a call 5 mins ago. 600 pounds has been blocked yo western union. Press 1 to speak to an advisor.
A foreign lady in a busy call centre was on the line asked me how she could help. I hung up at that point.

still operating- using 01483968723 – visa fraud department – indian subcontinent sounding accented english – woman stating name Kelly Baxter – who offered ID VS 92005 reprted two “fraudulent” transactions and wished to clarify whether real or not – card holder not in the house so called explained that she would renew call when cardholder available and that upon speaking to cardholder would arrange for investigator to call. Following research discovered these accounts of similar processes and will block future calls.

Black Angel says:
9 May 2022

This is the phone number I was called 07806784074 saying the same thing that a transaction of 600£ was made and if I want to cancel the transaction. I asked what company are they a d they hang up. So I’ve searched the Internet and came here. This are scammers and this phone number called me. So take care.

Hi Black Angel,
Glad you were not caught out.

You can add your experience here to warn others.

Marshall says:
10 May 2022

Same call 2 transactions no 01554820672

Stuart says:
10 May 2022

Just had call saying £900 and press 1 to block it. From Belgium +32 5 327 55973. Obviously just hung up

Victor says:
25 May 2022

Got one too , recorded voice , also £900. Saying I should press 1 to block it. +353(59)947292 Ireland. Hung up and blocked number . Do not press 1