/ 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

Shirley says:
27 July 2020

Had similar today. Didn’t press 1. Phone number was 01224 586 520

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

Alison says:
16 July 2020

I have been receiving these automated calls over the past few days around 600 or 699 pounds is supposed to have been spend on my card for Digital card vouchers. The numbers to add to the list are mobile telephone numbers UK based 07875833852 and 07498090820 – I have been blocking the number each time

Adrianne Smyth says:
18 July 2020

Just had a call saying £600 spent on my card ( they said Visa or Mastercard !!) so put the phone down and then dialled 1572 and put them on the blacklist.

Mrs Susan Buchanan says:
20 July 2020

I had one purporting to be about a large sum (£600) for the purchase of Amazon gift cards and was unusual spending and to press 1 which I didn’t do but put the phone down.

H farthing says:
24 July 2020

Just had the ‘this is visa/mastercard, a transaction for £600 has been made on your account in a foreign country, press 1 to confirm or deny’ i pressed nothing and just let it hang up. did 1471 but withheld number.

Tony Edwards says:
27 July 2020

£600 overseas transaction call ‘visa fraud’ asked for date of birth immediately hung up. My landline number is unlisted I only use my details with purchases where seller says they do not sell details probably somebody does? Rarely use other than Paypal. Call came from 013847552020. First call of this type, I have not had fraud attempt phone call for years only use landline. My wife recently sent a lot of money overseas through Santander

A Etches says:
27 July 2020

We had a similar automated call to Roger Barker below – just now. £600 on one of our cards and press 1 to cancel the transaction. Rather daftly, my husband pressed 1. I advised him that now, fraudsters can link our land line to their details of card holders and whatever other info they have stolen about people ! Please if you get this call – just HANG UP ON IT 🙂

Jay says:
4 August 2020

I think you’re pretty safe. They don’t actually have your card or spending details so it probably doesn’t matter which number you press! I just received a similar call and pressed 2 to ‘authorise’ the transactions that the recorded message said were ‘unusual’, then hung up, because it told me ‘we’ll just transfer you to a call taker to answer a few more questions’ . It was an UK number but we are in NZ: 00449191349320.
All they found out is that they got through to a human being, and they could have got the ph number from our website anyway.
Consider this: if they had your card details, why would they ring you except to get the 3-digit security code? (which you should never actually give out over the phone)

Maggie James says:
28 July 2020

I was called this morning on automated “Visa Security” line and selected 2 as I had not authorised any transactions. Spoke to “Rick Johnson” who said that there were 2 transactions, each for £300, to be made from my account to a “John Hopkins” in China – the payment was to go through Western Union. I confirmed I knew nothing about it and he gave me a teleohone number to call to stop the transaction – 020 7097 1494. I did not call it but did Googled it instead – https://who-called.co.uk/Number/02070971494. Less than 10 mins later he called back to find out if I had called the number – advised I had not but have notified my bank. The first call was made from 0207 501 3942 and the follow-up from 0207 282 8158.

jo says:
28 July 2020

I had a call from 01393995022 saying it was from visa and mastercard saying £600 had been paid overseas and if this was not right to press 1, i didn’t and hung up

Julie Bulwich says:
3 August 2020

I have just received a call from 01286122714, it was a recorded message saying press 1 to confirm if not authorised a £600 payment abroad , from visa / MasterCard.
Tried calling number back from another line and no such number .

Sam Smythe says:
10 August 2020

Just had the same AUTOMATED VOICE call saying £600 has been spent from my MC in a foreign country. To stop the action please press 1. Sounded suspicious so I checked here. Perhaps we should all list the telephone number the call came from. Mine was from 01841 857 013

Mahmood says:
11 August 2020

Hi, I received a call from 01496381726, the first AUTOMATED message stated £600 has been spent from my Visa card on Amazon gift cards and this was not my usual spending pattern. I did press one then went to an Indian man who explained the issue. Apparently they stopped a transaction on a visa card and he gave me the last 4 digits of this card. He said the fraud was on Amazon, whilst on the phone, I logged into my Amazon account and looked at my transaction history and there was nothing there in relation to gift cards. He asked me to go to a website bsupport.us so that he could show me the transaction so I questioned the guy asking him why I was being taken to a US website and he said that Amazon is US-based. I asked him where he was calling from and he said London. The area code of the number was Islay in Scotland albeit I am sure this is spoofed. This is when I realised the call was not genuine and I cut the call off. Be aware and stay safe.

Had two automated calls today (tel 01424 987887) both suggesting they were from VISA Fraud and were in regard to £600 worth of Amazon vouchers just bought and to push 1 if this was not the case. Just hung up both times!

Lesley Ingram says:
11 August 2020

Just had the £600 via/mastercard scam phone call, initially a recorded msg wanting me to press 1. I didn’t. The phone number was 018218 161864. I hung up.

13 August 2020

Automated call today from 01226850259 from “visa security” £600 to China for covid 19 charity I asked which card used she said don’t have details due to data protection regs but would be the one I used regularly!!
Said I would call back was given 02070199002 obviously I didn’t call that number
As a victim of remote fraud before (not via phone) firstly I was worried this was something genuine but as a former bank employee soon realised was a scam!!

Philippa says:
13 August 2020

I have just had an automated call to my land line fro a mobile number 07487047757, saying that £500 had been spent on Amazon and £1000 had been spent on Apple . asking me to press 1 to confirm or 2 to say the payment was unauthorised. I hung up. Called the number back and it was switched off!!