/ 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?

Cheryl Jones says:
14 August 2020

Just had a call from VISA asking if a 300 gbp transaction was done by me and given options to press. I hung up. The number was 07954013655.

tony says:
17 August 2020

Just had the call. Within last 15 mins £600 taken out of my account. Press 1 to stop this. Put receiver down straight away.

Just had a call stating £300 taken from my Visa and I needed to press 1 to authorise it – I don’t have a Visa card. Number was 07539400851 and I hung up.

Eileen says:
21 August 2020

Just had the £300 call, hung up. From 00626464817592

Camice says:
24 August 2020

I’ve just received the same type of call from an automated voice. They didn’t identify the bank but said that 2 unexpected charges had been attempted on my Visa card. I believe it was about £300 on Amazon and £600 on Western Union. The phone number was from 01563765546.

J&P Windows Ltd says:
24 August 2020

Yes, just received exactly same telephone call from a different number 01754 132539

Just received the same call from 01691180073 so they are still at it

Yes l received the same call as Camice today 1/9/20 and just hung up.

Dave says:
24 August 2020

Phone call saying MasterCard transaction of £600 to foreign account. Press 1 to cancel. Put phone straight down

It seems these crooks have been busy this morning. I had one (around 9am) but hung up before she could tell me about it. It would be interesting to know how many of these calls can be made at any one time and how scattered they can be. I wonder if any research has been done into the techniques used to send these messages. That would be the first stop in preventing them happening, wouldn’t it?
Interesting modus operandi. “Hello this morning your mastercard…..” I didn’t get the rest, but the idea is to launch straight into the scam before the recipient has time to react. When someone doesn’t use my name immediately but says “hello” or “hi” I usually hang up before they continue further. It saves time and further annoyance.

Elaine Murray says:
26 August 2020

From 01294713673 Automated voice saying 2 transactions had been made with my credit card, £400 and £700 both western union. They did not identify the bank. Options press 1 to confirm transactions, 2 to cancel, 3 to listen again. I hung up.

Ditto exact same call as Elaine but the number was from 01521 300676, I also hung up

H Heatley says:
28 August 2020

i have just received a phone call, automated message stating that an amazon gift card for £500 and apple tunes for £1000 had been made using a visa card and as this was an unusual purchase and press one to proceed etc
Tel call came from 0267036260
immediately terminated the call

Robert says:
29 August 2020

I’ve just received the same type of call from an automated voice. They didn’t identify the bank but said that 2 unexpected charges had been attempted on my Visa card. I believe it was about £300 on Amazon and £400 on Western Union. The phone number was from 01764632330.

Just had automated call saying I have been charged £400 on Amazon and £700 on Western union transfers and that I was contacted as I have never used western union before. Press 1 to accept charges, 2 to cancel and speak to someone or 3 to hear message again. Phone number was 01597405688.

Christine Turner says:
2 September 2020

I have just had one to a business line, saying someone tried to use £699 for amazon giftcards on your visa, we know this is something you would normally not do. Press 1 to cancel or 2 to authorise. I pressed 1 hoping it wasn’t someone trying to use the company card but then got a lady who didn’t explain who she was. I said you know this is a business line and we didn’t get very far before she hung on me.

Georgie Boy says:
2 September 2020

I had one today and pressed 1. Straight through to the a male who wanted to verify my bank sort code. I told him he was a scammer and he said he was from Visa Fraud and that I was at risk of losing all my money. He said the card was being recorded. I told him it certainly was as I was recording it myself.
After a bit of argy bargy he told me to put my phone down. I refused. He asked me again to put the phone down and when I refused he disconnected the call.

Freddie says:
3 September 2020

I got a call a recording, not an Asian or Indian accent this time, but a clear to understandable female English voice with no accent on the recording. It stated a couple of charges to E bay $4??.00 something and another charge for a gift card. Press 1 if I made the charges and 0 if I didn’t. I checked my account and no charges showed up on my visa. I didn’t have a gift card. The # that called is 888-874-4958

Ron Millet says:
3 September 2020

Had the same call for £600 paid to J Crall in California? Asked for info – gave address + post code but stopped when the bank sort code was asked for which I refused She got quite aggressive saying she could not guarantee to stop the payment. Quite clever as pretended to be from an Indian call centre with lots of background noise.
Checked with my bank … no such payment.

Sanguine rose says:
4 September 2020

Just received a call for £600 from visa i challenged them as to how they knew it was my bank account and they hung up, the phone number was 01826447758 hope this message helps people,

Susan Jones says:
5 September 2020

Just had a similar call purporting to be from MasterCard regarding “a transaction of £600 15 minutes ago”.
I hung up. Call number was 01878 721873

Mifa36 says:
7 September 2020

Just had a version of this call saying money transferred via Western union to China. Not asked to press anything but was asked if i ever use online or telephone banking. When I said no such transaction had been made, they said they would cancel the payment and hung up.

jeff remington says:
8 September 2020

Same here. Call from card security for Mastercard Visa saying my card had just been used in a £600 transaction to a foreign country. I didnt wait for the message to end and just hung up. Mastercard or Visa, which foreign country, who’s card in the household has been used? Scammers using telephone number 0121 6600141

Angela says:
8 September 2020

The number used on my call was 01228 138367 – doesn’t exist. I don’t have mastercard but checked out my visa card and all is ok so a complete scam. £600 seems like the amount they like to use.

Richie says:
8 September 2020

Phone Number 01229 026578 called today 8th Sept-20. A automated voice said my Debit Card has been used aboard please press one to cancel this payment