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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?

Molly Bloom says:
8 February 2021

Had an automated call several times this week, saying my Visa card had been charged £700-odd. Put the phone down in the middle of the message, so didn’t get to hear who the money had been taken by (( checked my Visa account – the money hasn’t been taken by anyone). 1491 revealed the number as 07908 859096. A reverse look-up said that number belongs to S & J European Haulage (no address). Maybe it’s one of their employees, or maybe the scammer just took a random photo of one of their trucks to make the number look legitimate.

Had a call this morning to our landline, number showing as 07974 153957, telling me about an unauthorised international transaction of £600 reported from Visa Mastercard and to press 1.

I ignored.

I had this same call just now

shadia cheytan says:
13 April 2021

Just had exactly the same call too!

Kaiser says:
13 April 2021

Just had exactly the same call.

Had a landline call from a man claiming to be DC Derek from The Met, warning me one of my cards had been cloned. I was immediately suspicious as he was calling from a withheld number. He addressed me by my correct surname, gave me his ‘badge number CH10131612’ told me he wouldn’t be asking for my card details as that would be against the law, and wanted to know how many cards I had, and so on. Who did I bank with, did I bank online, was there anybody in my house with access to my cards, etc etc. I kept him on the line for about ten minutes, until he made an excuse saying he needed to put me on hold while he spoke to a colleague. That was that.

martin says:
30 March 2021

Had a variant where someone claining to be Detective Constable Austin called from Paddington police station said he had arrested someone who was using a clone of one of my cards. Asked me to dial the 999 “Police Verification Service” to validate him. I hung up and called 999 as part of a separate call to have confirmed that there was no Police Verification Service. I assume the scam was that I would press nine as part of his call.

Just had an automated call purporting to be visa or MasterCard stating to cancel a transaction of £600 to a foreign country press 1. Call came from 01925 607077. I didn’t press anything and left line open and it quickly cleared

Princess says:
19 February 2021

had one of these calls today – recorded the numbers 02089929327 and 02089957154. nearly caught me out as the call woke me and i was still half asleep and mentioned an amount which I had recently spent – tried to get me to log onto my computer and talked about problems with my IP address. Knew this was crap I lead them on for a while. they try to get info about types of card you have , type of computer and when i said i want to speak to my bank said they were putting me through! I let them and i’m pretty sure the same guy came on trying to change his voice.
Main take away – trying to get you to sign into your account so they can lead you through the problem.
Don’t want to name a partiular online seller – big one – they knew (guessed) i had an account and that’s what they wanted me to log into.

Recorded Phone call from 01511009766 3 March 21, your Visa card has just been used overseas, press 1 for full information .

Claire Copperman says:
4 March 2021

I had a call this morning about “an unauthorised transaction for £600 on your debit card.” Again, press 1 etc. No mention of which bank … I hung up. 1471 said they couldn’t provide the number.

Had a call yesterday morning at 0825am from +447944607974 claiming £600 had been spent using my visa. i get these calls at least once a week. i just check my bank account and ignore the calls. ive tried calling the number but it just cuts off.

Hi George,
You can add your experience here to help others and give spammers one less number they can use:

L Russell says:
8 March 2021

Received a call this morning saying 900 pounds fraudulently charged against my Visa debit. Please press 1. I hung up.

Christina Sosseh says:
9 March 2021

that’s what i had too, a pre recorded message. 900 pounds against visa debit, if not me press 1. told to hang on to speak to fraud department and line went dead. 01175604035 was the number they rang from

This Conversation invites contributors to report these nuisance phone calls and on the action they took. Many folk do the sensible thing and hang up. What Which? does with the information gleaned from this exercise has never been divulged. There is not even a standardised record template which might assist Which? or some other agency in tracking the origins and destinations of the scam calls. Knowing that Mr X of no known address on an unknown landline or mobile number received a phone call on a date and at a time not given and promptly terminated it doesn’t get an investigation very far. Perhaps a another statistic is justification enough.

Clearly the ‘phone system is increasingly becoming a conduit for criminals to extract their ill-gotten gains from unsuspecting vulnerable people. These criminals are without conscience, which invalidates them from any culpability or guilt resulting from their evil deeds.

The only sure remedy to tackle this pernicious and harmful crime is for all new domestic and mobile ‘phones to be equipped with effective blocking systems to enable users to choose who they allow access to their private space without fear of losing their life savings or equivalent.

It’s quite easy to programme all essential or well known contact names and numbers into your ‘phones book’ on your ‘phone, which will automatically bypass its blocking system and their name will show up in the call identification window, so you can choose whether to pick up or ignore it. Any other people who wish to make contact will first have to identify themselves and you will be given the choice to either allow them to be put through or you can reject the call. In 99% of cases a scammer will hang up and move on to their next unsuspecting potential victim.

I would add, call blocking is not advised for business telephone systems for obvious reasons, but one assumes businesses are less likely to be targeted by scammers and members of staff are usually well briefed and sufficiently alerted to detect and deal with any suspicious calls that come through.

Since I have taken these steps I have received no more scam calls
and when my ‘phone rings I know it is either someone listed in my ‘phone book whom I know, or it will be an operator asking for my permission for the caller to first identify themselves, before connecting them, in which case the chances of it being a scammer is highly unlikely.

Thanks Beryl, it is good to hear that you have been able to block scam calls. I hope others will be able to follow your example.

AnuraJ says:
28 May 2021

I agree with Beryl – I’ve also got Call Guard on my phone and I don’t get scam calls either. I can see that a call was attempted and I usually do google the number but the fact that the caller was unable – or declined – to state their details really tells me what I need to know. Best purchase ever – I’m not bothered by nuisance calls ringing all the time and not getting them is probably the best defence I can think of.

Minnie says:
12 March 2021

Yes, I just got one from 0208 693 5032. Computer voice, £600 taken from Visa account, press 1 if not authorised or 2 if want to talk to someone. Hung up.

The phone number from my scam artist was 318-252-2241. Please advise if not a scam.

Abi Ademoyero says:
17 March 2021

I received to pre -recorded messages this afternoon, from 0115 281 6231 and 0115 167 5835 at 12.38 and 12.47 respectively. The messages stated that £900 had been spent on my visa debit, and that if it isn’t me, I should press 1. I was asked to hang on to speak with the fraud department and the line went dead, both times.

17th March. Just had a phone call stating that £900 had been taken from my account, press 1 to cancel. Did that, was put on hold (Your call is very important to us). after a minute or two I was put through to the Visa Fraud Dept. I told them that I had a call from them. The operator asked me to hold while be brought up my account. (I hadn’t told him my name?). He reiterated that £900 had been transferred out. I asked him under what account name, explaining I had two accounts (I have none) one for personal and one for business. He said ‘personal’. I asked what name was the personal account under. Long pause. I asked, ‘Is this the part where you put the phone down?’. He did. I get three or four calls a week from different people trying to scam me. Always get them to tell you your name, never offer it, or any details. I take immense pleasure stringing them along.

Same here – an automated call to my landline today – £600 on my Visa card, press 1 if not me. I cut the call.

Graham Crawford says:
27 March 2021

Just had a call from “Visa” stating that my card will be blocked for a week, as there was a withdrawal of $1.17 from a place in America. I was into my bank’s website within 30 seconds, and told the guy on the phone there was no record of this transaction..

Received a call from 01370712685 saying there is an unauthorised payment of £900 going from my account and to press 1 etc. Googled this number and nothing came up, so perhaps it is a new one to watch out for

Jeremy Symons says:
13 April 2021

Just received same recorded message saying £600 was used on my card to a company abroad.

I hanged up the call immediately and called my bank on a different phone.

They confirmed no transaction took place and was definitely a fraudulent scam.

Just had an automated call from the above number stating can I varify if the sum of £600 from my visa account 15 minutes ago was myself.