/ 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?

jta says:
13 April 2021

on 12th Apr revived two calls asking to confirm the use of my card for two large amounts abroad which had alerted them as i had never use my card in that way before.
As i only have a debit card which is used only for my direct debts extra via my bank and i use cash every other instance so this was obvious a scam. phone numbers were 0015093790275 and the second showed as an international number 01913887809

jta says:
13 April 2021

should have said it was a message via my answer phone

professor Loveforme says:
27 May 2021

A new favourite way of dealing with these calls is learn some Indian swear words and practise on the scammers Madderchod is a naughty word for doing an unspeakable thing with ones mother I am sure you could discover your own personal favourites to use I have also tried in different voices when they run the pitch Saying hold on you want the house owner I will fetch him /her and then keep coming back every two or three minutes with a new accent or character saying hello when they say is that the home owner I say NO sorry ! I will just get them again and again One hilariously asked me why I keep using different voices I said that was my crazy uncle I don’t think he believed me as he hung up ….

Just had a call from Cambridge number 01954 339312, automated call to say my visa card had been used to purchase goods worth £900, if i did not authorise this, please press 1. I put the phone down.

Andy says:
23 April 2021

Just had the same digital message £900 yet number was from 07746 956891 fortunately I have Mastercard not Visa so was instant red flag !!! be careful

Phil Bishop says:
21 May 2021

Just had the same call – again hung up !

On the 21s May 2021 I had the same call and did the same thing. Didn’t make a note of the number though but the amount was the same.

Bernard Granger says:
26 May 2021

Had th same phonecll just 2 minutes ago, As soon as they say press 1 if I didn’t authorise the payment of £900. I hung up.

professor Loveforme says:
27 May 2021

I Like to say can you please check you have my name correct they often already have it but you can say no that was the old owner of the house I recently just moved in When they say what is your name I say Mr and then offer to spell my name as it is difficult and spell out s c a m m er and wait while the penny drops works very time they either quickly hang up or offer abuse about me thinking I am funny give it a go I strangely look forward to the odd scam attempt now

Kathie says:
16 April 2021

Literally just had this automated message. It was showing as an 0205 number. It said there had just been a payment of £600 made to offshore and I needed to authorise it. Yer, right, on your bike Mrs!

Caroline Johns says:
19 April 2021

Had a automated call this morning from an 01304 number, purporting to be from Visa fraud. Press 1 if you recognise £600 transaction on card, or 2 if you want more details. I pressed 2, spoke to a bloke with an Indian accent. He said some bloke in California had used my visa debit card – had I authorised it? Me – not on your nelly. OK, said he, I’ll start a fraud investigation. What’s my full name? Me – I’m not giving you my name since I’m not convinced you are from Visa. He hung up.

Phone bank just to check. It is the fabled scam making an unwelcome return.

Yvette says:
20 April 2021

Just had a call this morning asking for authorisation for £900. Press 1 is as far as I listened! It came from a mobile number 07747749455

Heidi says:
23 April 2021

I just had the exact calls this morning asking for authorisations for £900 also. The phone numbers that called me were 07746078462 and 07746430504. I didn’t go any further than the ‘press 1’ option either!

J Bateman says:
21 April 2021

I also just had a call from 07761858360, automated message saying a payment of £900 had been made from my account press 1 to cancel the payment

Louise Keegan says:
23 April 2021

Just had an inbound call to my mobile with an automated imessage from 07482 109209 stating that there has been an attempt to withdraw £900 on my visa card. I hung up as I don’t have a visa card! Beware peeps those scammers are working hard to Rob you!

Vic Frewin says:
27 April 2021

Hi, just had a robotic call from 07496 317 449, with a statement claiming to be from VISA fraud department, checking on a recent payment for £600. I had recently paid for something close to this amount, so was instantly curious. I was asked to press ‘1’ to authorize payment, or ‘2’ to speak to a member of the fraud team. I pressed ‘2’ and was connected to a young guy with a heavy asian accent. He asked me how he could be of assistance, and I told him they had called me. He was a little flustered and we have a brief exchange where he tried to get me to answer some ‘security’ questions. I refused and asked hime to prove I was actually speaking with VISA, and he said to do this he’d have to take me through the security questions. When I pushed back again, he said, “But YOU called VISA”, which clearly I hadn’t, but some people might actually think at this point that maybe they had. At this point I hung up. Going to report this to VISA also.

D Middle says:
27 April 2021

My husband Received an automated message from 07493 143477. Stating £600 unusual activity on VISA, press 1 or 2. He didn’t as aware of scams. Oddly Within minutes Of him letting me know, a withheld number calls my mobile. I didn’t answer and it called immediately again. I didn’t answer. No message and unusual as I cannot remember when I last had a withheld call and was minutes after my husbands one. Seen on line this is a visa scam. I’ve Reported to action fraud. Stay safe

Gary McAllister says:
29 April 2021

Just had a call on my mobile from 07710593669, an automated message saying a payment of £600 had been made on my “mastercard visa card”. Instantly sounded suspicious.
The message continued… If I did not want to authorise I should press 1 to cancel the payment. I hung up and blocked the number.

Phillip Wain says:
30 April 2021

Just had a call saying from Visa saying £600 had been taken from my back press 1 to talk to a rep .I did not press 1 but rang off so i could check when I got home ,the number was 0784424057.Checked my bank account no such activity so came online to check for scams and found this page .

Shirl says:
4 May 2021

Just had a call from visasaying £900 would be taken from my account for online shopping. This is the second call I have had Just put the phone down and hung up. Number was 07630927832

Kat says:
7 May 2021

Got a all from 03304440764. Automated female voice saying recent unauthorised transaction of £600 on my debit card and the money was sent overseas and to press 1 to take further action.

It appears that I have had a similar call to others. A computerised voice claiming a £600 transaction on my Visa card and asking me to Select 1 to authorise of 2 to speak to someone. I would have been suspicious anyway but the bad English just made me laugh. They said “if you did not done this”. The number used was 07880 646146. I hung up and blocked.

MW says:
11 May 2021

Similar call yesterday from 07794 250228 – automated message regarding a Visa transaction for £600 then transferred to a man with an Indian accent in what sounded like a call centre in the background. Offered no attempt to run through security details and all very dodgy so quickly hung up.

Just received an automated call from Visa/Mastercard fraud department for a recent foreign transaction made for £600. I didn’t respond and hung up and checked online for the latest scams doing the rounds.

Trayce says:
14 May 2021

Just had a call about a £600 transaction on my visa card – I know its a fake call so just put the phone down – number called from 07457310674

Froggy says:
20 May 2021

Just had the same automated call claiming to be VISA & that £600 payment was not authorised on my card & asked me to “press 1”, No chance of me doing that, looked up the number & could find nothing apart from that it came from India, the number was, , ,03972866437

kentucky says:
25 May 2021

I had a call 25-05021 13.04 press 1 some one tried to get £900 on visa card,put the phone down as I have no visa cards.the tel no was07720-888041

Vee Blank says:
27 May 2021

I also had a call on my landline this morning, about a £600 transaction on my visa card – I know its a fake call so just put the phone down – number is 01543716543