You’d think you could trust your phone’s caller display, but fraudsters have found a way to spoof your bank’s number. Here’s Katy Worobec of Financial Fraud Action UK to fill you in on ‘number spoofing’.
It all starts with a phone call. It’s the bank: there’s been fraud on your account and they just need you to confirm some details.
You’re understandably panicked, but the caller reassures you that as long as you do exactly what they say, the problem will be solved. Just look at the caller ID display – it’s the same number as your bank, so the call must be genuine, right? Wrong.
Watch out for number spoofing
It’s a new twist on a scenario that we hear about all too regularly. You may have heard about a phone scam in which a fraudster calls you pretending to be your bank. They then try to convince you into handing over personal details or even into transferring cash straight into the criminal’s bank account.
Now fraudsters are using a new trick to con people into thinking the request is genuine, and it’s vital that you don’t fall for it.
It’s called ‘number spoofing’. It’s a piece of technology that enables someone to alter the number that appears on your phone’s caller ID display so that it mimics another phone number.
Mimicking your bank’s phone number
The technology has been around for a while, but only recently have we seen fraudsters trying to use it to trick their victims.
They mimic the phone number of your bank and then ask you to check it while you’re on the phone in an attempt to convince you the call is genuine.
But it’s a scam. Your bank would never point you towards the phone number displayed to validate a call.
And your bank would never call you and ask for your four digit PIN or your full online or telephone banking password. They would also never ask you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons, even if they say it’s in your name. Anyone asking you to do so is a fraudster.
Can you spot a phone scam?
How confident are you that you’d be able to spot a fraudulent phone call? Our research shows us that over a third of people find it hard to tell the difference between a scam call and a legitimate one.
What about your family and friends? Do you think they could fall victim to a phone fraudster? We need everyone to spread the word about phone scams and number spoofing so that they don’t get caught out.
Which? Conversation provides guest spots to external contributors. This post is from Katy Worobec, Director of Financial Fraud Action UK. All opinions expressed here are Katy’s own, not necessarily those of Which?.