A Scary New Development In Scamming

By Amy Louise Grant

Telephone and email scams are becoming more and more common as I’m sure most people reading this article will have, at some point or another, received an email or phone call, supposedly from their bank asking to verify their details, when in fact it is a fraudster looking to gain access to your account. However, there is a new scam that is more dangerous than any other.

While on Facebook today I read a post that details this scam and how cleverly it could convince even the most vigilant of us. This morning, my mother received a phone call from a scammer pretending to be the Royal Bank of Scotland, alerting her that there had been a fraud on her account and asked her to confirm some of her details. Now, I think that everyone in this situation would have done the smart thing (as my mum did) and politely declined due to being suspicious of being asked to give her details out over the phone. However, as my mum was hanging up the phone, the scammer told her to phone the number on the back of her debit card to contact RBS and this would clearly prove that it was in fact the bank contacting her as she had phoned them.

In this situation most people would indeed go and get their debit card and call the bank immediately to verify that it was a legitimate phone call but my mum went the good old-fashioned way and instead decided to phone my dad at his work to ask him what to do. So, she dialled his number and waited to be connected to his office but rather than be greeted by my dads pre-morning-coffee-voice, she found herself speaking to “Christine from the Royal Bank of Scotland”.

By now I’m sure you have figured out this genius scam: a fraudster pretending to be from RBS phones you up, you do the usual thing and don’t believe them, they tell you to phone the bank and you hang up, phone the bank straight away and believe that since you called the number on the back of your card and since you are greeted by “Christine from RBS” you are clearly speaking to the Royal Bank of Scotland and gladly give them your details to prevent fraud, when instead you will have just unintentionally provided the scammer with your most private information.

In a digital age where phone hacking is rife, it seems that even the masses are now at risk at having their phone lines intercepted in this cunning new way to trick decent people to part with their bank details.

One Response

  1. Wow I’ve never even heard of that! I always get emails like ‘HMRC Tax Rebate.. All we need is your details’ or stuff saying it’s for my student loan but that’s really interesting thinking that they can actually hack into your line like that.

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