By John Smith •
Updated: 30 Nov 2023 • 12:12
A social media alert from a Marbella resident about a recent phone call from someone claiming to be from their bank set off alarm bells.
In this case, the call display made it actually appear that it had come from a bank (although it didn’t) and the person calling said that they had detected an attempt to withdraw money from a cash machine using the individual’s details.
The whole point of the exercise was to obtain confidential information which will allow them to access your account and of course if you have given this voluntarily there is a chance that your bank will decline to refund any money stolen, so take heed.
A British based organisation UK Finance represents some 250 banks and financial institutions around the world and has issued a strong warning about this type of potential scam.
It confirms that individuals may receive an automated call claiming that a suspicious transaction has occurred on their account and needs to be verified.
The consumer is then invited to press a number on their phone to be taken through to a supposed agent who is in fact a fraudster.
Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime, UK Finance, said: “There has been a spike in cases involving automated calls from fraudsters pretending to be from your bank. It’s crucial that people remain vigilant and question any phone calls out of the blue, even if they state there has been fraud on your account.
“Fraudsters may already have some information about you, so don’t take this as confirmation that their approach is genuine. Never give out any personal information if you are at all suspicious. Instead Take Five to stop and think, and then contact your bank directly on a number that you can trust such as the one on their official website.”
The fact is that no bank will ever contact you asking for your online banking password, your four digit pin number or insist you transfer money to a new account to avoid fraud.
The best advice is to simply refuse to discuss personal matters with anyone who might call you unexpectedly and state that rather than talk to that person, you will call your bank independently to discuss the matter and if they offer you a number to call, simply refuse and hang up.
Don’t forget that alongside direct calls, text messages purporting to be from your bank can also be the work of scammers, so if in doubt always call your bank and ask them if the text is genuine.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development.
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