The Commission has been made aware of a recent upsurge in attempts by criminals to defraud local residents by obtaining their bank account details.
The fraud involves a telephone call to an unsuspecting member of the public from someone purporting to be from their bank. The fraudster explains that there is a problem with the individual’s account and advises them to call the number on the back of their debit card. The individual makes the call without realising that the fraudster has kept the phone line open. An accomplice of the fraudster then ‘answers’ the call and states that the bank has identified suspicious activity on the account and advises the individual to transfer their funds to a new account to prevent more money being taken.
The Commission would strongly advise people who are contacted in this manner to call their bank back using a different telephone – for example if contacted on a landline, then use a mobile telephone to make the call. Alternatively, wait at least 20 minutes before returning the call on the same line; this delay should ensure that the original call has been properly disconnected and the fraudster and their accomplice are no longer on the line.