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Noticed a dodgy payment? You could be facing the fraud team scam

One of the most common scams is the cold call from a fraud team who instructs you that your bank account has been compromised. But what happens when there has actually been a fraudulent payment made? We’ve found out about the fake fraud team scam, and how this elaborate hustle is convincing victims to part with their cash.

The classic fraud team scam

The fraud team scam is nothing new. Usually you will receive a cold call from a person claiming to be from your bank. They’ll tell you that your bank account has been accessed by someone else, and in order to protect your money, you’ll need to move your funds into a ‘safe account’. This safe account is, of course, one that the scammer has access to. 

This scam is so common that when you’re sending a payment to a new payee, you’re likely to get a warning message from your bank asking whether you’ve been contacted unexpectedly, or you know the person that you’re sending money to. Banks have even set up procedures to check the details of the person you’re sending money to.

The new and improved fraud team scam

With this scam being so common, and the warnings about it so prevalent, it’s becoming harder for scammers to get away with the classic fraud team scam. However, the new and improved version is slightly more elaborate.Instead of just telling you that a fraudulent payment has been made, these scammers are making the fraudulent payment first.

This version of the fraud team scam requires that a perpetrator already has access to your card details somehow. This isn’t too difficult a requirement, particularly considering how many websites store your card details, and how many of those websites only require an email and a password to access your account.

From there, the scammer purchases something, and waits long enough for the transaction to appear on your banking app. Then, the classic fraud team scam starts; however, this time the scammer doesn’t have to convince you that your money isn’t safe. They can ask the victim to check their recent transactions, and wait until the fraudulent payment is discovered.

The scammer can then use this as evidence that they’re telling the truth, and worry the victim enough to give them their full bank account details. These details will provide complete access to the account, so that the scammer can empty it themselves. 

Why is this fraud team scam dangerous?

This new and improved fraud team scam is far more dangerous than the previous iteration, because the victim is likely to be more afraid, and therefore more vulnerable. A victim who is panicked is less likely to stop and think about what they are being asked to do, and more likely to give their details over in order to secure an account that they believe has been compromised.

What you can do to stay safe

Although the way that this scam is set up means that a fraudulent payment has occurred and as such it’s harder to challenge the authenticity of the scammer, remember to treat any cold call with suspicion. Phone numbers and even Caller ID are easy to fake, and just because a call looks like it’s coming in from your bank, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is. 

If you do receive a cold call from a fraud team, ask for the reference number of the incident and state that you will call them back directly. If your bank allows you to freeze your card remotely from an application, this can be an effective way of preventing any further fraudulent payments from being made.

Then, find the phone number of your bank online, and contact them directly yourself. If you’re calling from a landline, hang up yourself and make sure to wait a minute or two to call back, just in case the phone is still connected to the cold caller. Let them know what has happened, and quote the reference number, and they’ll be able to determine the authenticity of the caller.

Many applications also allow you to order a new card, and report fraudulent payments through the banking application itself. This is also a good way to ensure that you’re communicating with the right people, and not talking to a scammer.

Finally, remember that banks should never ask you for your Card Security Code (CSC), or a full secret answer to a security question.

Keep your staff safe with U-Secure

If you’re running a business and you’re worried about employees falling for these kinds of scams, it’s worth considering U-Secure. U-Secure provides cyber security training to your employees, consisting of short training courses and quizzes to educate them about common security scams, to test their understanding. 

Courses are ten minutes long, and are emailed to employees automatically. The results are recorded for your organisation, so that businesses can see how educated they are, and which employees need help or further training in order to protect themselves and your organisation.

As a U-secure partner Transcendit offers a 30-minute demo of the software, so we can talk you through how it works and get it set up for your business.

Prioritise cyber security, and give us call us on 0191 482 0444 to try out U-Secure


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