Phone scammers at large

Hackney Council is warning residents of a scam, sweeping the country, where consumers are telephoned by someone who claims they are from a high street bank, a government body or a claims management company.

The scam varies, but the scammer typically suggests that the consumer can get some money they are owed via the repayment of bank charges or other debts. They are then asked to provide personal information, such as bank details and in some cases their PIN number.

Hackney Council’s Trading Standards Officers know of at least one vulnerable older person on a low income, who has had all but £15 of his money cleared out of his bank account.

The scammer told him that he was calling from Barclays Bank to arrange the repayment of a bank charge taken incorrectly from his account. The older person gave some details over the phone, then was sent a legitimate looking information pack asking for more personal details. His account was cleared a few days later.

Cllr Alan Laing, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods said: “No legitimate caller would ask for bank details over the phone and residents should not pass on personal or financial details to any caller. The fraudsters, who we know are operating in our region, are unscrupulous and will tell you anything they think you will believe in order to get hold of your cash. Reporting suspicious approaches like these is the best way to help bring these criminals to justice.”

People should make sure they are confident a company that a company is legitimate before making any payments. If uncertain or worried, contact Consumer Direct on 0845 040 506 or check the Claims Regulation website.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.