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Card scams: The courier scam

Common scams to be aware of
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You might breathe a sigh of relief if you are contacted by your bank or the police warning you of suspicious activity. After all, you can cancel the cards before any further fraudulent transactions go through. However, it’s important to know that this is exactly how card scams prey on their victims.

These card scams have been targeting vulnerable people up and down the country, with hundreds of people having already lost thousands of pounds to the criminals. As a result the Metropolitan Police have issued a warning to anyone receiving a call about suspicious activity on their account.

How card scams work?

The Courier card scams tricks you into thinking that you’re receiving a phone call from the bank or other lender. You will be told of suspicious activity on your account and likely warned about the dangers of fraud. As it’s better to be safe and sorry, the ‘helpful’ person on the phone will advise you to contact the bank to cancel the cards. If you had any doubts about how genuine the phone call was, many will now be reassured as they are contacting the number printed on their bank card. No fraudster would direct you to the real bank or would they? This false sense of security is how innocent cardholders get tricked.card scams: the courier scam

When you hang up the call, the fraudster remains on the line. So, when you pick up the phone to contact the bank, the call is simply connected straight back to the criminals. They will provide the assistance you need to cancel your cards and prevent any further transactions. You might be asked to confirm your card details and in most cases ask for your PIN. The next step is for a courier to collect the card to ensure that the process is as secure as possible. The only problem is that you have now handed over your debit card, PIN, full address and any other details to the fraudsters. Don’t be surprised if your account has been emptied within a matter of hours.

Other variations

While the Courier Scam is the most common way for the criminals to steal your details, there are some variations around the country. Some will pretend to be the police, rather than the bank; whereas others are contacting people by mail asking them to transfer funds to a safe account or cut the card in half and send it in the post.

Protect yourself

There is one golden rule that you should always follow when dealing with anything relating to your bank account. NEVER GIVE OUT YOUR PIN. No one should know your PIN apart from you. Even when you’re speaking to your bank, they will never ask for your PIN. They will likely ask for alternative security information, but not your PIN. Without your PIN, the scammers can’t withdraw cash. Although they might still be able to use the cards online, this takes longer and is easier to trace.The next thing to do is contact Action Fraud or the police. Make sure you use a different phone, as the scammers may still be on the line. If you do want to cancel your cards, again contact your bank using a different phone.

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About Jemma Porter

About Jemma Porter

Jemma Porter is an experienced content creator who has written for a number of online publications. A self-confessed penny pincher; she's often found seeking out the best personal finance deals.

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