Staying safe from cyber-crime and scams

Telephone Scams

Beware of cold calls pretending to be from a trusted organisation – such as banks, the police, a utility provider or a computer company. Trying to obtain personal or financial information, they encourage victims to hand over card details, or trick them into revealing PIN numbers or transferring money into accounts they control.

To make their call appear genuine, fraudsters often use a tactic called ‘number spoofing’. This enables them to alter the phone number they are calling from so that it matches a number victims recognise and trust. Then they ask the victim to check their handset display in an attempt to convince them it’s a real call. Some scammers also stay on the phone while the person they’ve contacted tries to dial out to trick them into thinking they're through to the real company. If a call wasn’t expected, it’s always best to hang up and find the real phone number from an actual bill or similar documentation.