HAMPSHIRE residents are being warned of the top phone scams to look out for in 2020 as the number of people being duped by scammers continues to rise.The six most active scams in Hampshire at the moment are:
- Police scam – you may receive a call from someone claiming to be a police officer or detective who convinces you to withdraw funds and hand them over to an investigator. They may give you a fake crime number and investigation details. They also convince you not to trust bank staff. In some cases, people are asked to call 999 or 101 to verify the call is genuine but the scammers keep the line open, so you are actually talking to them.
- Amazon Prime scam - you may get a call from someone claiming to be from Amazon Prime saying you’ve been charged for an annual subscription. They then tell you that fraudsters have hacked your account to authorise payment, but it can be cancelled if you press 1 and then give access to your bank account in order to undo the hack. Amazon Prime would never ask you to do this.
- Bank scam - someone may call claiming to be from your bank saying there’s a problem with your card or account. They may ask for your account, card and PIN details. They may also advise transferring your money to a ‘safe’ account to protect it. A bank would never ask you to do this.
- HMRC scam – you may get a call from someone claiming to be from HMRC saying there is an issue with your tax refund or an unpaid tax bill. They leave a message asking you to call back. HMRC would never contact you in this way and ask for personal information and bank details.
- Compensation scam – you receive a call to tell you that you are due compensation for a vehicle/work accident and you are then asked to provide personal details and/or pay an admin fee to proceed.
- Computer repair scam – an old one, but still very popular. Someone calls claiming to be from a well-known IT firm such as Microsoft to tell you your computer has a virus. They will ask you to download ‘anti-virus software’ which may cost but also turns out to be spyware, used to get your personal details. IT companies don't contact customers this way.
Chelsea Davies, manager at call-blocking firm CPR Call Blocker who compiled the list, said: “Whilst online scams continue to be growing, that doesn't mean that offline scams aren't also on the rise. With so many people treating their mobile phones as an extension of their body, people are more accessible by phone than ever before.
"Some of these scams target specific individuals, while others involve people being called at random. Some involve phishing, a type of scam in which the caller is trying to find out information (such as personal or banking information) that can be used in other crimes."
“We want to make people in Hampshire aware that scammers are becoming more inventive and if something sounds too good to be true or out of the ordinary, it could well be a scam. We always strongly recommend never giving your bank details or paying or something over the phone that you're unsure of. Especially if the call you receive is the first time you have heard of any payment that needs to be made.”
If you want to stop receiving scam and nuisance calls this year, follow CPR Call Blocker’s quick three-step guide to stopping unwanted calls: Sign up to the Telephone Preference Service – call 0845 070 0707 or visit www.tpsonline.org.uk.Don’t consent to being contacted – get your phone number taken off directories and look out for tick boxed on all marketing correspondence to see if ticking or unticking them will prevent your details being passed on to third parties.
Consider getting a call blocker.If you think you may be receiving scam calls, here are a few ways to protect yourself:If you think you may be receiving scam calls, here are a few ways to protect yourself:
Don't reveal personal details. Never give out personal or financial information such as your bank account details or PIN – even if the caller claims to be from your bank.
Hang up. If you feel harassed or intimidated, end the call. You have the right not to feel pressurised.Ring the organisation. If you’re unsure whether the caller is genuine, you can always ring the company they claim to be from. Make sure you find the number yourself and don't use one provided by the caller.
Don't be rushed. Scammers will try to rush you into providing personal details. They may say they have a time-limited offer or claim your bank account is at risk if you don't give them the information they need right away.Ms Davies continued: “If you suspect you may have compromised your bank account, contact your bank or card provider as soon as possible. It is also advisable to check your bank and card statements regularly for unauthorised charges as a matter of course.”
CPR Call Blocker is the best-selling and most trusted call blocker brand in the UK and is pre-programmed with thousands of known nuisance callers.The CPR suite of call blockers are available from www.cprcallblocker.com or www.amazon.co.uk or by calling 0800 652 7780.