An elderly East Sussex man has been conned out of £20,000 by fraudsters using ‘number spoofing’.
Sussex Police, in their latest newsletter looking at fraud, say that criminals can now send you a scam text displaying a phone number or name that looks like one you already recognise.
They say that the East Sussex man received a text message from PayPal stating that his account had been frozen due to suspicious activity.
In order to get the account back, he had to click on a link sent with the text within 36 hours.
This link then took him to what appeared to be an official PayPal website which asked for his card details.
The victim then received a phone call from the ‘NatWest Customer Service’ – the same number that is printed on the back of his bank card.
A fraudster informed him about a suspicious transaction from his account in Manchester for £400 and that in order to reestablish his account he would need to give his bank details.
Two days later he discovered that funds had been transferred from his multiple bank accounts into his current account and £20,000 of this had been transferred out.
Then Natwest were in contact with him regarding overdraft charges and it became clear that the funds had not been transferred by them or the victim but by a third party posing as the bank.
The victim’s accounts were frozen by Natwest but the fraudsters had managed to clone the bank’s actual customer service phone number and made it look legitimate.
Sussex Police have provided the following signs of scam calls
Never assume that someone is who they say they are just because their number matches that of an organisation you know.
In fact, if someone tries to draw your attention to the number on your caller ID display, you should immediately become suspicious.
Never give anyone your four digit PIN, your full online banking passwords, to transfer or withdraw money, or to give your card to a courier. Your bank or the police will never ask you for this information.
Your bank will never ask you to check the number showing on your telephone display matches their registered telephone number. The display cannot be trusted, as the number showing can be altered by the caller.