Money Lost To Phone Scams Triples In Last Year

A teenage girl using her phone. Pic: Thinkstock.

A national campaign is launched after figures reveal 58% of people have received suspect phone calls about their banking details.

The amount of money lost to phone scams has tripled to £23.9m in the last year, according to new figures.

Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK), which represents banks, building societies and card companies, has launched a national campaign to warn about the telltale signs of a phone scam.

It carried out a survey which found that 58% of people had received suspect calls about their banking details – up 17% on last year.

The campaign tells consumers not to give out their PIN over the phone.

Cold calling scams typically involve fraudsters deceiving victims into thinking they are speaking to a police officer, bank staff, or a trusted representative of an organisation – a practice known as phishing.

They will then try to get them to divulge passwords, transfer funds or hand over cash to a courier.

Detective Chief Inspector Perry Stokes said: “Always be on your guard if you receive a cold call and are asked for personal or financial information, or to hand over your card or cash to someone.

“The bank or the police will never tell you to take such actions, so if you’re asked it can only be a criminal attack.”

FFA UK also said fraudsters could ask consumers to hang up and phone back in an attempt to win their confidence.

Vishing scams cost consumers £24m

card fraud vishing

Over the past year the Guardian has warned that fraudsters are targeting older bank customers with the highly sophisticated scam. Victims get a cold call at home from someone claiming to be a police officer, a member of bank staff, or a credit card firm. Typically, the criminal tells the customer they have been a victim of card fraud, and asks for personal and financial information in order to gain access to their account.

In other cases the fraudster persuades their victim to transfer all their money online to what they believe is an new account set up in their name – or withdraw money from a branch, and hand it over to a courier.

Food banks in Spain provide an amazing service

foodbankman_3.jpg

The food banks in Spain are non-profit organisations and they supply social centres, refuges, shelters and other institutions, and they support the disabled, immigrants, drug-addicts, the ill, children and in general anyone who finds themselves in a situation of social vulnerability. Last weekend saw the second large campaign this year and collected 21 million kilos.
It’s a 50% increase on last year and is enough to guarantee food for 1.6 million people for six months.The numbers were given in a press conference held in Bilbao where the President of the Spanish Federation of Food Banks, Nicolás Palacios.
‘He thanked the generosity and solidarity of the donors which have shown their concern for the difficult situation other people are suffering, despite all of us are affected by the economic crisis’.

He said he would to mention one particular donor which he was told about. The man concerned in the supermarket picked up a loaf of bread and to cans of bonito (fish) which was for his meal, and when he got to the till he handed one of the tins to the food bank.

He also thanked the 106,000 volunteers and 10,000 shops where food can be donated, and he indicated the most generous areas of the country; 25% was collected between Barcelona and Madrid, another 25% from seven cities; Sevilla, Bilbao, Málaga, Valencia, Las Palmas, Granada and Gerona) and the remaining from the rest of the country.

Palacios was said to say that the number of people who need this sort of care is always increasing, although not as fast between 2011 and 2013, when they had to cut their donation from 100 kilos per person per year to 80.

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