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Phone Fraud

Phone scams are often used by criminals in an attempt to deceive businesses into revealing company financial information or to transfer funds in to accounts held by the criminal. This type of fraud generally starts with a cold call (unsolicited contact). The caller poses as a representative of a reputable company such as a bank or support company. During the conversation they try to trick the victim into giving them company financial or security information or into making a financial transfer to an account held by the criminal.

The tactics used can vary. Sometimes fraudsters will combine phone fraud with email fraud or face to face fraud. For example, you may receive a fraudulent email, which is then followed up by a phone call.

Key Advice

  1. Be very wary of any unsolicited phone contact. Never divulge personal information until you have validated that the caller is a genuine representative of the organisation they claim to represent. You can do this by:
    • Taking the caller’s number and advising them that you will call them back once you have validated their identity.
    • Looking up the organisation’s phone number (by using the phone book or their website) and making contact directly with them to validate.
    • Never validate the caller using a phone number they have given you.
    • If the caller is genuine, they will understand and welcome your need to validate them.
  2. Ensure all staff are informed not to give company information over the phone or give access to company information to any unexpected callers or visitors.
  3. Fraudsters may already have basic information about you or other company staff in their possession, do not assume a caller is genuine because they have these details or because they claim to represent an organisation you deal with.
  4. Remember that it takes two people to terminate a phone call, you can use a different phone line to independently check the callers identity.