Scam calls

My mobile phone rarely rings.  If it does its either a member of my family in an emergency (they’d text or WhatsApp otherwise), or its someone wanting some information about #bellringing.  So I generally answer it in case of the latter.

This afternoon it rang and when I answered I heard an automated voice telling me that my National Insurance Number had been compromised on the Welsh boarders and that I should press 1 now to be put through to the investigation team.  I’m pretty clued up to this sort of thing, so I let the call ramble on and keep it hanging until it disconnects itself.  Then I Googled it.

Apparently, it’s a well-known scam that has made the national papers.  According to a recent article in the Daily Express (I don’t read it, that’s what came up in the Googlesearch) if you press 1 you get connected to a criminal who can then use your personal details to commit fraud. 

Action Fraud, the UKs national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, warned people about in January after the national reporting centre received more than 1,000 extra calls from the public within a week.  Of course their advice is to not press 1, not speak to anyone and not give out any personal information over the phone, and report it.

Now, if I was slightly less savvy, stressed or pressured for time, I may well have pressed 1 and been put through to someone, who no doubt has a well-rehearsed speech that would be enough for anyone to spill their bank account, national insurance, mother’s maiden name and other details, that would give the fraudster enough ammo to take all you money, or worse, steal your identity and do all sorts of damage that you may then get done for.

So be aware folks, there are some unsavoury characters out there ready to pray on our insecurities, vulnerability or absentmindedness. 


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