Police warning over latest fraud activity

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Fraudsters are developing new ways to trick people in to revealing their bank payment authorisation details, police have warned.

According to the PSNI, the new ‘vishing’ and phishing’ scam methods of obtaining bank details are increasingly sophisticated.

Targeting both business and personal customers, focussed phone (known as vishing attacks) and email (known as phishing attacks) tactics are used to try and trick users into passing on their customer log-in information.

The fraudsters use a process of what police describe as “social engineering” - or a “grooming” process - on their victims in order to make them comply with their requests.

A police spokesman said: “Usually they make contact to say they represent the bank or another well known company and have already garnered some information about the company or individual.

During the course of a phone call or email, they elicit enough information to take control of the online banking. The people behind this are organised and knowledgeable both about systems and the companies they claim to represent, as well as the people that they victimise.

“You as the customer are the first and best line of defence against this kind of fraud. It is vital that each individual is aware of online security threats, can spot attempted fraud and take steps to avoid this.”

The PSNI advise that:

1. Legitimate companies and banks will NEVER ask for your full PIN and password online.

2. Legitimate companies and banks will NEVER telephone you to ask for your banking PIN and password. Telephone calls asking for these details will not be from the bank or company, therefore the person calling is likely to be a fraudster.

“Any unsolicited communication or contact from your bank or another company should be checked. Please contact the bank or company in the event that you are approached by phone. Try and use a separate phone from the one that you have been contacted on as the fraudsters can hold open your phone line and trick you into believing that you are contacting your bank,” the spokesman added.

The police further advise that you do not disclose account details or access arrangements with anyone from the bank unless you have contacted them directly.

Anyone approached in this way, or who has fallen victim to this type of scam, is advised to report it to the bank or company immediately, and report the matter to your local police station on 0845 600 8000.

Action Fraud can also be contacted by telephoning 0300 123 2040 or by visiting their website at www.actionfraud.police.uk/home