“I didn’t know fraudsters could steal phone numbers from banks” – Which one? New



Do you have a problem you need to solve? Who? is there to help you solve your drug problems.

Dear which one?,

I responded to a text from what appeared to be Barclays’ fraud team, asking me to verify a payment.

Subsequently, I received a call from a number that matched the Barclays phone number on my debit card. I panicked and thought my account had been compromised.

The caller told me they were part of the bank’s fraud team – it was like a cross between being questioned and hypnotized. I thought it was legitimate and was persuaded to transfer the £ 1,096 from my bank account to a new ‘secure bank account’, due to a security issue.

I quickly realized that I had been scammed and contacted Barclays. Following an investigation, Barclays refunded half of my money – £ 548 – saying I had not ‘taken reasonable steps to verify that the payment was genuine’.

I didn’t know fraudsters could steal bank phone numbers. The scammer used this to convince me that the call was legitimate. What else could I have done to verify that the payment was genuine?

Louise, Hertfordshire

Set to rights

Adam French, consumer rights expert at Which ?, says:

It’s scary how easily crooks can spoof official phone numbers, especially when they seem so convincing on the phone.

The conditional reimbursement model code for wire transfer scams, to which Barclays subscribes, requires reimbursement from victims of scams unless the bank can prove “gross negligence,” which is a high bar, especially if you are targeted with a convincing misleading number. .

We asked Barclays why they only offered a partial refund, he said: “We have all the sympathy for our client, who was the victim of a bank identity theft scam. We apologize for the the delay of the investigation and we will refund the remaining funds. ‘

If your bank does not reimburse you as a result of a scam, you can ask the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) to assess your complaint for free.

You must first have received a final response from your bank, or if they have not resolved your complaint within eight weeks, you can go directly to the FOS.

How to spot fraudulent calls

Never share personal or financial information with anyone who calls you out of the blue, even if the number calling you seems official.

Instead, hang up and contact the organization yourself (using contact details you know to be correct) to verify everything that has been told to you.

Caller ID is unreliable: it is easy for fraudsters to spoof legitimate phone numbers using software that is shared freely online by criminals.

Barclays also told us: “No real bank will contact you to transfer money to a ‘secure account’ – ignore anyone who asks to do so, whether by phone, email or any other method. . “

Should know:

  • A wire transfer scam, also known as an authorized push payment (APP) scam, occurs when you transfer money from your own bank account to that of a scammer. Most major banks are registered with the voluntary authorized push payment scam code and should reimburse scam victims in most cases.
  • Stay ahead of scammers by signing up for our free scam alert service.
  • Report a scam to your bank and Action Fraud, or by calling 101 if you live in Scotland.
  • Tell us about your scam experience and help our research using our scam sharing tool.

Get in touch

If you have a consumer rights issue that you need to resolve, email us at yourstory@which.co.uk.

Please note that we cannot assist you or respond to every email we receive. The inbox is monitored periodically during office hours, Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


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