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Banks and police plan awareness days to help customers foil scammers

PUBLISHED: 09:58 16 September 2015 | UPDATED: 11:51 16 September 2015

Three people have been arrested after drugs were found in a speeding car in Woodford Green

Three people have been arrested after drugs were found in a speeding car in Woodford Green

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POLICE in Bromley have joined forces with banks and building societies in the borough to try to raise awareness of the latest scams and frauds.

POLICE in Bromley have joined forces with banks and building societies in the borough to try to raise awareness of scams and frauds.

Each month a bank or building society will host an awareness event at all its branches. Santander will hold this month’s today, and police officers will be at branches in the Market Square, Intu, Chislehurst, Petts Wood and West Wickham all day offering information and advice.

If you’re interested, you don’t need to make an appointment - just turn up.

Officers will be particularly focusing on cold calling scams, where fraudsters deceive victims into believing they are speaking to a police officer or someone from their bank or another trusted organisation, such as a computer company. The criminal will try to convince the person that they have been a victim of fraud and will ask for personal and financial information, such as card details, PINs and passwords, to gain access to their account. Sometimes the fraudsters persuade their victims to transfer money to other accounts, hand over bank cards to a courier or withdraw money from a branch.

Inspector Phyllis Rooney, from Bromley police, said: “We want people to question even truly genuine-sounding calls.”

Police advise being aware of unsolicited phonecalls and cold callers who suggest you hang up and call them back – as they can then keep your phone line open by not hanging up at their end. Then, if you try to call your bank or the police about what’s happened, you’ll get them instead.

Your bank and the police will never ask for your PIN or online banking password, even by tapping them into the telephone keypad; ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping; ask you to transfer money to a new account because of fraud, even if they say it is in your name; send someone to your home to collect your cash, PIN, card or chequebook; or ask you to buy goods using your card and then hand them over for safe- keeping.

You should never tell anyone, even the bank or police, your PIN, password or online banking codes, or give anyone any personal details unless you are sure who you are talking to.

If something seems suspicious, hang up, then wait five minutes or use a different phone line to call your bank or card issuer to report the fraud attempt. If you don’t have another phone, call someone you know first to make sure the line is free.

Your bank will also never ask you to check that the number showing on your phone matches their registered phone number. The display can’t always be trusted, as the number showing can be changed by the caller.

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