Police officers are warning residents to be on their guard after a sophisticated scam defrauded a Derbyshire resident of £60,000.
The victim, who is in their 50s and lives in north Derbyshire, received a call claiming to be from a Sky employee offering a 30 per cent discount.
The victim was told that to take advantage of the discount their bank records needed to be updated. The fraudsters were able to give the victim the first two digits of their sort code and first four digits of their bank account.
Due to the nature of the call the victim told the fraudsters that they were worried this could be a scam. The victim was given a number to ring that they were told was the fraud hotline for Nationwide.
When this number was rung the victim was told they were busy and that they would be called back. Five minutes later they received a call back from the fraudsters who told the victim that the fraud number was also working on behalf of Santander – the bank the victim used.
At this point the victim has been told that suspected fraudulent activity had been detected on their account and that they needed to transfer their money to secure accounts – controlled by the fraudsters.
In total £60,000 was moved by the victim into these accounts.
Derbyshire police’s fraud assess and protect officer, Tammy Barnes, said: “This type of fraud can be absolutely devastating.
“This is a sophisticated fraud where the people involved have used a number of high-tech methods – such as making it appear the victim has been contacted by a legitimate number when being contacted by the supposed ‘fraud team’.
“This victim – as with many others – has believed because they have put the phone down that when they ring a new number they are speaking to someone new. In fact the fraudsters are not clearing the line and the victim is actually speaking to the same con artists.
“Our message to anyone who has a call that they are worried about is to hang up immediately. If you then ring your bank make sure you can hear the dial tone or, preferably, use another phone to contact the authorities.
“Secondly, your bank will never tell you to move your money to a secure account – so never move your money to an unknown account.
“If you are concerned that you have been contacted by a fraudster – or that you have fallen victim to them – don’t suffer in silence. Contact us on the 101 number and report it to Action Fraud online at https://actionfraud.police.uk/ or by calling 0300 123 20 40.”