Anyone can be targeted – Our Tax Director Phil Kinzett-Evans tells how a fraudster attempted to scam him………Posted 2016 by Chris Davies
Fraud is a huge area of concern when I am looking after the firm’s clients, but little did I expect to be the target of an such attack, on a Sunday evening whilst I was sipping my Earl Grey watching The Last Ship on Sky Atlantic.
A call came in on my mobile which went something along the lines of (my answers in bold):
Fraudster: Hi, is that Philip Kinzett-Evans? I am calling from Santander fraud team regarding your accounts. We have noticed some suspicious activity on your account and would like to check some transactions. Did you make 2 payments to Argos of £500 each and then £200 to the same retailer?
Fraudster: We have tracked the transactions to abnormal IP addresses and want to block them. Can you please tell me without revealing your username and password, what accounts you have?
Me: Can YOU please tell ME what I accounts I have and which one you are calling about? You already have this information.
And I receive text messages if my account makes payments over a certain amount.
(And he got a little aggressive which I would never expect from my bank)…
Fraudster: Mr Kinzett-Evans, I am calling about all your accounts. Your text messages have been diverted as the fraudster has changed your mobile number on our records. I cannot do my job if you do not give me the information I am just trying to help you.
Me: I am not comfortable giving you the information you have asked for (and I was wondering how he was calling me if my number had been changed in their records).
Fraudster: If you look at your phone screen you will see the number 0845 9123 123 which is our number, I need to verify you so that I can block the transactions I have just told you about.
Me: Can you give me my postcode? [He gave my postcode].
Fraudster: I need to know which accounts you have and the balances. The figures on my screen will be different to yours so if you login and let me know the amounts then I can make sure they are reset to the same as ours.
Me: I’LL CALL BACK!” (And I ended the call).
He tried to call me back 5 times whilst I was calling Santander and I kept diverting him to voicemail. No message was left which is not something the bank would do.
At that point I called Santander to let them know and they confirmed my accounts are secure. I called on my mobile but dialled the number rather than pressing redial to the number that had just come through. (As I understand it, it is not possible for your mobile phone call to be held up when you end the call – but if this had come through on my home phone then I would have called using a different line, as the caller can prevent you from hanging up your call).
Santander confirmed my records are correct and more importantly that they had not tried to call me.
I did not give him any information and so will remain safe. I have, nonetheless, altered my login details in case anything is amiss.
Actually I feel I wasted my time. If the “fraud team” or indeed anyone who purports to be official and you weren’t expecting a call then call them back in your own time. In my case it would have saved a pointless discussion with a potential fraudster.
Below is a link to scams of all kinds including the one I have been subjected to, but escaped: