Scammer Alert – Don’t Trust Caller ID

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The numbers up for fraudsters spoofing telephone caller ID to trick victims into believing they are talking to someone from an organisation they know and trust.

Sophisticated technology allows crooks to manipulate numbers on telephones displaying caller ID and sending false identity details down the line.

Answering the call, someone sees a number they know, so they are more likely to reveal personal details top the caller.

Fraudsters then claim they are calling from a bank or financial firm and point out the caller ID number as proof they are genuine and carry on to impersonate staff to try to gain passwords and bank codes.

Now, detectives are working on tracing the source of the calls and moving in on the scammers.

Number spoofing fraud

Criminals are not only scamming individuals with the fraud– called ‘number spoofing’ – but also make calls to large organisations pretending to be executives or managers and persuade admin and account staff to transfer money to settle bogus bills.

They follow the instructions as the calls are identified as coming from a number they know by caller ID.

Action Fraud, the UK’s online fraud alert portal, explained that number spoofing was a new spin on an old fraud where callers would pretend to be calling from police or a bank in a bid to uncover passwords.

“Don’t trust caller ID because crooks can fool you with it,” said a spokesman.

“If someone tries to show they are genuine by highlighting their caller ID, the likelihood is they are a fraudster. Never give passwords out over the telephone, even if you believe you know who the caller is because they have no business to have them.”

Warnings about bogus advisers

Dealing with an unregulated firm

If you buy shares, save money or invest with an unregulated firm, you lose any protection offered by the Financial Ombudsman and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Broadly, you have no independent place to complain if the deal goes wrong and are unlikely to win any compensation.

Checking if a firm is regulated

Go to the Financial Services Register to check if a firm is regulated in the UK.

Reporting a suspected bogus adviser

Find out how to report unauthorised advisers on the FCA web site

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