7:00am Thursday 19th September 2013
By Matthew Taylor
POLICE have warned residents to be ‘extremely cautious’ of a telephone scam involving bogus claims of protection against unsolicited calls.
The scam is a known hoax by which fraudsters attempt to gain personal details of the victim, often claiming to be working for a non-existent service called ‘BT Telephone Preference Service’.
A spokesman for Winsford Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “The caller will claim they are aware that you have received many nuisance calls recently, that they could send you details and equipment to help to prevent these calls.
“The caller may already know your address and know which bank you use. They may even know some or all of your credit/debit card number.
“The reason for their call is normally to obtain further information in relation to your credit/debit card, such as issue or expiry date, account number, or the security code on the reverse of your card.”
Giving the information to the caller could lead to unauthorised use of your credit card or to identity theft.
If you have given this information you may want to contact your bank and consider asking them to issue you with a new credit/debit card.
BT do not offer a telephone preference service directly, only BT Privacy at Home, which is a caller display service.
You can prevent unwanted phone calls by registering with the Telephone Preference Service for free online at www.tpsonline.org.uk or by calling 0845 070 0707.
Police advice If you have any doubt about the authenticity of the caller, never give out your bank or personal details to them.
If the caller says that they are from your bank or building society, phone them directly on the number that you normally use for them, making sure that you have disconnected the call from the previous caller before dialling.
If possible use a different phone – some scammers will stay on the line after you have put the phone down which prevents you from making another call so that when you dial the scammer answers but you think that you’ve got through to your bank or building society. Alternatively, ask the caller to send you details in the post for you to read at your leisure.
If you or anyone you know has received a similar telephone call, contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06 or visit www.adviceguide.org.uk.
You can also report the incident to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit actionfraud.police.uk
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