Over the last couple of week I have received several bogus requests for my personal financial details. One was much more devious than the others. The first was a phone call, supposedly from Amazon Prime, to say they had taken £49 from my bank account. They apologised for the error and said they would return the money but, of course, they needed my banking details. I told them I did not use Amazon Prime, gave them a few choice words and put the phone down. I then checked my online bank statement to verify nothing had been removed.
The second request was amateurish and laughable. I received an automated phone call to say I had not paid enough tax and that unless I rang a given phone number i would be arrested. This was followed by a further recorded call, a few days later, to say that I must ring the number immediately or the police would arrest me. Oh no!!!
I contacted my sister who happens to work for the Inland Revenue and she said there where many scams going on at the moment and that the IR would never send the police to arrest anybody.
The final bogus request for financial information came from O2. This request was much more plausible as it was an email where the fraudsters had copied parts of the O2 website. The email simply said that O2 were unable to process my latest online payment. The email looked totally genuine and even though I have a background in IT I was fooled into believing the request.
Fortunately, alarm bells started to ring as I was filling in my banking details at which point I stopped and rang O2 support who quickly confirmed the scam.
As this post shows it is important once again to emphasise that banks, insurance companies, Amazon etc, etc, will never, ever, ask for your personal financial information by telephone or email.