Action Fraud issued a National Insurance scam warning last month, after it received more than 1,000 extra calls from members of the public in one week. The national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime said victims have reported receiving an automated telephone call, during which they are told their “National Insurance number has been compromised”.
To fix it and to get a new number, the scammer is telling the unknowing victim they need to “press one on their handset to be connected to the caller”.
Once connected to the “caller”, the victim is then pressured into handing over their personal details.
It’s all under the pretence that they will then receive a new National Insurance number.
However in reality, the victim has actually been connected to a criminal, who can now use their personal details to commit fraud.
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Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud, said: “We are asking the public to remain vigilant and be cautious of any automated calls they receive mentioning their National Insurance number becoming compromised.
“It’s important to remember if you’re contacted out the blue by someone asking for your personal or financial details, this could be a scam.
“Even confirming personal details, such as your email address, date of birth or mother’s maiden name, can be used by criminals to commit fraud.
“If you have any doubts about what is being asked of you, hang up the phone. No legitimate organisation will rush or pressure you.”
As well as warnings from Action Fraud, some have taken to social media to warn others about the call.
Recently, followers of a local Facebook group were warned about receiving a call of this type which appeared with the local area code.
Many people reported receiving similar phone calls from numbers which also began with the local area code, while others said they had been contacted via mobile numbers.
“I had same call. Local code, different number,” one person wrote.
Another penned: “I had same yesterday from a mobile number, I just hung up.”
A third wrote: “I’ve had the same as well this morning. Again a local number. Deleted the message.”
Action Fraud has issued a number of tips which could hopefully help in protecting oneself from scammers.
The national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime says: “If you receive an unexpected phone call, text message or email that asks for your personal or financial details, remember to:
“Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
“Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
“If you have provided personal details to someone over the phone and you now believe this to be a scam, contact your bank, building society and credit card company immediately and report it to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
“You can also contact CIFAS to apply for protective registration.
“This means extra checks will be carried out when a financial service, such as a loan, is applied for using your address and personal details, to verify its you and not a fraudster.”