How to spot and avoid phone scams

With so many different channels to take advantage of, scammers have become a significant problem across the world. As well as being aware of email, text, and social media message scams, you also must approach unknown callers with caution.

 

According to Ofcom, in 2021, 45 million people in the UK were targeted with scam calls and texts. Research showed that text scams were frequently received by people in the 16–34-year-old age range, whilst 61% of people aged over 75 received scam calls to their landline.

 

Modern scammers are becoming more sophisticated, which makes it more difficult to identify a scam. Bogus callers often claim to be from an official organisation, such as the government or bank to intimidate people into providing bank details or card payment details.

 

How to spot and avoid a phone scam

Unexpected communication

If you receive a text or call from a number you do not recognise and you are not expecting a call from the organisation they claim to be you should be wary. It is rare for your bank to contact you out of the blue, but if they do you can call them back on the contact number that is displayed on their website to check it is genuine.

 

Requesting sensitive information

If a caller asks you for information such as your debit card pin, online banking login details or your full debit card details, do not give them the information.

 

Pushy callers

When a genuine caller is trying to contact you, they should be pleasant and polite, as this is what the job of a customer service adviser is all about. If you find that the caller sounds irritated or angry, especially when you ask them to clarify who they are or decline their request, it is a good indicator that they are a fraudster.

 

Missed calls scams

‘Missed call’ scams are common. This is where a scammer will purposely call but hang up immediately in the hope that the person will call them back. If the person calls back, the call is usually charged at a premium rate. Be wary before you ring any number back, particularly if they do not leave a message. You can search on Google for the number to see if it is connected to a business and there are sites such as ‘Who called me?’ that allows people to log suspicious phone numbers and help others to avoid falling for scams.

 

Elderly and vulnerable people are at higher risk of being taken advantage of, so warn the people you know to be aware of phone scams.

 

If you have been victim to another type of scam, it is important to report it to Action Fraud to help bring scammers to justice and to protect others from the scams.

 

If you think that you may have received a fake call from Central Liverpool Credit Union, please contact us on 0151 708 5515 or via email at [email protected] so we can take the relevant action.