Fraudsters gain full access to bank account with cost of living scam

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Scammers are also keen to take advantage of current financial pressures, offering tempting discounts and services to get people to hand over cash or personal details. Fraud prevention group Cifas has warned about a number of popular scams which fraudsters are using to dupe consumers.

One particularly dangerous scam involves bank card refunds.

The scammers will offer to get a person their money refunded on a debit card purchase, for an upfront fee.

The ploy allows the criminals to get personal and banking details, and they can then set up a device on the person’s account, with full access to their bank account.

Cifas urged Britons to be cautious about sending personal details as it could be a way for criminals to access more financial details.

Amber Burridge, head of Fraud Intelligence at Cifas, said: “Criminals continue to use a variety of ways to take advantage of people struggling with the cost of living crisis.

“The sophistication of cyber-enabled attacks such as phishing and smishing continues to grow, and once criminals obtain someone’s personal and financial details, it’s likely they will be used to facilitate identity fraud, which accounted for over 60 percent of cases filed to the National Fraud Database last year.”

HSBC recently updated its free fraud and cyber awareness app, which is available to everybody regardless of if they are a customer.

The app provides real-time warnings to users, with push notifications and other tips.

More than 3.5 million HSBC customers have subscribed to its Voice ID technology, adding an extra layer of security by using their voice as their telephone banking password.

The tech has identified 50,000 attempted telephone frauds since it was launched in 2016.

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HSBC UK has named some of the most common scams across cards and payments, from November 2021 to April 2022.

Purchase scams have been the most popular, where shoppers are duped into paying in advance for products or services, which never arrive.

There is a rise in scammers using this to falsely advertise vehicles for sale.

Fake shipping websites are set up for vehicles supposedly coming from abroad, sold at well below market prices.

Customers are lured in to pay with deposits or outright payments.

Impersonation scams are also popular, with fraudsters pretending to be from groups such as Amazon.

Scammers have even called people up pretending to be from HSBC UK’s fraud team to tell them that their account is at risk.

This will usually be after the fraudsters have sent a bogus text, from a group such as Royal Mail, asking for a small payment and to input their account details.

The hoax callers will tell the customer they need to move their funds to a “safe account”, which will in fact belong to the scammers.

Investment scams are also on the rise, often involving fake bonds or cryptocurrency.

HSBC said this type of fraud leads to the biggest losses for customers, with the average victim losing £14,173.

Fraudsters will stay in contact with the person over months, to take as much money as possible, while promising a great return on their investment.

There is an increase in scammers trading via genuine companies, but through a fake intermediary that they control.

Victims will be instructed to download an app or website that lists their investments and return, but the intermediary will suddenly disappear along with their money.

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