The scam is making its way from the UK to the United States.
A fast-moving phone scam has spread across the United Kingdom, and it is most likely going to spread across the states quickly.
According to CPR Call Blocker, manufacturers of scam call blocking technology, the scam involves someone identifying himself as a police officer and telling you that your bank card information has been cloned or stolen. The scammer will ask for bank account details in order to "stop money from being withdrawn from the account."
Of course, withdrawing money is exactly what the scammer will do with that information. The company says that scams in the UK spread very quickly to the U.S., so it's best to be on guard as soon as possible.
So how do you prepare? By knowing some very basic information and spreading the word, particularly to those in our communities that are often targeted by these types of phone scams.
"It’s important to remember that police officers and bank officials will never ask you to withdraw or transfer money or hand over private banking details. We ask that friends, relatives, and neighbors of seniors help us spread the message to prevent anyone falling victim to this scam,” Chelsea Davies, CPR Call Blocker Business Development Manager, said to KKCO11 in Grand Junction.
Phone scams are among some of the most popular scams that are out there. In late January, the Westminster Police Department alerted residents that a scam call was going around impersonating the department and telling people they owed money after missing a court date and giving them a number to call to make payments. The scammers have used fake badge numbers, fake names, and a cloned number that looks like a Westminster City number.
"If you actually reach a person on this number they will tell you they will connect you with a national database to make payment on a warrant. When the transfer occurs they are asking for your name, date of birth and social security number. Please do not give them any of this information," said a press release from the City of Westminster. "The Westminster Police Department will never call and ask you for money."
The press release also said that the Broomfield Police Department also received reports of a similar scam. Just note, as Westminster said, no police officer will ever ask you for bank information or money. This scam will also likely spread, so no matter where you are in the state, it could come your way.
Here are some things you don't want to do if you receive calls like this, according to the AARP:
- Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers.
- Don’t return one-ring calls from unknown numbers. These may be scams to get you to call hotlines in African and Caribbean countries that have U.S.-style three-digit area codes, and you could incur hefty connection and per-minute fees.
- Don’t follow instructions on a prerecorded message, such as “Press 1” to speak to a live operator (it will probably lead to a phishing expedition) or press any key to get taken off a call list (it will probably lead to more robocalls).
- Don’t give personal or financial data, such as your Social Security number or credit card account number, to callers you don’t know. If they say they have the information and just need you to confirm it, that’s a trick.
- Don’t pay registration or shipping charges to get a supposed free product or prize. Such fees are ploys to get your payment information.
- Don’t make payments by gift card, prepaid debit card, or wire transfer. Fraudsters favor these methods because they are hard to trace.
If you are interested in the top scams that are making their way through the state in 2020, check out our look into the Top Scam Trends in Colorado Right Now.
If you think you've been scammed, let the CBI know on its 24-hour Identity Theft and Fraud Hotline at 1-855-443-3489 or visit CBI’s website. Or, if you receive what seems to be a scam call from your local police department, hang up and call the department to make a report.