If you're reluctant to pick up your phone when you see an unknown number (or number), that's understandable. Fraudulent telephone conversations have reached an all-time high in recent years, cheating billions of dollars on Americans. No matter how skilful you feel, it's helpful to be aware of the latest tricks that criminals use before you fall prey to them. A new scam tactic reported by Lifehacker uses your bank's real phone number to encourage you to submit your PIN.
Legal.io CEO Peter Gunst recently shared his experience with bank fraud on Twitter. "I've just made the most credible phishing attempt I've ever experienced," he wrote on the platform.
It starts with scammers calling your phone and claiming to be your bank. They explain that someone tried to use your card in a distant location. If you tell them that you have not made the purchase, they will block the transaction and ask for your membership number. This is not an obvious red flag: unlike an account number or a PIN, cheaters can not use their membership number alone to cheat you text with the verification code sent to your mobile phone – which is also a favor. Callers say they send a "confirmation PIN" and ask them to read it to them. Since the text is a legitimate code sent by your actual bank, it can easily happen that you provide fraudsters with the information they need to change their bank credentials.
The last step of the fraud is where Favor has noticed that something is wrong. The callers request your PIN and state that they need it to block the number, while at the same time hoping to get the last piece of the puzzle needed to infiltrate their account. Incoming calls coming from your bank should always be treated with care. However, a caller who asks you to give your PIN by phone is a good indication that you should hang up. If you suspect that the call is legitimate, tell them that you will be called back so that you know you are in contact with a number that you can trust – a true bank clerk will not try to stop you The next time you answer the phone? Here are some more scams that you should keep in mind.