Police issue phone bank scam warning

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Residents are being urged to be on their guard against telephone scammers, after people in Berwick were contacted by fraudsters.

On two occasions - one on Tuesday, March 25, and a second the following day - the caller told the victims that he was from their bank. He said he was blocking an unauthorised bank transaction and advised the callers to ring him back to confirm the legitimacy of the phone call.

However, the offender stayed on the line as the victim dialled the number.

As a result the victims have transferred money to what they thought was their bank, when in reality it was a fraudster. Large sums of money have been stolen.

To avoid becoming a victim:

- Be aware that fraudsters often use techniques to hold your phone line open, so that when you try to dial out to verify the caller, they intercept and re-answer the call, claiming to be the bank or law enforcement.

- To ensure that your phone has not been compromised, we recommend using a different phone line to verify the caller. Where a second phone line is not available, try calling a family or friend on the line first, as the fraudster will find it difficult to impersonate a voice that is known to you.

- Never disclose your PIN or online/telephone banking log-in information or card reader codes to anyone, even if the caller claims to be from the bank or police. Remember, banks NEVER call and ask you to disclose these security details.

- If you receive a call requesting your PIN, card details or online/telephone banking log-in information, end the call immediately.

- If you receive a suspicious or unexpected call, always verify the caller by taking their phone number and getting it checked independently.

- Ensure elderly relatives and neighbours are aware of the fraud and crime prevention advice.

Report any suspicious phone calls to police straight away on 101 ext 69191.

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